Notes from “Ebola NC: Local Response – Global Impact”

Some notes from the event that was held Monday at the Triangle Biotechnology Center on Ebola. The event was about what local NC companies are doing for the response. 

Some great thoughts from Dr. William Roper, Dean UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care:

  • Communicating uncertainty undermines perceived expertise.
  • But if you don’t communicate uncertainty, and you are wrong, you lose more credibility.
  • How to do it well is to “proclaim uncertainty”.
  • Dean Roper took these ideas from the recent Lisa Rosenbaum article in the NEJM

Some other interesting notes:

  • Any patient with a point of origin from the affected countries must enter US into one of 5 designated airports.  Also if they were in any of the affected countries for any part of time in the past 21 days the same rule applies. 
  • CDC is doing some amazing work in Africa and sending staff there to work and help rebuild medical infrastructure, teach hygiene and protective practices, and providing other technical assistance. 
  • NC Dept of Public Health has a dashboard to show current NC data; is updated weekly. 
  • Almost every NC hospital has conducted some type of Ebola drill.
  • Both Duke and UNC hospitals have worked together to prepare for a potential patient.  
  • It costs about $30K/day to treat an Ebola patient (so total bill around $600K).
  • Two biggest risks for spread: unrecognized cases in a clinic (as in Dallas), & transmission during doffing of PPE.
  • “More people are dying because of Ebola in West Africa than of Ebola.”  The healthcare infrastructure is stretched thin; unable to handle normal health needs.  Child mortality rising. 

Summary of meeting from NC Biotech Center: