When CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden if the recent Ebola patient in Dallas should have been tested for Ebola on his first visit to the hospital, and if he should have been asked about his recent travel history, Frieden got vague and evasive:
“That’s one of the things we’ll be looking at,” Frieden said. “But we’re reiterating the message for every health worker in this country — think about travel history. If someone’s been in West Africa within 21 days and they’ve got a fever, immediately isolate them and get them tested for Ebola.”
Gupta then asked Frieden to explain guidance the CDC has issued on that and again asked: “Should this person have been tested?”
“We weren’t there so I can’t tell you exactly what that person said…” Frieden responded.
Gupta interjected, “You’re advising public health departments. Last time I was here (at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta) there was a call with many primary care doctors to educate them on this exact issue. That was a couple of months ago. Should this person have been tested?”
Frieden answered, “We know that in busy emergency departments all over the country, people may not ask travel histories. I don’t know if that was done here. But we need to make sure that it is done going forward.”