Ebola: Well And Truly Screwed?
NOTE: These posts are not an attempt to be comprehensive in coverage of the Ebola story. They just contain some items that have caught my eye [which is still not hemorrhaging blood, I’m happy to report — that only happens when I look at Rosie O’Donnell or one of The Kardashians].
-Iowahawk sums things up with, as GeoffB puts it, ‘perfect clarity’:
Like your MD, keep your MD. Spontaneous reaction to a video. Rogue agents in Cincinnati. Intruder didn’t get in WH. Don’t panic about Ebola.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 4, 2014
[Bob turns and runs away from the keyboard…SMACK!…THUNK — runs into a wall and knocks himself out.]
–Science Magazine has created a free-to-all sub-site that contains, as they put it, a ‘collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public’ [tip of the fedora to PA Cat].
-Via one commentators on this article in Science, WinstonSmith2012, we learn of a report published on the website of the Center For Infectious Disease Research And Policy [CIDRAP] by Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Rachael Jones, PhD, entitled: Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola.
A highlight from their introduction:
There has been a lot of on-line and published controversy about whether Ebola virus can be transmitted via aerosols. Most scientific and medical personnel, along with public health organizations, have been unequivocal in their statements that Ebola can be transmitted only by direct contact with virus-laden fluids and that the only modes of transmission we should be concerned with are those termed “droplet” and “contact.”
These statements are based on two lines of reasoning. The first is that no one located at a distance from an infected individual has contracted the disease, or the converse, every person infected has had (or must have had) “direct” contact with the body fluids of an infected person.
This reflects an incorrect and outmoded understanding of infectious aerosols, which has been institutionalized in policies, language, culture, and approaches to infection control. We will address this below. Briefly, however, the important points are that virus-laden bodily fluids may be aerosolized and inhaled while a person is in proximity to an infectious person and that a wide range of particle sizes can be inhaled and deposited throughout the respiratory tract.
-Regarding whether the Virus will be easy to spread worldwide or not, The Belmont Club commentator Tarnsman offers this anecdote that offers the possibility that the raging Narcissism of our times may be our modern version of Typhoid Mary [paragraphing by me]:
How will it get here? Very easily I am afraid.
Years ago a friend of mine, a businessman living in Southern California and with factories in China, were engaged in conversation during one of our sons’ Scout meetings. Mind you this was same time period as the SARS outbreak. During the course of our conversation my friend talked about his recent trip to China and how while on the trip he started to feel ill with flu like symptoms. I stood in dumbfounded silence as my friend continued his story.
Seems in China they are very conscious of the fact that outbreaks of infectious diseases in a country of 1.3 billion people must contained, period. All of the public transportation hubs have special thermal cameras to pick sick people out of the crowd. If you are picked up by one of these cameras you will be quickly apprehended by the health officials and off you will go to quarantine. No arguing, no pleading, no appeal and it doesn’t matter if you are a foreigner or not, off you go.
So my friend once he realized that he was coming down with something suddenly had one imperative: get out of China and get home. Never mind who knows what he was ill from, just that he needed to get home. Feeling like crap, he made good his escape with the help of Tylenol and his knowledge of the Chinese health surveillance cameras. He traveled first by train from one of his factories to Shanghai where he boarded a plane for Tokyo where he caught his plane to the States and home.
When he got home he was bed-ridden for three days until the fever broke and he felt good enough to get out of bed. At one point his wife wanted to take him to the hospital, but he would have none of that. My friend was quite proud of himself when he finished his story.
Me? I wanted to smack him across the face. I did scold him about the fact that not knowing what he was ill from that he was placing the health of all those he came in contact with at risk, including his own family. My friend seem genuinely surprised by my reaction as if he had never once consider that what he did was even remotely wrong.
Another one of my friend’s has a saying that sums up the attitude of too many of our fellow human beings: ‘It is all about me” So that is how it will get here. Because someone somewhere will come down with the disease and want to get home and screw everyone else
Thomas Eric Duncan aka Patient Zero traveled to the United States out of desperation. He knew that he had been exposed to Ebola, and knew that he could not get treatment where he lived in Liberia. He had seen a friend turned away from three hospitals, and then die of the disease.
Having come to the United States, lying about and concealing his condition along the way, Duncan has exposed his own family, residents in their apartment complex, kids in several Dallas schools, and who knows how many other people to the deadly Ebola virus.
How many other carriers are going to make the same choice — if not to come to the U.S., to go to Europe, to Canada, Japan, or somewhere else where they believe that they will get treatment? As long as flights are running, it remains a possibility — or probability.
They will be traveling without symptoms, and will therefore be undetectable at airports, but they will know that they have been exposed, as Duncan knew. They will be able to use credit cards, if they have them, to pay for the flights whether they actually have the cash on hand or not. Desperation will drive the calculation that it’s worth running up some debt if it means the difference between life and death. Duncan has already shown that for some, the possibility of exposing others — even family members, but mostly total strangers — is not their first or even second concern.
In an age when Duty and Responsibility are mocked and held in low-esteem, we often find ourselves well and truly screwed. This may be one of those times.
-Another Cultural aspect to consider: this one from Maineman:
…here in the good old USA, one of the chief tools that the left has used to erode the family and the culture has been to throw a shroud of secrecy over a whole host of medical and mental health concerns, effectively promoting circumstances under which pathogens can fester unnoticed for long periods. This was one of the chief early “accomplishments” of the homosexual rights movement, which successfully legislated against routine disclosure of the danger of AIDS transmission to those at risk. The “rights” of the homosexual male to avoid “discrimination” precluded informing his wife that he was contagious with a potentially fatal disease.
And that logic infects many other health related matters: parents are not automatically privy to knowing if their 12 year-old child is seeing a therapist or being treated for a drug problem, being prescribed birth control pills by the school nurse, or scheduled to have an abortion.
So you tell me how we will quarantine and isolate the danger when the privacy police are crawling over every public and private institution in the country.
And so many people thought those of us who have been warning about the deadly implementations of allowing Leftist Thinking to continue to infect our Society were cranks and melodramatic fools.
-From the Editors of Investor’s Business Daily [tip of the fedora to Instapundit]:
We’re not counseling panic here. The U.S. should be able to control an outbreak. But the White House’s blase and even lackadaisical response isn’t reassuring.
As of now, Ebola has no cure, which is why it must be stopped. You can treat the symptoms and, hopefully, keep those with the disease alive long enough to survive it. But given that Ebola causes massive internal bleeding as the victim’s organs basically start to liquefy, survival is iffy at best.
There are promising new treatments, including the experimental drug ZMapp. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of it. The reason? A two-year delay by, you guessed it, the federal government in issuing a contract to make the stuff. Yet again, more government incompetence.
The administration’s feeble response to the threat of Ebola poses a danger to Americans’ health. We’ll be lucky indeed if no one dies from it.
I just get the feeling our luck has run out. If we emerge from this relatively unscathed, it will be because of the heroic efforts of individual Americans who risk their lives to accomplish it and definitely not because of our governments and their Bureaucratic parasites [but, I repeat myself].
-Our government is refusing to stop all flights from those countries where Ebola is and shut our borders. As Subotai Bahadur comments over at Richard Fernandez’s place:
The one constant of US policy both in the case of Ebola and diseases coming from below the former southern border has been to deliberately open routes for the entrance of as many epidemics and pandemics as possible, and to wage a fight to the death [literally] to keep them open and frustrate every effort to protect the American people from epidemics and pandemics.
This is policy, not error. It is applied so consistently, that Buraq Hussein Obama, his underlings, and every Democrat and Leftist in the country are deliberately culpable….
-What can we do? Commentator Peppermint has a very good suggestion for some private action that would be effective:
The private sector could still throw a wrench in the works, as least as far as air travel goes. The airlines and pilots unions could refuse to fly without effective precautions to make sure travelers are healthy. As a first step they could refuse to fly people with passports or passport stamps from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Glad I put some of my money in flame-thrower futures.