RUSH: We start here in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is Clarence. It’s great to have you, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Rush. I’m a physician here in Charlotte. I don’t get much chance to listen to you, but I decided to give you a call on my lunch break. I’ve got a major concern with the information that’s being disseminated by the likes of Governor Perry and even some people from the CDC, specifically stating that you’re safe unless they’re exhibiting symptoms.
Now, I could go out to the 6-to-12 people that are in my waiting room, and I couldn’t tell you what’s wrong with them. They’re not “exhibiting,” quote, symptoms until I speak to them specifically. My big concern is that this gentleman’s children went to school, and I know how kids get in school. The communication is paramount here. Unless you actually speak to someone, you don’t know their symptoms. I’m sure you’ve got a staff there with you. Some of them may have come in with a low-grade fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea. You don’t know until —
CALLER: Well, that’s a big concern.
RUSH: But I get your point. So let me ask you; you tell me. Are they wrong? Because the CDC guy, the doctor we had audio sound bites of yesterday, said that the disease is not contagious if the patient is exhibiting no symptoms of the disease, that there is no contagion possible, or contagious spread possible. Is that true or not, in your experience?
CALLER: Well, it’s true in a sense. If he means exhibiting symptoms as you see someone laying on the floor bleeding from all orifices and writhing and sweating, they’re exhibiting symptoms. But, for the most part, the early onset symptoms of Ebola are very similar to that of a cold, a flu —
RUSH: That’s right. But that’s my question. I know when… I can tell when somebody has the flu. I mean, I can spot a fever, I’m pretty sure, by behavior. I, anyway, know when people are sick, but forget what I know. The question is this. The early onset symptoms mimic flu. Are those flu-like symptoms, if you spot them in an Ebola patient, enough to spread the disease, or does it have to be the full onset — you can see it with your eyes — Ebola, like you described with the bleeding from sores on the skin and this kind of thing? I mean, at what stage of development of this disease is it contagious?
CALLER: Well, that’s the big question. You cannot reach a specific pinnacle of a stage of symptoms and say, “Okay, in an hour you are now contagious.” In the same way with the flu. You can catch the flu from someone who’s exhibiting very mild symptoms that you don’t know. We don’t know exactly when a patient with Ebola starts to become contagious. It’s gonna depend.
RUSH: Okay, so is that why you’re saying. It’s irresponsible for these people like Governor Perry and the CDC director to be saying that there’s nothing to worry about? Is that why?
CALLER: Yeah, I think that’s responsible. That basically is a false sense of security. If his kids went to elementary school and they interacted with other kids at lunchtime — eating off of their plates, touching, whatever — and let’s say his kids went to school had a mild stomachache or a mild, low-grade fever. Who’s to say if they were contagious or not? We can’t. The scientific approach to this disease, as far as the symptoms are concerned and as far as the contagiousness is concerned, are not set in stone.
RUSH: Isn’t that the point, though? Since we don’t know, why are we not erring on the side of safety?
CALLER: That’s my big point right there. We don’t know, and the truth of the matter should be… If someone’s gonna say, “If they’re not exhibiting symptoms, they’re probably not contagious,” the caveat should be: “However, the only way we can find out, especially in elementary schools…” In my practice, in fact, I’m putting together a whole new policy when people come in. I’m gonna ask specific questions: “Have you been out of the country lately? Have you visited anybody from out of the country lately?” Those types of things.
RUSH: But then you’re next gonna have to determine whether or not they’re being honest with you about it, because if they fear… I think what everybody’s engaging in here — in their, in some cases, hapless manner — is they’re trying to stop a panic, an outbreak of panic. That’s why they’re telling everybody, “Don’t sweat it!” Just like Obama said, “There’s no way the disease is gonna get in here,” after it gets here. Anyway, I know they’re trying to keep a lid on panic.
Doctor, I appreciate the call. Thanks much. It’s great to have you.