These days I divide my time between clinical and consulting work. in my consulting job I work as a medical command physician for ambulances, helicopters and airlines needing advice and direction on all sorts of medical emergencies.
For the past several months I have been fielding several calls a day regarding screening for *possible* Ebola patients wanting to board a plane or currently in the air and suddenly developing symptoms.
Of all of those phone calls…only one of them had recent travel in Liberia and originated from a West African airport. All of the rest were from random passengers that vomited, or had diarrhea…but had no travel history, no fevers, no exposure to anyone who had an recent travel history, exposure to the virus, etc, etc.
Part of my job is to reassure and clear those patients who have absolutely zero risk of carrying this particular virus. But there is so much fear and paranoia that we are fielding calls about nearly anyone who vomits.
God forbid a passenger on Coumadin develops a nose bleed! That’s a sure call to screen for Ebola even if the passenger is a little old lady from Pasadena who always gets a nosebleed on a plane.