Kuhar Response Transcript


Kuhar Response Transcript


Q: Right. For some reason, I have--let's see--October 8th in my head as the date when the index patient passed away. I don't know if that's accurate.

KUHAR: Oh, yes. We didn't talk about that at all. That was a horrible day. That was--it was quieter. I got a call that morning, early, that--I can't remember the time. I think I had actually been dozing and woken up with a call that he had died. And was surprised. In general, our impression was that he was getting better, which was just wonderful. So we had gotten the call that he had died, and there was a general air--not just with the field team, but even from the physicians who were in the hospital who were caring for him, they were a little bit surprised. We weren't expecting it. He had gone from being pseudo-stable to all of a sudden, having some parameters that make it--like indicating that he was not doing well and getting sicker, to actually dying very quickly, I think over the period of an hour or two from what they told us when we had arrived. It was--that was--just very--it was very sad. It was very disheartening. It was so much, and not just work, but many of our team members had gotten to know his family through daily interactions with the contact tracing, having them take their temperatures, making sure they were okay. There was some very personal interactions with his loved ones that had developed between a lot of our staff and them. I think it hit--his death resulted in a lot of heartache with the field team. It was terrible. Obviously, we had a lot of questions about what had happened and talked with the physicians, but ultimately, we had to keep doing our job. We continued with the--really, at that point, it was just the contact tracing efforts. For the most part, the unit was getting closed down because they now didn't have patients. They didn't have a patient with Ebola to care for, for three days, in there. Until the first nurse had gotten sick.


“Kuhar Response Transcript,” CDC Museum Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024, http://cdcmuseum.org/items/show/800.