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Ebola (And Polio?): Just FUBARing Around

08 October 2014 @ 22:14

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 Nancy Pelosi].

-From Andrew McCarthy we learn [tip of the fedora to Adam Baldwin]:

Thank God one half of one third of the national government is doing something constructive.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll be voting for any and every Republican I can in a few weeks.

-Colorado is in the lead again, leaning forward into the future.

Leslie Eastman reports [tip of the fedora to GeoffB][emphasis mine]:

It the wake of reports that Colorado children who suffered from an infection of the very aggressive respiratory pathogen, Enterovirus D-68, have also experienced limb paralysis, today’s “Bio-Insurrection” research has revealed that there is a nice, new moniker associated with it: Non-Polio Enterovirus.

You know the CDC will soon pick-up on this.  I mean, after all, as Leslie reports:

Now, the illness associated with a terrible pathogen is now being reclassified [by the CDC] from “Ebola Virus Hemorrhagic Fever” to “Ebola Virus Disease”.

This seems to be an attempt to lull people into a false sense of security, lumping it with other “Virus Diseases” like the flu and the common cold.

I have taught bloodborne pathoghen safety from the early 1990′s, when healthcare, security, and first-aid providers were worried about contracting AIDS. Ebola is rated as a class 4 pathogen because of its fatality rates in humans and the fact that there is no cure or treatment.

It is, and remains, a “hemorrhagic fever”. It did not stop being a Class 4 pathogen once it hit the Dallas hospital. The mechanism of attack, which includes destruction of the endothelial cells that weaken the blood vessels and cause excessive bleeding, has not changed. Once the blood vessels are weakened, a suite of devastating symptoms occurs….

No orifices bleeding here; move along.

Of course, this attempt by Leftists in political power to try and deny Reality is not surprising.  As Jeff Goldstein says: ‘It’s what they do; it’s who they are’.

-We’re surrounded?

From The Weekly Standard, Jeryl Bier reporting, we learn:

Those looking for good news on the fight against Ebola will not find much encouragement from Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command. As Jim Garamone of Department of Defense News reports, Kelly told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that, if the disease reaches Central America, “it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States.” He also said with certainty that “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”

“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]…”

“So, much like West Africa, it will rage for a period of time,” Kelly said.

This is particularly possible scenario if the disease gets to Haiti or Central America, he said. If the disease gets to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, it will cause a panic and people will flee the region, the general said.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

Kelly said that human trafficking could be an additional wrinkle in the battle to contain the disease.

Ebola and the new Polio: Thelma and Louise 2014?

-Dr. Sanity on an important issue effecting the battle against the spread of Ebola in the Comments section of a post over at The Belmont Club:

I’m not exactly sure when “pre-symptomatic” morphs into “symptomatic” or at exactly what instant Ebola become contagious, do you? Have you ever suddenly noticed that you had a sore throat or didn’t feel exactly up to par but were busy and couldn’t exactly pinpoint when it started? Such things don’t matter much with the common cold or sore throat virus, but exactly WHEN a virus like Ebola becomes transmissable certainly is crucial.

And how can we know when the line this crossed?

In a response to the Doc, Nutherguy makes some damn good points:

Pretty obviously ‘symptoms’ isn’t a bright line for safe v. dangerous. Symptoms are just a marker for a certain level of cell damage but obviously the virus was there in substantial quantities for some period before the symptomatic state was reached.

What’s true is that because the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating, PRODUCTION of dangerous body fluids dramatically increases at that point and thus the risk of contact and infection does too.

But are there virus particles in fluids that are produced the day before symptoms start? The day before that? I’d guess there are — it’s a VIRUS so it’s small enough to go anywhere. Probably the concentrations are less but when the infective dose is ONE TO TEN particles, how much does a concentration that’s likely measured in the millions per cc, regardless, matter?

I think that IF we have a substantial outbreak in the U.S. it will involve transmission modes different from those predominating in Africa. Think of the difference in AIDS there — mainly a heterosexual disease — compared to here — mainly a homosexual disease. It’s the difference in behavior patterns that makes the disease attack substantially different groups.

We’re likely to do a much better job avoiding body fluids than Africa can: Our people will go to hospitals, after a few initial FUBAR events (as in Dallas) we’ll likely do containment and cleanup pretty effectively, Americans aren’t going to prep the bodies of loved ones for burial or kiss them goodbye.

HOWEVER, assuming that the virus is in every body output in lessened concentration for a few days prior to symptoms, I think we might have other modes of transmission: Urine on the seats and floor of public toilets, sweat coming from exercise and/or heat and passed via a handshake, sexual intercourse … pre-symptom transmission may be masked in Africa because the better known modes are allowed to happen there, but with those modes not often occurring here …

It doesn’t need to mutate or have an unknown airborne capability in order to be a very different disease here.

I’m not a professional but I will flat guarantee you that pre-symptom transmission can occur. The question is just how frequently it WILL occur and how quickly we’ll adapt to dealing with whatever new modes there are.

This whole situation, as I’m sure you have sussed out, is much more complicated than the Friedens of this world, in their talking to us like we’re children or of low IQ, make it out to be.  They’re lying, plain and simple [but I’m sure you’ve already come to that conclusion, as well].

-If this whole situation creeps you out, get ready for The Creeping Truth, as described by Richard Fernandez:

There is also something you might call “the creeping truth”, where something formerly false becomes gradually true. The Washington Post says: “President Obama said Monday the U.S. government would increase passenger screenings in the United States and Africa to detect the Ebola virus, even as he resisted calls to impose a ban on those traveling from the three countries most affected by the outbreak. Neither the president nor White House officials elaborated on exactly what those new screenings would entail. At the moment, passengers leaving the three nations most affected by the virus — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — are screened for symptoms at the airport before departing.”

It’s a way of admitting something without admitting it, or even impose what is effectively a flight restriction. What’s true is relative in the official world. As the long as the president isn’t proved “wrong” all kinds of gyrations are possible.

-Here’s some more comforting news, this time from Ace [tip of the fedora to Adam Baldwin]:

Ah, of course.

From MSNBC:

“The fever-screening instruments run low and aren’t that accurate,” said infection control specialist Sean Kaufman, president of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions, a biosafety company based in Atlanta. “And people can take ibuprofen to reduce their fever enough to pass screening, and why wouldn’t they? If it will get them on a plane so they can come to the United States and get effective treatment after they’re exposed to Ebola, wouldn’t you do that to save your life?”

So the only safety mechanism we have in place can be defeated by thirty cents worth of a medication available in every pharmacy on the face of the earth.

Richard Fernandez, again:

In early August 2014 “Ken Isaacs, a vice president with Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based Christian humanitarian organization,” warned that WHO was low-balling the figures.  What’s the harm in a little delay?  As it turns out, a great deal of harm, because when diseases expand at a nonlinear rate “too late” comes very quickly. Scott Gottlieb, writing in Forbes, says it must now be accepted that it can break out of West Africa. “The decisive risk to the U.S. will emerge in a few months. If the virus continues to spread in West Africa at its current pace, much larger global outbreaks will become likely.”

And if Ebola does decisively break out of West Africa, we may be unable to control the spread of the disease solely by conventional public-health tools of infection controls, tracking and tracing sick contacts, and isolating the ill. If this happens, we may face a global pandemic early next year.

Tom Friedan asked, ‘how did Ebola spin out of control’?  In the usual way, with the block being a second behind the arrival of the punch. In the time honored way. The collapse of a complacent bureaucracy in the face of an emergent threat usually goes through 3 phases. Denial. Confident half-measures. Panic. These psychological phases are remarkably constant throughout history.

Indeed.  They are.

-Back to this new version of Polio.

From Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece reporting, we learn:

Amid fears of Ebola’s reach into the U.S., a more enigmatic virus is suspected of causing paralysis in dozens of children nationwide as doctors race to solve one of the most perplexing mysteries of their careers.

Enterovirus D68, which has hospitalized hundreds of children in almost every state and been linked to at least four deaths, may also have caused unexplained paralysis in cases from Boston to San Diego, doctors said. Researchers said they fear EV-D68 could be this generation’s version of polio, said Ben Greenberg, a Dallas-based neurologist.

Enterovirus typically causes only mild cold symptoms in most patients. Now, though, U.S. health officials are probing whether EV-D68 is directly linked to the paralysis. At the same time, more than 50 doctors at top U.S. hospitals are holding regular calls and pooling research, seeking to pinpoint physical changes that may lead to a treatment or a vaccine.

Greenberg, who spoke by telephone, said he didn’t realize the full scope of the problem until early last week. After reports of a cluster of 10 paralysis cases in Colorado, he and 30 other neurologists, infectious disease experts and public health officials hastily organized a conference call Sept. 29.

Many Cases

To Greenberg’s surprise, almost every doctor on the call, from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles, had seen at least one case of unexplained paralysis in the past several months, and some had seen as many as 10.

In cases where children develop paralysis, the symptoms usually start with those similar to a cold or stomach bug. They are followed by a fever, headaches, neck pain and, within a few days or weeks, a swift and sudden paralysis that in the most severe cases left children bound to a wheelchair, unable to speak or breathe on their own, said Keith Van Haren, a Stanford School of Medicine neurologist who has been studying a link between the virus and paralysis since 2012.

Similar Look

While there were some variations, most images from medical scans of those with paralysis looked strikingly similar, with the connection between the spinal cord and the muscles killed off with little chance of rebuilding the bridge — just like seen in scans of those infected with polio, Greenberg said.

“There were remarkable similarities,” said Van Haren, who was also on the doctors’ conference call. “They sounded like interchangeable cases.”

The CDC hasn’t determined definitively whether the virus is causing the paralysis. EV-D68 hasn’t been detected in all of the paralyzed patients and given its widespread circulation, its presence could be coincidental, the agency said last week.

While the CDC continues to study the paralysis cases, “as a member of the clinical community, I think it is just a matter of time before we establish a definitive link between EV-D68 and this polio-like illness that follows,” Van Haren said.

-As an old and decrepit poser once said: ‘Good night and good luck’.

2 Comments
  1. Adobe_Walls permalink
    08 October 2014 @ 23:11 23:11

    At the risk of being practical, the Liberian in the Dallas hospital has died, for the bad news the Sheriffs Deputy who delivered the quarantine notice to Duncan’s family has been admitted to the Presbyterian hospital in Dallas with Ebola like symptoms. He was transported by ambulance from a local doc in a box when the staff there realized his symptoms matched the CDC warning. This occurred today 10/8 and his test results should be back in 48 hours. He was in the infected apt for about 30 minutes and supposedly didn’t come in contact with any one or thing that could expose him. While we hope for the best for this gentleman if he in fact has Ebola this would mean that every assurance we’ve been given as to how hard it is to catch Ebola without direct contact will have been a lie.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    09 October 2014 @ 08:45 08:45

    Containment can be done pretty simply. Bomb the living h3!! out of every airport and airstrip in West Africa. Reduce everything to rubble including the runways themselves. Problem solved.

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