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Ebola Watch Florida: First Sarasota, then Miami, now Orlando

Since initially reporting on the first case of a person with “Ebola-like symptoms” in Sarasota, FL on Friday, Oct. 3, two more cases have appeared. One case is a teenager in Miami on Sunday and the third of a passenger at Orlando International Airport on Monday. The common factor with all three of these cases is they had all recently traveled to West Africa.

Each of these cases has been handled differently. The first case of Ebola like symptoms, reported in Sarasota, was handled by Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The patent was placed in isolation but not initially tested for the Ebola virus. The second patient, a teenager in Miami, was also placed in isolation but was tested for the Ebola virus.

In the third case Mark Lehman of WKMG Local Channel 6 Orlando reports, “A traveler at Orlando International Airport was isolated and removed from a flight after he demonstrated signs of illness… According to airport officials, the pilot notified the Centers for Disease Control when it was revealed that the man had traveled to West Africa at the end of August. After being examined by a medical team, it was determined that the passenger did not fit the criteria for Ebola or any other communicable disease. He was released, and airport operations were not affected.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is not taking any chances with Ebola. On Monday, Oct. 6, Governor Scott released a statement saying he has partnered with Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

On Oct. 8, Gov. Scott released the following statement after his briefing with Florida health and emergency officials and an afternoon conference call with President Obama:

“We are still urging the President to fulfill our request for 30 testing kits the state has requested from the CDC and an additional 100 units of high-level protective gear. Florida still does not have any confirmed cases of Ebola, and we hope we never do, but we must continue to do everything possible to keep our citizens and our visitors safe.

“As to the discussion on international travel restrictions, I agree with Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Bobby Jindal that the White House needs to look at certain restrictions on travel from countries battling Ebola to keep Americans safe. This is not a partisan decision. It is a common sense decision. I assume the administration is doing everything they can to secure our country and combat the spread of this disease. That is what we are doing in Florida and I assume they are taking the same steps at the federal level.”

Currently Dallas, Texas is the only city with a confirmed case of a person with Ebola who voluntarily went to an emergency room for treatment. This patient has since died of Ebola. This does not include those intentionally brought to the United States with the Ebola virus with the approval of federal authorities. These patients are located in Nebraska, North Carolina and Georgia.

The following maps were created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and provides more information on the spread of the Ebola virus. WHO will be updating these maps as more cases are discovered.

MAP 1: Geographic distribution of Ebola virus outbreaks in humans and animal:


Click on the map for a larger view.

MAP 2: Ebola or Marburg virus diagnostic testing laboratories:


Note the United States and Canada can only test for Ebola, not the Marburg virus. For a larger view click on the map.


Dr. Richard Swier

Dr. Rich Swier is Publisher of www.DrRichSwier e-Magazine. Twitter: @drrichswier He holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, a Master's Degree in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Richard is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service.

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