Over the weekend in Joplin, Missouri, a nursing student from the Congo died after he was spotted having respiratory symptoms while out on a walk. The local coroner attributes the death to cardiac arrest. The coroner is quoted as saying he "understood the victim had been in the U.S. long enough to have passed the incubation period for the disease"
Unfortunately the Coroner's statement has an aire of uncertainty about it. Moreover we also find Coroner's public Linkedin profile to be concerning as the is seems to indicate zero medical training, and that his prior employment was as county Sheriff.
We believe it would be wise for Public Health officials to start contact tracing on the victim to determine what the true exposure risk.
Did he have contact with other International students from Ebola infected areas?
As a nursing student was he in any way involved in medical care in Ebola infected areas?
Hopefully the Coroner is correct in his diagnosis, but given the alignment of risk factors and the dangerous impact of a positive Ebola case, further DETAILED investigation is needed to rule out Ebola and potentially even Enterovirus 68.
Mark Bridges coroner at newton county,mo