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  • Writer's picturekwankew

All the Perfumes of Arabia

Sadly close contacts with Ebola without protection begets more Ebola.

The mothers and children of the two families that we admitted last night were all positive for Ebola except for the two-year-old boy, Jackson, who demanded to be breastfed but when the results came back he has to be formula fed. While waiting for a family member to take him home, the decision was made for him to move to the Confirmed Ward to be with his mother; this continues to put him at risk for getting Ebola. The more prudent thing to do is to have Bendu care for him while he remains in the Suspected Ward, but that was not the case. Her other child, Theresa, has now the highest viral titer in the region at 11 Cycle Thresholds (CT), she otherwise looks well for now except for fever, I fear it may be the calm before the storm.

Moses’ mother seems to take little interest in him who remains unresponsive, the other two children, Fatu and Peter, four and five years of age are having gastrointestinal symptoms and fever.

Peter’s hiccough has stopped but he continues to be delirious.

Tewah’s abdomen is still distended and she has trouble breathing. Last night she was wheezy and restless. We searched for dexamethasone in the pharmacy without success. She was given a lot of fluids during the day; I could not tell if she is accumulating fluid from third spacing making it hard for her to breath. We have little to offer her; no oxygen, steroids, nebulizer treatment or a trial of lasix. Her family came to attend Siah’s burial and brought her bananas, papaya and cucumbers which sat beside her bed untouched.

Chlorine is our armor against Ebola. Last night after we doffed we found all the taps for 0.05% chlorine and some of the taps for water were bone dry only the taps for 0.5% chlorine were running. The pumps were inadvertently turned off after the day crew left, leaving us high and dry. We had to wash off with the strong 0.5% chlorine and quickly rinsed off with water. The fumes from the stronger concentration of chlorine permeated through our sinuses.

After every shift despite the bathing and I feel for sure all the perfumes of Arabia will not wash away the smell of chlorine clinging avidly onto my hands.

Color-Coded Taps for Water, 0.05% and 0.5% Chlorine

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