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More disturbing details regarding the first Ebola case were disclosed today. The infected man did not inform the fact at the Liberia airport about his close contact with a pregnant woman who had died of Ebola. The partner of the Liberian man infected with Ebola and her children were quarantined but the sheets and towels used by the man were left behind. The children who had contact with the infected man went to school after he was admitted to the hospital. All these details reveal appalling human failures in the face of a potential catastrophe, as well as the complexities of anything that deals with human behaviors. It is true that only the hindsight is perfect. Even so, so many things could have been done to minimize the possibility of further Ebola cases. For instance, the CDC should have removed the items that carried the residues of Ebola virus fluid, such as sweat and vomit, immediately to incinerate them because the virus is said to live up to a few days on the surface of objects. The airport personnel in Liberia should have screened the passengers more thoroughly perhaps by assuming the attitude of “Dr. House,” which assumes that patients/ people often lie. The family should not have sent the children to school knowing that the man in the house who was taken to the hospital had just arrived from Liberia, which is one of the hot-beds of Ebola epidemic. It seems to me that a lot of people involved in this particular case had short supply of what Dr. Rieux, Albert Camus’ character in The Plague, calls “common decency,” which in his case “consists in doing [his] job” as a physician.

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