Tag Archives: Ebola

On being alarmist about Ebola.

Fa19eONNot alarmist.  Concerned.  Just as each and every one of you – I think there may be three that follow my limited commentary – should be.

We get more than eight or nine cases in this Country, we are going to have problems.  We have had three cases really – Duncan and then two nurses he infected.  The others were brought here by the government.  Which is fine, they recovered, and if I was working overseas to help quell the fire that burns in West Africa and got Ebola, I too would prefer to be in an intensive care unit here in the US.  I would thank my luck for that, being here rather than in some backwater in Africa.  And now as opposed to six months from now.

What happens when we get multiple breakouts and cases, more than one West African in Texas – say we have multiples in more than one metropolis?  I fear we will be in trouble.  Its already been predicted, up to 130 cases by January, here, in the US.  Circumstances of how those cases came here aside…. .

One Thomas Duncan comes here, and shacks up with his extended family some of whom are here illegally perhaps?  Could happen.  Will they go to a medical provider while they are not shedding the virus, not asymptomatic?  No.  Of course not.  After they feel run-down and start being symptomatic?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  While that occurs, will they – can they – pass it along?  Yes.  CDC data says yes, if you believe it.  Will they have contact with who knows how many others during that time?  Yes.  During that time they will use public transportation, go shopping here and there, go to their place of employment and have contact with untold numbers of others, all of whom have to be traced and all of whom have to be isolated?  Yes.  If their families get infected, including any children, won’t those children will go to schools, day-care, etc?

To those that say you can’t get Ebola from casual contact:  First, do you want to chance it (that is alarmist perhaps, but the CDC has waffled on that liklihood), and Second, is there a difference between airborne viruses – bacteria really, turberculosis comes to mind – and that which can be transmitted via contact?  Studies show that Ebola can survive on a surface.  We know we are to wash our hands and not touch our faces when out and about during flu season.

Do we have symptomatic carriers out and about, and who seek to conceal the fact?  Its already happened.  Duncan was one.  Dr. Craig Spencer was, IMHO, in denial, and is another.

The more cases we get abroad, the greater likelihood we have of breakouts in this country.  That is statistics.  Nothing will absolutely ensure that cases don’t import here.  But tightening controls at the border, denying entry for those that have been to these countries, checking temperatures at entry points, quickly isolating and imposing quarentines and tracking contacts help.  Yes.  But when will the system fail?

Go to any busy ER lately?  How long will anyone sick with Ebola sit in that ER before isolation?  How many will be truthful when there?  How many may avoid going there for fear of immigration issues?  Can whatever facility they go to handle that patient (patients)?  Its bigger than that.  How many cases of enterovirus have been imported here because of the current administrations lax immigration policies?  (Read my other posts).  What happens then if Ebola gets any foothold in Mexico City, Caracas, or Guatemala City?  There will be a flight from the afflicted area.  To here.  To the good ol’ US of A.

We are lucky, with the capability of our medical professionals in this Country.  Our system has its limits though.  As does society.  We are not immune to this disease just because we feel we have the best healthcare available.  Or because we are ‘Mericans.  We are not immune from stigma, unrest, and the economic upheaval that will happen if this “problem” breaks out in New York, Atlanta, DC, or any other large metropolis.

We are not going to just “deal with it” if that happens.

So, take care of yourselves and consider how you might prepare and make the best of it.  If this thing burns out in West Africa and we are alright, well, alright.  I am happy to be wrong.

I think we will be, ultimately, alright.  But I question our current leadership.

(Disclaimer: I smoke, drink and eat too much fast food.  I am content to be a fat-and-happy-‘merican dying of heart or lung disease.  I don’t want to die of Ebola.  Ebola is not the same as dying of cirrhosis, emphysema, or clogged arteries.  That’s it.  Obama still reaches over the sneeze-shield.  Like a weirdo).

[steps off of soap-box and kicks it away].

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The Case for Closing Borders, continues.

 

Rainbows_and_Unicorns_by_KosReD

So many feel that closing borders – limiting travel – won’t make a difference with Ebola.  Canada, since limiting travelers from West Africa has been criticized:

That move was slammed Wednesday by Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, who said closing borders will not stop spread of the Ebola virus.

“I understand the fear in the community, but the fear factor is way too high and out of proportion to the risk,” Chan told Bloomberg News in an interview. “No evidence exists to support the effectiveness of travel bans as a protective measure.”

We’re not debating the existence of unicorns here.  We don’t have the difficulty in proving a negative.  I know this common-sense-obvious-to-everyman-800-pound-gorilla-elephant-in-the-room fact: Thomas Duncan came from West Africa.  He then infected two of his nurses who have thankfully recovered.  What happens when we have not one Duncan, but more.  5, 50 or 500?

It goes without saying, as the number of infections in afflicted countries increases, so does the possibility that a person with Ebola will carry it here.

“So we had two exports in the first 2000 patients,” Frieden said in a recent interview. “Now we’re going to have 20,000 cases, how many exports are we going to have?

Imperfect as they are, travel limitations are but one tool in the toolbox.  And ignorance of evidence is evidence of ignorance.

WHO’s Friday numbers. 

Go and Vote.

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The Washington Times, Wes Pruden –

A public aroused to anger often reaches for the nearest club to punish politicians who evade, lie, distort and dissemble in the face of crisis.

And then Robert Knight

President Obama accuses people who want a 21-day mandatory quarantine of engaging in the politics of “fear.”

Our ruling elites constantly tell us that common-sense precautions are evidence of hysteria or discrimination. Does anyone feel safer with these people at the helm?

Answer:  No.

 

Scientists try to predict number of US Ebola cases.

From the AP

“My worry is that the epidemic might spill into other countries in Africa or the Middle East, and then India or China. That could be a totally different story for everybody,” Vespignani said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he’s not worried about a handful of new cases in the U.S. His greatest worry is if the disease goes from West Africa to India.

“If the infection starts spreading in Delhi or Mumbai, what are we going to do?”

If infections start spreading to India, or Central America, We are not doing anything.  I am headed for the hills.

 

UPDATED: State files for court order to force quarantine.

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Maine Governor’s patience wears thin, CDC Obola flunky Kaci Hickox slapped with quarantine order:

http://archive.wcsh6.com/assetpool/documents/141031094855_20141030171205453.pdf

Good.

UPDATED:

And a Democratic Judge then reverses himself:

(Judge)LaVerdiere, who has an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine and a law degree from the UMaine School of Law, was appointed district court judge in 2003 by former Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat and then reappointed in 2010 to a second 7-year term.

Before that, he was an attorney in Wilton in Franklin County and a three-term Democratic state representative from 1996-2002. He also previously served on the board of trustees of Franklin County Hospital.

More or less, the order previously issued remains, but is modified to allow Hickox freedom to travel.  Ok.  We see this often from our judiciary – LaVerdiere “split the baby,” as they say, and compromised.  In his pronouncement, Judge LaVerdiere went on to say:

“(Hickox) should understand that the court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola,” the judge wrote. “The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.

“However, whether that fear is rational or not, it is present and it is real. (Hickox’s) actions at this point, as a health care professional, need to demonstrate her full understanding of human nature and the real fear that exists.

“She should guide herself accordingly.”

Hell yes people are afraid – this problem, Ebola, has a more than 50% mortality rate.  This is not the flu.  In other news, we learn that Canada, following Australia, effectively closes its borders to West Africans and those who have traveled from West Africa.  With exceptions.  I suppose they acted irrationally?

David Soley, one of Hickox’s attorney, called LaVerdiere’s oral decision, “very beautiful and moving.”

Pass me a tissue.  I think I’m tearing up…. .

Give me a break.

I understand it is said that Ebola is not transmitted from an asymptomatic carrier.  But wait for the next nurse Hickox to appear, stamp her feet, whine about personal liberty, challenge the system with some political agenda – and then actually come down with Ebola.  After possibly infecting how many others.

Ebola, can’t be aerosolized you say?

Ebola-Virus-Word-ShapesI feel so much better.  Whew:

The potential of aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head-only exposure aerosol system. Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 microns were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days. The illness was clinically identical to that reported for parenteral virus inoculation, except for the occurrence of subcutaneous and venipuncture site bleeding and serosanguineous nasal discharge. Immunocytochemistry revealed cell-associated Ebola virus antigens present in airway epithelium, alveolar pneumocytes, and macrophages in the lung and pulmonary lymph nodes; extracellular antigen was present on mucosal surfaces of the nose, oropharynx and airways. Aggregates of characteristic filamentous virus were present within type I pneumocytes, macrophages, and air spaces of the lung by electron microscopy. Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.

No, I really don’t feel better.

And reports from the Pentagon’s Operation United Assistance, the Pentagon’s aid program, document problems:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/pentagon-dispatches-west-africa-paint-stark-portrait-ebola-epicenter-n233621

Updated: Doctor in New York City Is Sick With Ebola

craig+spencer+ebola+doctor

(Image, nbcnewyork.com)

…and then, feeling fatigued, goes bowling.

“He did not have a stage of disease that creates a risk of contagiousness on the subway,” Dr. Mary Bassett, the city health commissioner, said. “We consider it extremely unlikely, the probability being close to nil, that there will be any problem related to his taking the subway system.”

Still, out of an abundance of caution, officials said, the bowling alley in Williamsburg that he visited, the Gutter, was closed on Thursday night, and a scheduled concert there, part of the CMJ music festival, was canceled. Health workers were scheduled to visit the alley on Friday.

So, the chances are nil.  But lets close the businesses he went to.  Cancel events.  And send the health workers in.

The good doctor should have laid low upon his return from west Africa.

Fatigue is a symptom, is it not?

UPDATE:  Relatives of the good doctor cry foul as he is criticized.  I call BS.  You were in West Africa and thus at high risk.  You felt unusually fatigued on Tuesday last week.  Then you traipsed around potentially placing who knows how many at risk.  No need to leap to the man’s defense – I’m glad he was there.  But common sense man.

Ebola Survivor Ashoka Mukpo Speaks to NBC News

ebola transfer

Yay!  Were in the Clear!  Not.  Sorry to be a pessimist.

Yes, efforts thrown against the current outbreak in West Africa will make a difference.  A small difference.  Maybe.  Or not.

But we are not in the clear.  Not by a long shot.

We are going to see a resurgence of all of this all winter.  One breakout after another.  I hope to holy-hell I am wrong.

Given this disease, we are in this for the long-haul.  You and I, in our lifetimes, can count on getting this.  Take care of yourselves, prepare your loved-ones.  I hope I am wrong.  [adjusts tin-foil hat].

Vote.