Most U.S. Hospitals not Prepared to contain Ebola or any Pandemic Outbreak

Emergency Room Sign
Ebola Fears expose Larger Problem with U.S. Healthcare System’s Preparedness to Fight Disease Outbreaks

While I personally don’t think Ebola is a huge threat at this point – when you put the actual numbers into perspective there have only been 900 deaths in a world that has a population of over 7 billion people ­­– the recent Ebola outbreak has highlighted how ill prepared this country is to face any type of pandemic outbreak.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control insist America hospitals can contain an Ebola outbreak if it spreads here to the United States, they are so confident that they broke the first rule of containing an epidemic by bringing infected patients here to the U.S. ­– an area that has never had a reported case of human Ebola. While the CDC plays lip service to how prepared they are, the facts are far different from what’s being reported.

American Hospitals are Grossly unprepared to Contain an Outbreak

Judging from the CDC’s own internal numbers – which are probably grossly under-reported – American Hospitals are in no way ready to contain any sort of disease outbreak. In fact, they can barely contain pathogens that are already known to this country.

According to the CDCs own numbers, over 1.7 million people are infected by healthcare-associated infections every year, with 99,000 people a year dying from infections they acquired at a hospital. If U.S. hospitals can’t stop known pathogens like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. diff), and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), there’s no way these same hospitals are going to be able to stop something as infectious as Ebola or any future pandemic outbreaks.

To put it into perspective, every year 14,000 people are infected with Clostridium difficile while staying in U.S. hospitals. Clostridium difficile is a pathogen that’s spread by diarrhea, and is nowhere near as infectious as Ebola. If these same hospitals had an outbreak of Ebola, does the CDC really believe they can contain it with current medical practices?

CDC has its own Problems with containing Disease.

As we reported last month, the CDC has its own problems with containing deadly pathogens. Over the last three months the agency has had at least three incidents where they mishandled Anthrax, Avian Flu, and Smallpox – in one case exposing 86 workers to Anthrax.

Yet Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, the guy who keeps showing up on TV telling the public how they’re in no way putting them at risk by bringing infected patients into the country, is the same guy who had no clue his own agency had multiple security breaches over the last three months. These people are grossly incompetent, and our country’s hospitals have become absolutely disgusting cesspools of disease.

MRSA has become an epidemic at hospitals, with over 2 million people coming down with the infection last year, and of that about 23,000 of them dying. Our healthcare system is literally falling apart, while the government and the CDC sit by doing very little to help contain or fix the chaos.

So while I don’t think Ebola is an immediate concern to the country – unless we start seeing a major spike in numbers ­– I do think the larger issue of how prepared we are to stop a large-scale outbreak of disease is a huge concern. In fact, while the media is serving you up 24/7 coverage of an outbreak that to this point has only killed an estimated 900 people, hundreds of thousands of people have been infected because of this country’s poor medical practices.

We already have an epidemic in this country; sadly it’s one of our own creation, and is a showcase for what’s to come. If our healthcare system doesn’t start receiving the attention it deserves, this country is in for a long hard ride ahead.

4 Comments

  1. moman
    August 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

    like I’ve said, how do you institute martial law, reduce population, and erect a dictatorship regime?

    without even needing to declare martial law..

    allow an outbreak to happen, and then quarantine the area’s, but be lax just enough for people who are infected to squeak by and infect other areas, so you can then quarantine them too.

  2. Joe
    August 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Best article I’ve seen on this yet! Thanks for putting the numbers into perspective and pointing out the real problem.

  3. old soldier
    August 7, 2014 at 10:49 am

    As far as the Ebola virus not being a huge threat, I can’t agree. Here are my reasons. First, there are two cases of the disease at Emory. If you believe in Murphy’s law, a problem of it getting out can and will happen. Second, anyone who has been to Africa during the outbreak of the disease is possible carrier. Third, from what I’ve read in my communicable disease books on the disease, it is also carried by rats and their feces. The book came from CDC. Fourth, like most diseases,a microorganism mutates or adapts. In short, it can become airborne. Fifth, most people I’ve talked to about what is happening in Africa either don’t know about it (yes, don’t know) or don’t care. With that attitude they either will panic if there is a epidemic or disregard safety precautions. Sixth, I’m a believer in black swans. With this, it a possibility. Seventh, I’m not trying to panic people. What I am doing is what the Army taught me to do when conducting an operation: worse case the problem. If a person worse cases the problem, there is preparation and that is what I advise people to do: prepare (build an isolation kit and store food and water in case a person has to isolate themselves to prevent catching it.) Eight, the numbers of those infected or showing symptoms of the disease are the ones we KNOW about. One last thing, I suggest looking at the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic to get an idea of the potential of what Ebola can do if it gets loose in this country.

  4. Grampa
    October 22, 2018 at 11:24 am

    How to attack America. make the noise like an attack is coming and have them divert assets to prepare. train and provide goods that will make attacks have minimal effect. then attack from another direction. one not easily detected and hard to contain. around a holiday where many people travel “home” something that has a slow incubation but has high mortality. something where America doesn’t have large stores to fight the infection. nothing can be covered entirely. preparations must be in place for any event.—–Grampa

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