Pinoy leaders in Dallas urge caution amid Ebola concerns

By JV Villar, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 14, 2014

DALLAS, Texas – Health officials are still probing how nurse Nina Pham, who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, ended up with the disease herself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it will look at every single interaction of the nurse, with the fear that more cases may surface in the days to come.

This heightens concern for the safety of health workers, and many Filipino nurses and doctors in Dallas are alarmed.

It is still unclear as to how many Filipinos are working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. But Fil-Am leaders are concerned and are closely monitoring the situation.

“Gusto nilang iparating sa kanilang mga kamag-anak na mabuti naman ang kanilang kalagayan dito at ginagawa nila ang lahat para hindi sila mahawa,” Elana Mallari, chair of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of North Texas, said. “Kahit na may takot at stress silang nararamdaman, kailangan pa rin nilang maging ready at handa na mag serve doon sa unit sakali mang tawagan sila. Ang sabi pa nga nila sa akin, na para daw silang sundalo na kahit anong oras ay pwede silang tawagin.”

With fears of a breach in safety protocols at Texas Presbyterian, the situation raises fresh concerns about whether U.S. hospitals can effectively handle Ebola.

Health workers are advised by hospital management to avoid going to crowded places and ensure protocols are followed.

“Kailangan huwag muna silang pumuta sa mga gym, sayawan, disco, spa o minsan kahit sa mga grocery na maraming tao,” Mallari said. “Pag galing nila sa trabaho bago sila pumasok ng bahay, magaalis ng sapatos at damit bago sila pumasok ng bahay at mag shower.”

Filipino nurses in other parts of Texas say this first Ebola transmission within the U.S. is a wake-up call.

“I’m scared because as a nurse here in Houston, we are the front line in the delivery of health care services,” Registered Nurse Chike Amah said. “With the recent incident that occurred in Dallas regarding the fellow nurse, I believe the precautionary measures in place are probably not enough.”

Medical workers in Texas say authorities need to be more vigilant to contain and to end Ebola.

One Comment

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  • Mario
    14 October 2014 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    There are only 4 US Hospitals prepared for Ebola, they are fitted with Bio-containment Unit.I feel sorry for our Pinay Nurses, they work in the frontline for Ebola patients.Google; “Hermetically sealed Casket” CDC has already issued burial guidelines for Ebola victims, 100K casket in stock, ready and prepared for you. Most top CDC officers are community organizers, not infectious disease experts, no wonder they are all liars.Republican want travel ban to all flights from Africa, Democrat still insist on open border.