Dr Oz: Ebola Isolation Ward
Dr Oz kicked off his sixth season with a report on the Ebola Virus. A fourth American has been infected with the disease, and is being treated in isolation back home in the US. Two other medical missionaries, Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were successfully treated and released.
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) believes that Ebola is “spiraling out of control” in a crisis of epidemic proportions. It is the first outbreak to strike West Africa, including some populated areas.
Dr Oz: Ebola Outbreak Epidemic
After four cases in American patients, many are concerned that things could continue to grow worse. The death toll is already over 1,900. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a possible 20,000 cases in the next six months.
ABC News’s Dr Richard Besser and CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta have both been on the front lines in Africa. Dr Besser recalled speaking with a CDC official about the escalation of this health crisis. Healthcare workers just can’t keep up.
There is also concern that the window is closing for any ability to control this outbreak. Dr Gupta said he did think we would begin to see cases of Ebola in the United States, and Dr Besser agreed; it could take weeks for someone to show symptoms.
Dr Oz: Dr Kent Brantly & Nancy Writebol Ebola
Dr Besser recalled visiting the Ebola unit six days before taping Dr Oz’s show. He took precautions, but noted that if he had been exposed, he could incubate for another two weeks. People can monitor themselves by keeping track of their temperature, and you can alert health workers if you think you are at risk so they can protect other patients.
The CDC and WHO are spreading the word about the dangers. Dr Brantly spoke to Matt Lauer on Today Show about his experiences in treatment. Nancy Writebol shared her story at a press conference, recalling what it was like to hear from her husband that she had Ebola.
Dr Besser also interviewed Writebol, who is unsure how she contracted Ebola. She was working to ensure that doctors were properly protected against Ebola, and dealing with their precautionary equipment is a high risk position. But she may have been exposed via another person.
Dr Oz: Ebola Symptoms
- Stomach/Muscle Pain
- Unexplained Bruising or Bleeding
Dr Oz: Is There a Drug for Ebola? ZMapp
Dr Sanjay Gupta said that Ebola can resemble many other diseases early on. Sometimes patients can succumb to Dehydration as a result of Ebola. How can American hospitals be prepared? Dr Besser said that early treatment and hydration is key.
There is also new hope for a drug to treat Ebola, like the drug ZMapp, which is being studied in animals. A handful of human patients have tried this treatment, with mixed results so far. Meanwhile, the death toll could climb larger than any previous Ebola outbreaks, with a 50% survival rate.
Doctors Without Borders, as well as other volunteers and international organizations, are working to help get the spread of disease under control and protect people worldwide. Dr Oz’s perspective was that medicine would be successful in finding a way to tackle Ebola.