Luck has kept Ebola out of the U.S. But that’s very likely to change.

Friday, September 26, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Todd C. Frankel
September 24, 2014

Only a fluke of timing prevented Kent Brantly from being in Texas when he got sick with Ebola.

Brantly, the first U.S. doctor to get Ebola, was infected in late July while working at a missionary hospital in Liberia. But he didn’t immediately realize he was ill. That’s one of Ebola’s tricks: The virus can take three weeks to appear, although severe signs usually strike within 10 days. Still, that’s time enough for someone to jump on a plane and fly around the world.

So Brantly was already infected with Ebola but not yet sick — and thus not yet contagious — when, on July 20, his wife and children flew from Liberia to Texas for a wedding. The doctor was scheduled to meet them in Texas a week later. He never made that flight. He fell sick three days later. An Ebola diagnosis followed. He soon made a high-security medical evacuation to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where he eventually recovered.

But Brantly came exceedingly close to returning to the United States with Ebola. As a doctor, he would’ve taken precautions to prevent anyone else from getting sick. However, the resulting panic — “Ebola in Texas!” — might have been impossible to contain.

A bit of luck was involved there.

And that luck seems to be holding six months into the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

The Rest…HERE

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