I posted the following on another blog. Since it's Halloween, why not here as well:
Following the well-publicized story of Nina Pham, I'm not so easily reassured about the difficulty of contracting Ebola:
(a) Pham was fully aware that she was treating an infected patient and took precautions, yet still became ill. Have they identified her 'break in protocol?'
(b) An infected passenger disembarks from a plane and is noted to be symptomatic. This person is detained. The plane she was on has already departed after only a cursory cleaning by the flight attendant, who is unaware that the passenger had discreetly thrown up several times during the flight, leaving traces on the seat handles and cushion. An infant now occupies her seat, and her parents have no reason to think it's unsafe for her to play with her toys, which she habitually chews on b/c she's teething.
(c) A dog or cat comes into contact with infected bodily fluids, which are then tracked into the owner's home.
(d) An asymptomatic Ebola victim flies into Mexico. During the 48 hours it takes to cross the border illegally and arrive in NYC, he becomes symptomatic and unwittingly infects forty others who travel with him in a truck equipped only with buckets for waste. None are willing to report their symptoms to authorities or present to a health care facility.
(e) A mentally unbalanced Ebola victim knowingly attempts to infect others.
All of the above are unlikely scenarios. However, I would have ranked (a) as being the most unlikely.