2nd possible Ebola case in US, 5 kids possibly exposed

An update on yesterday’s story about the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States.

According to news reports, the man is from Liberia, and was simply visiting the US.

The man has been identified as Thomas Eric Duncan.

UPDATE: Good news, his condition was upgraded to serious from critical, today.

At the same time, there are reports of a suspected possible second case of Ebola in the US.

And there are concerns that the first patient could have possibly exposed five children to the disease. The children attend four different schools, and are now being monitored.

Symptoms of Ebola, by Mikael Häggström.

Symptoms of Ebola, by Mikael Häggström.

In total, officials are reportedly monitoring 12 to 18 people, including 3 members of the ambulance team that transported the man to the hospital.

The Washington Post has an interesting article up about why passengers from west Africa are still permitted to travel to the US. The Post reports that not only are travel bans not very effective, or necessary, but in fact travel restrictions might make it harder to fight the disease.

Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are already economically isolated because this epidemic has spread far wider and lasted much longer than any other Ebola outbreak in history. What those countries need most now is assistance from the world.

More flight restrictions will only make it more difficult for life-saving aid and medical professionals to reach West Africa. The restrictions already in place have proved so problematic that U.S. military forces are building an “air bridge” to get health workers and medical supplies to affected areas.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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