Four Nurses Quit As Ebola Fear Spreads In Korea

The fear of Ebola is spreading in Korea. 4 nurses at the National Medical Center quit after treating a potential Ebola patient from Sierra Leone. Though many assume they were worried about being infected with Ebola, the National Medical Center insists that they quit due to their own personal problems.

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Nurses Deterred By Ebola. Why Did They Quit?

The medical industry is becoming worried about possible Ebola infections. This stems from a decision by the Korean government to dispatch Korean medical teams to Ebola stricken nations in West Africa. Special cause for concern are the 4 nurses from the National Medical Center, who after treating potential Ebola patients, entered from Sierra Leone on October 8th. They quit their jobs presumably over their fear of Ebola. Many have voiced a need for better training before national medical teams are dispatched.

There is a great concern about not only doctors who treat potential Ebola patients, but also for the nurses who take care of them around the clock. Many point out that various countermeasures for both doctors and nurses should be put in place before dispatching medical teams .

Jong-bok Lee, assistant director of the National Medical Center, made a statement saying, “4 nurses quit last week after treating a 17-month-old boy. He was suffering from high fever after entering Korea from Sierra Leone on October 8th. The biggest cause of their resignation seems to be a fear of being infected by Ebola.”

On October 8th, Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that the 17-month-year old boy, who came from Sierra Leone with a high fever, is continuing to receive care in quarantine.

On October 8th, a 17-month-old boy came to Korea on flight EK322 from Sierra Leone. At the quarantine stage of immigration, he showed the symptoms of a high fever of approximately 38.3 degrees, and was isolated as a potential Ebola patient. He was then sent to the Epidemic Disease Control Center at the National Medical Center and treated by a task force medical team dealing specifically with Ebola.

On October 9th, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that the boy tested negative for the Ebola virus. Despite this, the nurses treating the boy appeared to suffer from severe stress.

Some of the nurses didn’t leave the hospital after giving treatment, but remained there at all times over fears that they could be spreading the Ebola virus to their families if somehow they became infected.

Lee stated, “As this was the first time the task force treated a potential Ebola patient for the first time, the task force nurses could have been extremely frightened. The National Medical Center provided psychiatrists for the nurses in case they were to feel overly frightened.”

After giving treatment, 4 out of 9 nurses in the task force have resigned. They were all in their 20’s and 30’s. The hospital is planning to fill the vacancies with more experienced nurses. The assistant director Lee stated that, “At that time nurses in the United States had gotten infected by Ebola, which made the nurses in Korea more afraid. In a way that they were working with their lives at stake, so they can’t help but feel a sense of fear.”

He said “In managing the crisis of epidemic diseases like Ebola, overreaction should be the guiding principle. Not just an isolation ward, but a ward that can block air circulation is needed for treating patients.”

He also added, “If there is a real Ebola patient, many countermeasures will need to be in place, including how to deal with waste, dining issues, and shower facilities for medical teams. Beyond this, education about the Ebola virus should be improved.”

Comments from Daum:

존 패트릭 라이언님:

I understand as each of them has only one life.


The number of old people who collect waste paper for a living is 1.75 million and their monthly salary is just about 50,000 won. Park Geun-hye cut the total amount of heating assistance for senior citizen centers next year by 60.3 billion won. Despite this, an overwhelming 71.4% of those 60 or older support Park Geun-hye. I applaud those old people who in their servile spirit still incomprehensibly think they can live on thanks to what she has done for them.


Ebola can affect everyone, including medical teams. Moreover, there are no doctors who diagnosed someone as having Ebola nor nurses who have treated Ebola patients in Korea. It can’t be acceptable to dispatch someone without any Ebola vaccine. Does the Korean government have anything to deal with Ebola? Why don’t the health minister and Spicy Chicken [Park Geun-hye] hold hands and go first to set a good example?


Who wants to sacrifice their lives with such a small amount of pay? It’s the natural thing to do if you use your common sense. Besides, under the Lee Myeong-bak/Geun-hye governments, we should protect our lives by ourselves since Korean government already lost that role. I have zero faith in the Korean government.


If I’m the one to be dispatched in Korea not in the US, I will quit. I’d be too likely to get abandoned.


Those nurses knew that if they died from Ebola, Korea would ignore it. Unlike the US, Korea doesn’t care about its people. They made a wise decision.


Send doctors who are children of lawmakers and chaebol families first.


What Park Geun-hye is saying to them is it’s not my life so go sacrifice yourselves. Is she insane? It would be better to gather people who want to commit suicide and send them.

ㅁㅇㅍ님 :

If I were in the situation, I would do the same. Ssibal! If someone is calm when he is forced to go to a dangerous area, he’s an idiot. Anyway, only soldiers would be the next target to be sent, tsk tsk.


Who else is going to volunteer to go help in the outbreak countries?


Send Park Geun-hye. She likes to go abroad on her own plane.

민태수님 :

They probably didn’t go in and just made the nurses do everything…


If I were one of those nurses, I would quit. I suggest the President visit West Africa to be a good example for others.


Those who are going to dispatch medical teams should go first.


Since the quality of the National Medical Center is worse than neighborhood hospitals, it seems natural for those nurses to quit. If they were safe, they wouldn’t. Anyway it sounds absurd that there’s a countermeasure headquarters. Does it have only one desk?


Send globe-trotter Geun-hye first. Why? Cuz she doesn’t want to go there.


In this situation, who the heck is the woman who decided to dispatch Korean medical teams to West Africa where the Ebola outbreak continues?


Which crazy bitch can force someone to go to Africa without being ready to deal with the disease? Ok, go to Africa. Even if you get sick it’s your problem – the government won’t take any responsibility for it. I’d bet my life on it!


“Many have voiced a need for better training before national medical teams are dispatched.”… What the heck? Look at this world. Isn’t Korea the kind of shit place making everyone protect themselves or else.


So stupid. Korea can’t treat even one potential Ebola patient, so how is it possible to send doctors and nurses? Korea must not send medical teams till there is a vaccine. Some people from the high rank at Ministry of Health and Welfare should be dispatched first for about 1 year and discuss again when they come back.

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