Just yesterday, I received a call from a DC. He told me about a panicked call he received from another DC (DC #2) the day prior. DC #2 was in a high state of anxiety because he was afraid he might have contracted Ebola. Never mind that DC #2 had no direct contact with an Ebola patient or that zero infected patients where in his community. Let’s also ignore the fact that DC #2 displayed an absolute ignorance of how Ebola presents.
So DC #2 ran off to his medical doctor only to get reassured that no, he does not have Ebola. Meanwhile, he had closed his practice and cancelled his patients so that he could consult his MD. Also, likely his MD now knows how clueless this doc is on a subject that he should be well versed on by now.
People, there is a time and a place for many things. Panic, however, is usually not warranted, especially over a baseless worry that in this case the DC should have already known the answer to the question plaguing him. DC’s are primary portal providers, which means DC’s must know certain things. And with the current very real Ebola threat, we as DC’s must know the signs and symptoms of Ebola. Do you?
In case you don’t, here’s a primer on Ebola. The early signs and symptoms include; unexplained bleeding and bruising or hemorrhage, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, and diarrhea. And here is the pathognomonic kicker: you must have had contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person in order to contract Ebola. Most of the symptoms appear from 2-21 days post exposure with an average being about 8-10 days.
Recovery depends on supportive care and the strength of the patient’s immune system. And there are early diagnostic tests available, which include: antigen capture ELISA testing, IgM ELISA, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and virus isolation. The typical treatment is not all that high tech. It includes IV fluids, balancing of electrolytes, maintaining oxygen and BP status and treating any other infections as they arise (opportunistic infections).
In America, Ebola is incredibly rare (so far). Ebola is, by many viral comparisons, quite hard to contract. Direct contact must have been made with blood or body fluids.
I’m not trying to turn you into Dr. Diagnostician. I am trying to ensure you know the basics on Ebola so that you are informed and you do not panic. And as a chiropractor, what can you do to help offset the scare? Simple, inform your patients when they inquire and help them become as healthy as possible so they have a fully functional immune system running on all cylinders. In other words, provide real wellness care, which is more than an adjustment only maintenance visit. At the very least it includes a timely, regular adjustment and the two most important supplements that all Americans require. Other components are also important, but these three are key.
Wellness care is critical, not only for the health of your patients but also for the health of you, your team, your family and your practice. And let’s face it, if 75% of your new patients converted to wellness care, soon you would not be able to even take many new patients at all unless you brought on another doctor. Now that reality sounds great, doesn’t it?
Please, don’t panic over Ebola. Instead, be the wellness doctor your community’s health needs badly. Questions? Shoot me an email. I’m here to help!
Chris Tomshack Dc