Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stanford ER Surgeon being monitored for Ebola "out of an abundance of caution"

     A Stanford ER surgeon, Dr. Colin Bucks, is being monitored for Ebola "out of an abundance of caution." Dr. Colin Bucks is the medical director of disaster preparedness for Stanford Health Care and is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Stanford medical school's department of emergency medicine. Dr. Bucks was volunteering in Liberia with International Medical Corps, a LA-based nonprofit that's not affiliated with Stanford in any way.
    Stanford Health Care announced last Thursday that Bucks would be isolated for 21 days "out of an abundance of caution" following his last known contact with an Ebola-infected patient. 21 days is the incubation period for Ebola. He has been healthy and asymptomatic since coming back. This response is interesting as we have learned that an Ebola-infected individual is only contagious when he/she is also symptomatic. It seems like an over-reaction and even Stanford Health Care admits that it's kind of a severe reaction. However, we do need to be careful just in case he's infected with a mutated strain that makes him contagious even when he's asymptomatic. This decision was made by Stanford Healthcare according to its emerging infectious disease response plan, which are based off CDC's guidelines.
   Dr. Bucks is on paid leave and is "very cooperative." County health officials take his temperature twice a day.
   I initially thought this was an overreaction, but it's actually a pretty chill quarantine. It sounds like a lot of resources are going into this. Speaking of lots of resources, all major hospitals are undergoing significant "Ebola training" for relevant employees. It's not the most cost effective approach and it'd be great if all that training money was put into Africa instead.

virologically yours


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