Hospital workers told to refer to suspected Ebola cases as various “viral illnesses” instead.


Image Credits: Jacob Windham / Flickr

Kansas City, Mo., hospital workers are being threatened with termination if they do not refer to suspected Ebola cases as “viral illnesses” instead of Ebola.

Dr. James Lawrenzi, a Kansas City-area family physician, said hospital workers are being told not to use the word “Ebola” if they treat patients who may have the disease.

“They’re threatening people ‘you’ll be fired, you’ll be let go if you use the word “Ebola,”‘” Dr. Lawrenzi said, noting that the hospital he works at in particular, Cass Medical Research Center, has not had any suspected Ebola cases.

A doctor at Truman Lakewood Medical Center told Dr. Lawrenzi that a patient arrived at his hospital a few weeks ago with a high fever and was bleeding out all of his orifices after returning from West Africa, but the next day the patient disappeared from Truman Lakewood.

The hospital told its workers the patient, who wouldn’t have been able to leave the hospital on his own given his condition, had a case of “malaria,” which wouldn’t explain the patient’s orifice bleeding.

Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches and tiredness,” the CDC states. “Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur.”

Similarly, another possible Ebola patient was admitted to Research Medical Center in Kansas City but also quickly disappeared, and management at that hospital claimed the patient had “typhoid.”

Written by KIT DANIELS
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