Monday, October 6, 2014

Iatrogenic Ebola?

"iatrogenic /iat·ro·gen·ic/ (i-ă´tro-jen´ik) resulting from the activity of physicians; said of any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a physician or surgeon."
I was surprised to read this:

"In the end, you discovered that the Belgian nuns had unwittingly spread the virus. How did that happen?

"In their hospital they regularly gave pregnant women vitamin injections using unsterilised needles. By doing so, they infected many young women in Yambuku with the virus. We told the nuns about the terrible mistake they had made, but looking back I would say that we were much too careful in our choice of words. Clinics that failed to observe this and other rules of hygiene functioned as catalysts in all additional Ebola outbreaks. They drastically sped up the spread of the virus or made the spread possible in the first place. Even in the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa, hospitals unfortunately played this ignominious role in the beginning."

From here, 'In 1976 I discovered Ebola - now I fear an unimaginable tragedy'