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Searching for America’s Doctor

The Ebola panic in the U.S. sends a clear signal that the surgeon general position is still a vital role.

In the midst of the Ebola’s arrival in the United States one thing is clear: the American public is vulnerable to hysteria and panic without the unifying voice of a trusted health leader—a surgeon general, for instance.

In just a few short weeks, fear of the deadly epidemic has gripped America, aided by the spread of misinformation in the mass media. The latest case of Ebola in the United States was announced last week, when a doctor returning from Guinea, where he was working to help treat the disease, arrived home in New York and was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with a high fever. The case has already caused panic in the city, where health workers are trying to retrace the man’s steps the day before he was hospitalized.

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