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#271189 - 08/12/14 07:07 PM EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness
Meadowlark Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
Hello all --

Seeing as there are now four West African countries battling to contain the latest Ebola virus outbreak, I was wondering: what, if anything, would an individual do differently to prepare for EBOV versus pandemic flu?

While EBOV is highly unlikely to spread like wildfire in developed countries (so-called) due to improved infrastructure, medical care and contact tracing, it's still a good idea to consider scenarios that involve weaker, lesser-known pathogens.

As for me: I'm not doing anything specifically different, as I already live near a research lab containing stuff that makes EBOV look like the common cold by comparison, but I am checking to make sure our general med supplies are up to date and re-reading my 20 year old copy of The Hot Zone by Richard Preston.



--M


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#271191 - 08/12/14 07:26 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7262
Loc: southern Cal
I wash my hands once a week, whether I need to or not; I would probably increase the frequency in case of an Ebola outbreak. I would also avoid contact with other's body fluids, which is evidently the means of transmission.
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#271199 - 08/12/14 11:41 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

The last time we had such disease such as a pneumonic form of hemorrhagic fever in the town, I think more than half died and were buried in a mass grave under/near Debenhams at the Overgate Shopping Centre. frown

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#271200 - 08/13/14 12:03 AM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5329
Loc: SOCAL
I was reading a blog I follow and found the following quote:
Quote:
The Ebola manifestation is causing alarm bells all over the world where the CDC just called the alert a Category 1 (the highest). The virus is now in 5 countries.
The virus is airborne and there is no cure. If a person has been hit with it, the only way he can survive is to be kept alive for 5 to 6 weeks, allowing for one's own antibodies to be produced to kill the virus. The death toll is now over 1000 people.

I went to the article on Ebola he quoted in his blog and didn't find a statement of it being airborne (?) so don't know about that. However, given that the Spanish Priest recently given ZMapp has died, that experimental drug probably has limitations (ie., wait too long and it won't work?) Way too much is unknown.

Ebola is a bad illness and until now has never travelled much because the victims die. Now we have people traveling with the disease -- not good. Isolation seems to be the thing to do. Stop it from traveling. Until they get a cure that's tested and reliable and for which the side effects are significantly better than death, isolation is the go-to plan. Seems to be anyway. Even having taken ZMapp, isolation is still required. Testing is far from complete, barely started actually. It may keep people alive longer, which may make them contagious longer. Lots of testing...

Isolation.

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#271203 - 08/13/14 07:48 AM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2629
Loc: Big Sky Country
I don't think the Ebola strain that affects humans is airborne. It's blood born and passed by bodily fluids.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#271205 - 08/13/14 09:13 AM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2824
Loc: La-USA
The virus is in body fluids. A person produces water vapor into the air with every breath, cough, & sneeze. The CDC is now stating that a person can catch the virus being within 3 ft of an infected person.

BTW: airliners have very efficient cabin air recirculation systems.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#271217 - 08/13/14 09:35 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: wildman800]
Meadowlark Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
Wildman800: You're correct; it looks like the CDC has updated their website to clarify what they mean by "casual contact":

Casual contact is defined as a) being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) or within the room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., healthcare personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., droplet and contact precautions–see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations); or b) having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD case while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., droplet and contact precautions–see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations). At this time, brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute casual contact.

(from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/case-definition.html)

Side note -- I thought the abbreviation for the current Ebola virus was EBOV (Ebolavirus), but it looks as if EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) ZEBOV (Zaire Ebolavirus) and EHF (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever) are also being bandied about. The fact that there's at least five species under the proposed "Ebolavirus" genus makes it even more confusing:

http://www.virology.ws/2012/08/07/is-it-ebolavirus-or-ebola-virus/

Whatever the name, it certainly is a nasty bug.

Thoughts and prayers going out to the victims and healthcare workers in the trenches.


--M


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#271219 - 08/13/14 10:49 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2824
Loc: La-USA
As of yesterday, the infection rate was increased from a 1.86 to 1.92%.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#271233 - 08/14/14 06:36 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Meadowlark Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
Wildman: Yeah, I'd heard that, too. frown


So I've been giving some more thought as to what one might do differently in regards to an outbreak of Ebola virus compared to pandemic flu.

In the event that a local clinic or hospital becomes overwhelmed, one might be required to stay home for lesser medical issues, as well as face the possibility of having to home quarantine oneself or family members for several weeks' time.

Home care for EBOV would be a near-impossible endeavor, as high amounts of the virus can be present in the patient's body fluids -- blood, vomit, diarrhea, sweat, tears, mucus, urine, etc. Even semen and breastmilk are affected.

Pathogen fact sheet from the Public Health Agency of Canada:
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

And then there are the post-mortem issues. The remains of a deceased Ebola virus victim are exeedingly contagious. Their bodies are either cremated immediately or buried very deeply. In many villages, homes that had contained the deceased are thoroughly sprayed down by decontamination teams or else abandoned. In cities, this is not as tenable; which is why aid organizations are hoping the situation in heavily populated Lagos becomes contained ASAP.

From the WHO regarding interim infection prevention and control: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/who-ipc-guidance-ebolafinal-09082014.pdf

Currently isolation tents are being shipped to Nigeria in order to help with the overflow, which made me think: if someone in that situation couldn't get to a hospital, or if the hospital was overwhelmed or abandoned, would it be best to place someone who's starting to show symptoms in a provisioned shed, tent or other temporary shelter? That way, if (heaven forbid) they passed away, one wouldn't be faced with further risk while waiting on assistance to prepare/transport them?


From the Red Cross regarding their burial management teams: https://www.ifrc.org/en/news-and-media/n...ra-leone-66528/


Those working in the affected areas are facing a very grim situation, indeed.


--M




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#271272 - 08/15/14 03:55 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
This is a scary situation to say the least, and considering DW works at a local hospital makes it even more so. I'm wondering if she could be exposed and come home without even knowing it? Hoping it would be some time before it would make it's way this far anyway, but it's still awful to think about.
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