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#271767 - 09/23/14 05:30 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Meadowlark
I am...re-reading my 20 year old copy of The Hot Zone by Richard Preston.

It's been a long time since I read The Hot Zone but the thought just occurred to me that Preston described another Ebola outbreak that really was airborne. The Reston strain spread through an animal facility in Reston, Virginia through the airborne route. Fortunately, that strain did not make people sick, just the primates.

Anyway, so we have already seen a truly airborne (as opposed to droplet/aerosol spread) strain of Ebola already. Let's hope the current outbreak doesn't lead to a similar mutation.

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#271768 - 09/23/14 05:54 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Todays Scary News:

CDC Predicts As Many As 1.4 Million Ebola Cases by Early 2015
http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/09/of...ly-2015/380654/

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#271769 - 09/23/14 07:08 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Arney]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Arney
Ebola outbreaks tend to subside on their own, and not because of human intervention, unfortunately.

I don't mean to imply that people are powerless in the face of Ebola. But there is no effective vaccine or treatment for Ebola right now. Actually, there are public health control measures that can slow down the spread and then the outbreak burns itself out, which is generally what has happened with all the previous Ebola outbreaks. But in this case, with such a widespread outbreak among multiple population centers, it is exceedingly difficult to try and slow down the outbreak enough so that the outbreak falters and dissipates.

The WHO Ebola Response Team just published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine explaining the current situation. One of their conclusions is that without an effective response, Ebola could become endemic in West Africa and just keep circulating in the population. It could become one of those diseases that travelers to West Africa will have to be wary of.

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#271771 - 09/23/14 08:37 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: MartinFocazio]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1124
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: MartinFocazio
I travel frequently. If Ebola goes airborne, the biggest thing you have to fear is not catching Ebola, it's global economic collapse and the attendant hardships that come with that.

Here's why. In Western societies, for the most part, we get the idea behind germs and airborne transmission of disease, so we can and will take radical steps to prevent transmission to the degree we can. We have better science, infrastructure, communications and (to a degree) a population with a better understanding of disease prevention (well maybe not the anti-vax crowd, but like the Shakers, that's a self-limiting population).
---------------------
I'm not worried about North America in all of this, I am worried about the 4th world - the parts of the world where young, uneducated, and underemployed people are accumulating in vast numbers without much in the way of economic prospects or political power. These are people who can (and are) easily swayed into violent means of attaining what feels like power and direction, and charismatic leaders emerge in crisis to leverage their cult of personality to attain their own vision of how the world should work - from IS to Boku Haram, the flavor of the 2000's is radical Islamists stepping in to provide what feels like social order, economic stability and, most of all, power to a powerless class.

Ebola may, along with wiping out thousands of people, wipe out the remains of the semblance of progress towards a pluralistic, secular democratic culture that had been attained in West Africa and the Middle East during the cold war and slightly beyond.
Martin, I'm glad you are back. I have always appreciated your level headed, common sense posts.

I agree with you that it is fairly unlikely that we will see epidemic scale ebola in North America, for all the reasons you have stated. While it is probable that some infected people will enter the country, and probably infect a few other people, those outbreaks are likely to be rapidly contained. By way of example, the plague (the "Black Death" which devastated Europe in the 14th to 17th centuries) is still present in N America. Periodically individuals are infected from bats and other animals, yet those outbreaks are rapdily contained and seldom spread to other individuals. I totally agree that the big risk to us in the 1st World will be from damage to the worldwide economic system, and social unrest leading to terroism in the rest of the world.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#271773 - 09/23/14 08:57 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Arney]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1124
Loc: Alaska
Some info on the US military response to ebola:

US military in Liberia begins fight against Ebola
Quote:
A C-17 U.S. military transport aircraft landed Wednesday carrying Army Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, who will command Operation United Assistance, along with a team of 12 military personnel to conduct site surveys and planning for construction of Ebola treatment units in Liberia.
-----------snip---------
Speaking to reporters Friday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said thousands of promised American troops will be moving into Africa over the next 30 days to set up facilities and form training teams to help the Africans treat Ebola victims.

Before troops are sent in, Odierno says the Army needs to make sure they are prepared to operate in that environment, which includes health care safety. The military units expected to deploy have not been identified.

Kirby said U.S. troops -– operating in support of Liberian government and the U.S. Agency for International Development -– would not be in direct contact with Ebola sufferers. Instead they’ll be providing logistics, engineering and other non-medical support.


I also wanted to post a link to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. However, the ETS auto-censor won't let me do it. Those who are interested can probably find it with google, if they substitute the name of a certain rather well known individual into the link.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/PHRASECEN...-low-1410898428 "Ebola Poses a New Challenge for U.S. Military"
Quote:
"It's a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic," Mr. PHRASECENSOREDPOSTERSHOULDKNOWBETTER. said after a briefing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has deployed more than 100 staff to the affected countries, one of the largest deployments in its history.
--------------snip--------
The operation will require the military to fuse its experience in responding to natural disasters with its training in biowarfare to minimize the risks of Americans contracting the disease. Personnel will bring medical assistance and training, logistical expertise and engineering experience to set up 17 field hospitals with 100 beds each, more than tripling current capacity.

"This is unprecedented as a public-health operation led by the U.S. military," Mr. Morrison said.

A defense official said the Pentagon anticipates having the Ebola treatment units running "in the next several weeks.'' The official said the centers would be turned over to Liberia and staffed by local and international health-care providers, not U.S. military personnel.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#271782 - 09/24/14 04:27 AM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Arney]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1383
Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: Meadowlark
I am...re-reading my 20 year old copy of The Hot Zone by Richard Preston.

It's been a long time since I read The Hot Zone but the thought just occurred to me that Preston described another Ebola outbreak that really was airborne. The Reston strain spread through an animal facility in Reston, Virginia through the airborne route. Fortunately, that strain did not make people sick, just the primates.

Anyway, so we have already seen a truly airborne (as opposed to droplet/aerosol spread) strain of Ebola already. Let's hope the current outbreak doesn't lead to a similar mutation.


Timely mention of an airborne strain of Ebola. I am currently about a 3rd of the way through reading a fiction book in that the plot line is of Ebola being spread via airborne methods. This book - Ebola K: A Terrorism Thriller is available on Amazon.com as of (today) a free Kindle Book and has garnered good reviews.

In one chapter, there is mention of real world statistics of how many people die of Malaria each year as compared to all the Ebola deaths. Although Ebola is contagious and can spread easily, it serves to demonstrate that the average person in Africa has a far greater chance of dying of Malaria then Ebola.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#271789 - 09/24/14 01:04 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Arney]
Jolt Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 90
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Arney
Interesting but chilling read from Newsweek. I was just in NYC, too.

Smuggled Bushmeat Is Ebola's Back Door to America


Yikes!
_________________________
The rhythm is gonna get you...and if it's v-tach or v-fib, the results will be shocking!

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#271797 - 09/24/14 03:00 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Teslinhiker]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
...it serves to demonstrate that the average person in Africa has a far greater chance of dying of Malaria then Ebola.

Malaria and Ebola are in different leagues in terms of perceived danger. Granted, hundreds of millions of people may contract malaria in a given year, but because we have treatments for it, the vast majority of people who can receive treatment will survive it. The majority of people who contract malaria are young children, not adults. Caring for someone with malaria does not put your life at risk. People who contract Ebola have, at best, a 50-50 chance of surviving, but in many cases, much worse odds, and anyone who tries to help you risks their own life.

The statistics in that book probably do not include this current, unfolding Ebola outbreak, which is the largest ever, by far.

The CDC just released the results of a computer model of the current Ebola outbreak. Applying a correction factor for the underreporting of cases, they estimate that as many as 1.4 million people may contract Ebola just in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone by the end of January 2015 if effective control measures are not implemented. If half of them die, that's a significant death toll--comparable to malaria's global death toll.

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#271798 - 09/24/14 03:33 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Teslinhiker]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Good point on the Malaria.
The most dangerous animal in the world in the Mosquito.

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#271799 - 09/24/14 04:26 PM Re: EBOV versus Pandemic Flu Preparedness [Re: Meadowlark]
Meadowlark Offline
Member

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

Just thought I'd share some helpful websites for those seeking updated scientific information that, while grim, doesn't get too wild-eyed:


*Australian virologist's blog that breaks down the latest CDC reports -- http://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/ebola-virus-disease-evd-2014-west.html

*Also from the same blog, a collaborative article which explains the terms, "airborne" versus "droplet sprays": http://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/ebola-virus-may-be-spread-by-droplets.html

*Another blog from a scientist who works in a BSL4 lab: http://www.pathogenperspectives.com/

*Equations used for future prediction (for those who are into math):
http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20894

*Interesting comparison of US versus UK PPE precautions:
http://www.micro-blog.info/2014/09/ebola-ppe-and-paranoia/

*And the This Week in Virology Podcast: http://www.twiv.tv/ (Search "ebola" for relevant episodes)




--M




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