Summertime blues: Maybe we need to talk about Ebola

posted at 9:21 pm on July 28, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

News of an Ebola outbreak in Western Africa has been simmering beneath the rest of the world going to hell this summer, but the news, and the disease itself, may have boiled over this weekend. The outbreak has now touched four African nations, killed one doctor tending the sick, and two infected Americans are getting treatment in Liberia—one doctor and one missionary.

Ebola, according to the World Health Organization, is a disease with a “case fatality rate of up to 90 percent,” passed through close contact and bodily fluids. It has claimed more than 600 lives in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in an outbreak that health officials believe may have originated in the latter country as early as January, according to AP reporting.

Dr. Kent Brantly of Franklin Graham’s North Carolina-based aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, is in stable condition after contracting the disease while treating patients in Liberia, according to the organization.

[A Samaritan's Purse spokesperson] cautions that Brantly, 33, is “not out of the woods yet.” She says patients have a better chance of survival if they receive treatment immediately after being infected, which Brantly did.

The Associated Press found a prescient quote of Brantly’s from earlier this year:

Health workers are among those at greatest risk of contracting the disease, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.

Photos of Brantly working in Liberia show him swathed head-to-toe in white protective coveralls, gloves and a head-and-face mask that he wore for hours a day while treating Ebola patients.

Earlier this year, the American was quoted in a posting about the dangers facing health workers trying to contain the disease. “In past Ebola outbreaks, many of the casualties have been health care workers who contracted the disease through their work caring for infected individuals,” he said.

Nancy Writebol, a missionary from North Carolina, is very ill and in isolation according to the pastor of her church.

But here’s the pair of headlines that made me start wondering where this is headed:

Nigeria government confirms Ebola case in megacity of Lagos

A Woman With Ebola Escaped Quarantine And Is On The Run In A City Of 1 Million

Lagos is a city of 21 million people, the largest on the continent of Africa. The city has shut down the hospital in which he died for decontamination and identified 59 people with whom he had contact, though the airline on which he flew doesn’t seem to have yet provided a list of passengers, whom a virologist interviewed by Reuters deemed in “pretty serious danger.”

The Nigerian city of Lagos shut down and quarantined on Monday a hospital where a man died of Ebola, the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa’s most populous country.

Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian finance ministry aged in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20. He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of a city that is home to 21 million people, and died on Friday.

“The private hospital was demobilized (evacuated) and the primary source of infection eliminated. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced,” Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told a news conference.

Some hospital staff who were in close contact with the victim have been isolated. The hospital will be shut for a week and all staff closely monitored, Idris added.

Reuters also reports doctors in Nigeria, one of the African countries better positioned to control an outbreak, are on strike over pay issues and have no plans at this point to call off the work stoppage. Liberia is reportedly locking down its border crossings, but many health officials remain concerned most of the countries where outbreaks are occurring simply don’t have the security or the infrastructure to really prevent spread.

And, now a final headline to chill your blood.


Ebola only a plane ride away from the U.S.:
Ebola could easily arrive in the USA on board a plane, but wouldn’t spread far, experts say.

So, we got that going for us, which is nice.


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Why, our borders are ultra secure.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Thing is, if Ebola hit in Wisconsin no one would really know, everyone who lives there already leaks strange fluids from all their orifices.

No one would really care either, it’s Wisconsin, Ebola originated there.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

The fact that it made it to Lagos is very distressing after all the efforts to contain it.

lexhamfox on July 28, 2014 at 9:31 PM

It’s only a matter of time before obama imports an Ebola-infected illegal.

Pork-Chop on July 28, 2014 at 9:33 PM

No sweat. Our airports and borders are tighter than a duck’s azz.

Harry Reid just said so, did he not?

bimmcorp on July 28, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Ebola is only transmitted via bodily fluids so it isn’t much of a threat unless you come in physical contact with the infected.

It is NOT airborne.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Really like the state of Wisconsin, huh?

By the way, what happens when Bishop does a Bishop?

Barred on July 28, 2014 at 9:36 PM

“We have the cure for Ebola Inequality. Those of you who’ve won life’s health lottery may not like it, but it’s only fair …” — The Left

ShainS on July 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Why, our borders are ultra secure.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Beat me to it.

DinaRehn on July 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Wow. Jew killing and Ebola are in the headlines.

Only 2 years to go folks.

faraway on July 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Thing is, if Ebola hit in Wisconsin no one would really know, everyone who lives there already leaks strange fluids from all their orifices.

No one would really care either, it’s Wisconsin, Ebola originated there.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

That would still make Wisconsin better than the state that elected selected Al Franken.

/hide

nobar on July 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Ebola is only transmitted via bodily fluids so it isn’t much of a threat unless you come in physical contact with the infected.

It is NOT airborne.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Well, if there’s one thing our gays are good at, it’s mixing up those bodily fluids, eh?

They did it with AIDS, Ebola ought to be a breeze for them.

bimmcorp on July 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

List of Ebola outbreaks

1976 Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) ZEBOV 318 280 88% Occurred in Yambuku and surrounding area. Disease was spread by close personal contact and by use of contaminated needles and syringes in hospitals/clinics. This outbreak was the first recognition of the disease.[10]
1976 Sudan SEBOV 284 151 53% Occurred in Nzara, Maridi and the surrounding area. Disease was spread mainly through close personal contact within hospitals. Many medical care personnel were infected.[11]
1977 Zaire ZEBOV 1 1 100% Noted retroactively in the village of Tandala.[12]
1979 Sudan SEBOV 34 22 65% Occurred in Nzara, Maridi. Recurrent outbreak at the same site as the 1976 Sudan epidemic.[13]
1989 USA REBOV 0 0 0% REBOV was introduced into quarantine facilities in Virginia and Pennsylvania by monkeys imported from the Philippines.[14]
1990 USA REBOV 4 (asymptomatic) 0 0% REBOV was introduced once again into quarantine facilities in Virginia and Texas by monkeys imported from the Philippines. Four humans developed antibodies but did not get sick.[15]
1989–1990 Philippines REBOV 3 (asymptomatic) 0 0% High mortality among cynomolgus macaques in a primate facility responsible for exporting animals in the USA.[16] Three workers in the animal facility developed antibodies but did not get sick.[17]
1992 Italy REBOV 0 0 0% REBOV was introduced into quarantine facilities in Siena by monkeys imported from the same export facility in the Philippines that was involved in the episodes in the United States. No humans were infected.[18]
1994 Gabon ZEBOV 52 31 60% Occurred in Mékouka and other gold-mining camps deep in the rain forest. Initially thought to be yellow fever; identified as Ebola hemorrhagic fever in 1995.[19]
1994 Ivory Coast CIEBOV 1 0 0% Scientist became ill after conducting an necropsy on a wild chimpanzee in the Tai Forest. The patient was treated in Switzerland.[20]
1995 Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) ZEBOV 315 250 79% Occurred in Kikwit and surrounding area. Traced to index case-patient who worked in forest adjoining the city. Epidemic spread through families and hospitals.[21]
1996 Jan–Apr Gabon ZEBOV 37 21 57% Occurred in Mayibout area. A chimpanzee found dead in the forest was eaten by people hunting for food. Nineteen people who were involved in the butchery of the animal became ill; other cases occurred in family members.[19]
1996–1997 Jul–Jan Gabon ZEBOV 60 45 75% Occurred in Booué area with transport of patients to Libreville. Index case-patient was a hunter who lived in a forest camp. Disease was spread by close contact with infected persons. A dead chimpanzee found in the forest at the time was determined to be infected.[19]
1996 South Africa ZEBOV 2 1 50% A medical professional traveled from Gabon to Johannesburg, South Africa, after having treated Ebola virus-infected patients and thus having been exposed to the virus. He was hospitalized, and a nurse who took care of him became infected and died.[22]
1996 USA REBOV 0 0 0% REBOV was introduced into a quarantine facility in Texas by monkeys imported from the Philippines. No human infections were identified.[23]
1996 Philippines REBOV 0 0 0% REBOV was identified in a monkey export facility in the Philippines. No human infections were identified.[24]
2000–2001 Uganda SEBOV 425 224 53% Occurred in Gulu, Masindi, and Mbarara districts of Uganda. The three most important risks associated with Ebola virus infection were attending funerals of Ebola hemorrhagic fever case-patients, having contact with case-patients in one’s family, and providing medical care to Ebola case-patients without using adequate personal protective measures.[25]
2001–2002 Oct–Mar Gabon ZEBOV 65 53 82% Outbreak occurred over the border of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo.[26]
2001–2002 Oct–Mar Republic of Congo ZEBOV 57 43 75% Outbreak occurred over the border of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo. This was the first time that Ebola hemorrhagic fever was reported in the Republic of the Congo.[26]
2002–2003 Dec–Apr Republic of Congo ZEBOV 143 128 90% Outbreak occurred in the districts of Mbomo and Kéllé in Cuvette Ouest Département.[27]
2003 Nov–Dec Republic of Congo ZEBOV 35 29 83% Outbreak occurred in Mbomo and Mbandza villages located in Mbomo district, Cuvette Ouest Département.[28]
2004 Sudan SEBOV 17 7 41% Outbreak occurred in Yambio county in Western Equatoria of southern Sudan. This outbreak was concurrent with an outbreak of measles in the same area, and several suspected EHF cases were later reclassified as measles cases.[29]
2007 Democratic Republic of Congo ZEBOV 264 187 71% Outbreak occurred in Kasai-Occidental Province. The outbreak was declared over on November 20. Last confirmed case on October 4 and last death on October 10.[30]
2007–2008 Dec–Jan Uganda BDBV 149 37 25% Outbreak occurred in Bundibugyo District in western Uganda. First reported occurrence of a new strain.[2][3][4]
2008 Nov Philippines REBOV 6 (asymptomatic) 0 0% Outbreak in the Philippines and the first known occurrence of REBOV in pigs. Strain closely similar to earlier strains. Six workers from the pig farm and slaughterhouse developed antibodies but did not become sick.[31][32]
2008–2009 Dec–Feb Democratic Republic of Congo ZEBOV 32 14 45% Outbreak occurred in the Mweka and Luebo health zones of the Province of Kasai-Occidental.[33]
2012 Jun–Aug Uganda SEBOV 24 17 71% Outbreak occurred in the Kibaale District.[34]
2012 Jun–Nov Democratic Republic of Congo BDBV 77 36 47% Outbreak occurred in Province Orientale.[35][36]
2014 (Presently Ongoing) Guinea
Liberia
Sierra Leone
Nigeria ZEBOV 1201 672 56% Outbreak is currently ongoing in southeastern Guinea, including the capital Conakry and the neighbour countries Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria[37]

oscarwilde on July 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM

No one would really care either, it’s Wisconsin, Ebola originated there.
Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

John: “Come on, it’s Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick them up, and we zip right out again. We’re not going to Moscow. It’s Czechoslovakia, it’s like going into Wisconsin.”

Russell: “Well, I got the sh__t kicked out of me in Wisconsin once. Forget it!”

DinaRehn on July 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Group of Illegal Aliens from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka Caught Entering Texas from Mexico
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/07/28/Group-of-Illegal-Aliens-from-Bangladesh-Nepal-and-Sri-Lanka-Caught-Entering-Texas-from-Mexico

fight like a girl on July 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Well, if there’s one thing our gays are good at, it’s mixing up those bodily fluids, eh?

They did it with AIDS, Ebola ought to be a breeze for them.

bimmcorp on July 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

True, but Ebola is so deadly (40-90%) and works so fast that they would barely get a chance to do anything before they were in a hospital and dead. The virus would burn itself out.

On a darker note, there is a variant of the Virus (Reston) that is airborne though not lethal to humans, and the airborne transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys has been observed.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/ebola-virus/

Ebola virus
Africa Ebola outbreak 2014

1h
American doctor who contracted Ebola virus in Liberia in grave condition, officials say – @AP
Read more on kent brantlyhttp

Africa Ebola outbreak 2014
4h
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki: Continue to closely monitor outbreak of Ebola; aware of reports that 2 people in Liberia have contracted virus – via @NBCNews

Africa Ebola outbreak 2014
12h
Nigerian city of Lagos shuts down and quarantines hospital where a man died of Ebola in the 1st recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Nigeria – @Reuters

Africa Ebola outbreak 2014
1d
2nd American working for relief organization Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia, identified as Nancy Writebol, tests positive for Ebola – @Reuters
End of alert

canopfor on July 28, 2014 at 9:49 PM

We’ve been warned about Ebola and dengue coming over the border as worst case scenarios.

It’s only a matter of time before obama imports an Ebola-infected illegal.

Pork-Chop on July 28, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Or just brings it back from his Africa vaca.

formwiz on July 28, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Coincidentally, I just finished the Tom Clancy book Executive Orders, which involves an ebola terror attack on the US. Obviously the man’s no medical expert, but I’ve always found his books to be well-researched and at least according to the book, the ebola virus is pretty fragile and doesn’t fare well outside of tropical climates.

LukeinNE on July 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Ebola only a plane ride away from the U.S.: Ebola could easily arrive in the USA on board a plane, but wouldn’t spread far, experts say.

So, we got that going for us, which is nice.

Mary Katharine Ham on July 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

.
I wonder if any TSA airport-security employees are going to rethink their career options.

listens2glenn on July 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Good informative post, but a bit too much crisis mode.

Sherman1864 on July 28, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Hmmm, Pestilence, War, Famine and Death… AKA the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… Just a coincidental observation.

oscarwilde on July 28, 2014 at 10:01 PM

It really is the only way to be sure…

JohnGalt23 on July 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Maybe we shouldn’t worry. Yes the case fatality rate may be as high as 90%, but the low (discounting one isolated case) is 25 %.

Ebola is an inefficient virus, by which it is meant that it requires direct contact with blood and body fluids for transmission, and without supportive care it can debelitate and/or kill the infected individual fairly quickly, it is not that easily transmitted. By contrast the ordinary flu virus is efficient in that it is easily transmitted via the aerosol route, and as symptoms are generally more annoying than severe, infected individuals can wander about infecting others.

Between its first recognition in 1976 to 2012, there were a total of about 1600 Ebola deaths, out of 2400 cases ( aggregate case fatality rate of about 66%.

For all the scary press Ebola gets, by contrast, there were 470,000-790,000 malaria deaths last year.

F X Muldoon on July 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Where are the immigration reports on Hot Air ?
Please , listen to Jeff Sessions and burn up the
phones to the house .
Sounds stupid but that’s one thing they get .

Lucano on July 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

On a darker note, there is a variant of the Virus (Reston) that is airborne though not lethal to humans, and the airborne transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys has been observed.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Yeah. I’m gonna have some trouble sleeping tonight…

JohnGalt23 on July 28, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Sexually transmitted…all the nasty one’s get around through sex.

sorrowen on July 28, 2014 at 10:06 PM

That would still make Wisconsin better than the state that elected selected Al Franken.

/hide

nobar on July 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Listen here, you: Scumbag politicians come and go but the cesspool of Wisconsin is forever.

Unless we sell it to Cambodia which I’m all in favor of were someone to present legislation.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Ebola only a plane ride away from the U.S.: Ebola could easily arrive in the USA on board a plane, but wouldn’t spread far, experts say.

So, we got that going for us, which is nice.

Mary Katharine Ham on July 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

.
I wonder if any TSA airport-security employees are going to rethink their career options.

listens2glenn on July 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

To grope or not to grope?

That is the question.

viking01 on July 28, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I wonder if any TSA airport-security employees are going to rethink their career options.

listens2glenn on July 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

You didn’t think they wear those blue rubber gloves for OUR protection, did you?

iurockhead on July 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I put together a spreadsheet this morning from the tables in the WHO pages here:

http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/ebola/en/

Here’s what the trends look like (date is day if month July 2014). Figures are totals over all 3 countries:

Date New Cases Total Cases
1 22 759
3 21 779
8 50 844
10 44 888
15 85 964
17 18 982
19 67 1048
24 45 1093

My wife sent me the link … she has a morbid fascination with diseases … we have several popular books on parasites and viral diseases.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Yeah. I’m gonna have some trouble sleeping tonight…

JohnGalt23 on July 28, 2014 at 10:05 PM

If it ever goes airborne…well that would be a very bad day!

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:09 PM

the ebola virus is pretty fragile and doesn’t fare well outside of tropical climates.

LukeinNE on July 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

One of the first 20th century outbreaks of a hemorrhagic fever from Africa was in Germany. The primary host of the virus certainly lives in the tropics, but Ebola survives quite nicely as long as plenty of people are available for propagation.

To date, no infected persons have managed to make it onto a plane and the virus has not really had a chance to do its thing in a Western country (much less the far East or the ME). Imagine an Ebola infected individual feeling sick enough to go to a major urban emergency ward on a Saturday night. Think Cook County General… Or how about an Ebola outbreak in Syria?

There are very disturbing instances of Ebola variants which are airborne; Ebola Reston, which is attacks only primates, and some anecdotal evidence from outbreaks in the field.

There’s a nightmare for you.

Dolce Far Niente on July 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Yeah. I’m gonna have some trouble sleeping tonight…
JohnGalt23 on July 28, 2014 at 10:05 PM
If it ever goes airborne…well that would be a very bad day!
sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:09 PM
Obviously these lethal pathogens have limiting factors. In Africa they don’t use much well protection…

sorrowen on July 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

If it ever goes airborne…well that would be a very bad day!

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Air-borne transmission has been demonstrated in a laboratory between animals.

It is not considered a serious problem — I think the laboratory conditions were set up to demonstrate that the transmission is possible.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I have a six eyed sand spider no anti venom for that either. It seems god gives rouge pathogens just to show us how lucky we are to be healthy.

sorrowen on July 28, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Obviously these lethal pathogens have limiting factors. In Africa they don’t use much well protection…

sorrowen on July 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

One of those factors was an ability to travel from one location to another within hours. With modern airtravel that is no longer a limitation.

They mutate on occasion. If they mutated airborne before the advent of jetliners, they would likely burn out locally and vanish having wiped out a few dozen, or a few hundreds villages.

Now its a different ballgame because the village of New York or Shanghai aren’t small.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:15 PM

sorrowen on July 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

The limiting factor is that the infections tend to start in remote villages and kill almost everyone.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:15 PM

They mutate on occasion.
sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:15 PM

That is an understatement. There are 5 known strains and I believe there are variations within each one.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Air-borne transmission has been demonstrated in a laboratory between animals.

It is not considered a serious problem — I think the laboratory conditions were set up to demonstrate that the transmission is possible.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

The point is that Ebola is airborne in certain circumstances, and it would take very little for it to become much more dangerous.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:17 PM

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:17 PM

No it is not “airborne in certain circumstances”. It is transmitted by contact with contaminated fluids. Smallpox is airborne: there is a documented case of smallpox infection between two hospital rooms, six floors apart.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I’m changing my Red Dawn fantasy to The Stand fantasy.

Captain Trips ain’t gonna get me.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Captain Trips!

Quite frankly, I’m more worried about diseases we could control but aren’t being allowed to, thanks to anti-vaccine Luddites.

WestVirginiaRebel on July 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Bishop beat me to it…

The Dark Man’s comin’ for you!

WestVirginiaRebel on July 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Hmmm, Pestilence, War, Famine and Death… AKA the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… Just a coincidental observation.

oscarwilde on July 28, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Been saying this for quite a while, now…to the utter mockery and guffaws of the atheists and other doubters and scoffers…

bimmcorp on July 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

No it is not “airborne in certain circumstances”. It is transmitted by contact with contaminated fluids. Smallpox is airborne: there is a documented case of smallpox infection between two hospital rooms, six floors apart.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

The Reston variant certainly is which IIRC was demonstrated in the Monkey House outbreak.

As far as Ebola itself they seem to suggest it is in monkeys, though I wouldn’t be shocked to discover they ginned it up for sensationalism.

http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/121115/srep00811/full/srep00811.html

Here we show ZEBOV transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques without direct contact. Interestingly, transmission between macaques in similar housing conditions was never observed. Piglets inoculated oro-nasally with ZEBOV were transferred to the room housing macaques in an open inaccessible cage system. All macaques became infected. Infectious virus was detected in oro-nasal swabs of piglets, and in blood, swabs, and tissues of macaques. This is the first report of experimental interspecies virus transmission, with the macaques also used as a human surrogate.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ebola-may-go-airborne

The evidence that the virus got from a pig to a monkey through a respiratory route is good,” says Glenn Marsh, a molecular virologist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Australia.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Andromeda Strain

For anyone with insomnia …

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

The Dark Man’s comin’ for you!

WestVirginiaRebel on July 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Thats racist!!!

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Tube Neck!

At least have zombies with the outbreak just to make things extra interesting.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Listen here, you: Scumbag politicians come and go but the cesspool of Wisconsin is forever.

Unless we sell it to Cambodia which I’m all in favor of were someone to present legislation.

Bishop on July 28, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Well if that means we lose Minnesota as a neighbor that’s a definite improvement for Wisconsin.

wifarmboy on July 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

I read the book by Peters (USAMRIID). Reston was a one-off. I don’t think anyone really got to the bottom of it.

As for the Australians … some of them were investigating mouse-pox and toying with the idea of seeing if it could be made to infect humans. Someone caught them at a conference and told them what idiots they were being. I think that was in Peters’ book but it might have been another one.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Hey I’ve got an idea.Get tainted blood from victims in West Africa and have Muslim terrorists distribute it throughout Mexico (or passenger ships to New York or New Orleans–or a freighter to Savannah, etc.) Border security is nonexistent at Mexico and security is lax or incompetent elsewhere.

The good news is that Ebola, unlike Captain Tripps in “The Stand’, is not airborne. Therefore only a few thousand will die–not even worth cancelling a fund raiser.

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

You may get your wish in Nigeria if it gets into the regions where Boko Haram is active. Except that they will be distributing it throughout Nigeria rather than Mexico.

If it gets started in Lagos, it might be millions rather than thousands.

gh on July 28, 2014 at 10:50 PM

The incubation period for Ebola is usually 2-3 days, but can sometimes be 12-21 days. Pray most people show signs 2-3 days after infection. Longer incubation periods are very dangerous since they could potentially allow for massive spread of the virus.

nazo311 on July 28, 2014 at 11:03 PM

The good news is that Ebola, unlike Captain Tripps in “The Stand’, is not airborne. Therefore only a few thousand will die–not even worth cancelling a fund raiser.

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Yet…..

Just wait until it gets into an animal (most viruses are animal viruses) and recombines with another virus that is airborne. This is a possibility, but the most concerning for influential.

nazo311 on July 28, 2014 at 11:04 PM

The good news is that Ebola, unlike Captain Tripps in “The Stand’, is not airborne. Therefore only a few thousand will die–not even worth cancelling a fund raiser.

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Yet…..

Just wait until it gets into an animal (most viruses are animal viruses) and recombines with another virus that is airborne. This is a possibility, but the most concerning for influential influenza.

Damn autocorrect.

nazo311 on July 28, 2014 at 11:04 PM

nazo311 on July 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Ebola survives quite nicely as long as plenty of people are available for propagation.

Actually, it is fairly fragile, and destroyed by heat, sunlight or other UV, bleach, and detergents. Ebola outbreaks in the past have been controlled by quarantine, personal protection for those coming in contact with infected persons or fluids, and rigorous cleaning of any spilled blood or body fluids.

Measures such as these, as well as the fact that it is an inefficient virus, is why there have only been 2000 deaths in all outbreaks, to include ones in places like Kinshasa, Zaire, with a population of some 7 million at the time. The case fatality rate of the present outbreak is only about 60%, and would be less if there was more access to early supportive care.

If you want a contrast, there are over 50,000 deaths from rabies every year, mainly in Africa and Asia, and without post-exposure immunization, the case fatality rate pushes 100%.

If someone want a disease to panic over, Ebola isn’t it, drug resistant TB, OTOH, is far more likely to become a problem in the US in the near future.

F X Muldoon on July 28, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Ebola is only transmitted via bodily fluids so it isn’t much of a threat unless you come in physical contact with the infected.
It is NOT airborne.
sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Nonsense, didn’t you see Outbreak?
/

crrr6 on July 28, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Nonsense, didn’t you see Outbreak?
/

crrr6 on July 28, 2014 at 11:25 PM

I just don’t want to experience Outbreak.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 11:32 PM

F X Muldoon on July 28, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Exactly right. Nearly a million people die every year from malaria–mostly from Africa. By contrast Ebola kills only a few dozen to a few hundred at a time. Initially it is airborne from the primary host(possibly a rat or fruit bat)to the secondary host (humans.) The bat or rat urine mixes with the dust and is inhaled as a lethal aerosol. But Once in the secondary host it needs the infected persons blood to mix with the non-infected blood-of another human-making it a very inefficient mass killer. The reason it is not airborne is that it dies within seconds outside the body or a scientific tissue culture. Furthermore, it seems to be SEASONAL, with long dormant periods between attacks–further good news.

But Ebola is also PSYCHOLOGICAL. You mention ‘malaria’ which kills millions and people don’t even look up from their newspapers but ‘Ebola’ elicits panic. So it is still a potential terror weapon.

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Ebola is only transmitted via bodily fluids so it isn’t much of a threat unless you come in physical contact with the infected.

It is NOT airborne.

sharrukin on July 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

What’s the concern with the 59 people on that airplane, then? I can see the people in the same row, but the whole plane?

Maybe they have more entertaining flights than we do.

TexasDan on July 28, 2014 at 11:46 PM

But Ebola is also PSYCHOLOGICAL. You mention ‘malaria’ which kills millions and people don’t even look up from their newspapers but ‘Ebola’ elicits panic. So it is still a potential terror weapon.

MaiDee on July 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Bleeding from the eyes and rapid, horrible death will do that.

TexasDan on July 28, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Coincidentally, I just finished the Tom Clancy book Executive Orders, which involves an ebola terror attack on the US. Obviously the man’s no medical expert, but I’ve always found his books to be well-researched and at least according to the book, the ebola virus is pretty fragile and doesn’t fare well outside of tropical climates.

LukeinNE on July 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Executive Orders was an awesome book (and a bit creepy). Really, all the Jack Ryan series are good (the more recent ones not as great, but still good). I think there’s a new one in the series coming out that was written by someone who took over after Clancy died last year (I should really grab the Kindle edition…).

Othniel on July 29, 2014 at 12:49 AM

Thanks MK for blogging on this issue I’ve been mentioning for a couple weeks now.

Ebola only a plane ride away from the U.S.: Ebola could easily arrive in the USA on board a plane, but wouldn’t spread far, experts say.

More likely to come across our southern border. I read reports the border patrol has nabbed people from as far away as pakistan, so the infected countries are just as likely.

dogsoldier on July 29, 2014 at 5:08 AM

That would still make Wisconsin better than the state that elected selected Al Franken.

/hide

nobar on July 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Not to mention Keith Ellison and Jesse Ventura.

Oldnuke on July 29, 2014 at 7:08 AM

DailyBeast: Two Americans Have Now Been Diagnosed With Ebola in Record Outbreak

… According to Isaacs, the Brantly family, who live in Monrovia, had left a few days before Dr. Brantly’s likely exposure, returning to the United States for a family event. They are being monitored closely for early signs of infection but appear well. Most cases of Ebola occur after a brief one- to three-day incubation period. …

We may already have Ebola patients in the U.S. If not, it isn’t because we did anything meaningful to stop them and keep them in quarantine.

Toocon on July 29, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Lagos has a sick woman running loose and we have a sick Mexican with drug resistant TB running loose in CA. It’s looking more and more like a second horseman is riding our way.

Kissmygrits on July 29, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Does this story have some sort of cross tie-in with The Walking Dead thread?

Nineball on July 29, 2014 at 7:58 AM

But Ebola is also PSYCHOLOGICAL

Yes, but it can only cause psychological terror if misinformation continues to be spread, but scary stories, as you allude, sell more papers and generate more page hits than dispassionate facts.

Speaking of which:

Bleeding from the eyes and rapid, horrible death will do that.

First, to repeat, there have been in the past 38 years only about 2000 deaths from about 3200 cases. The case fatality rate would have been less had there been more rapid diagnosis and better access to supportive care. “bleeding from the eyes”, does not occur. What does occur with the eyes is ocular petechiae as in the second picture.

The reason this occurs is that Ebola is primarily a capillary leak syndrome (the fluid portion of blood leaks into extravascular spaces), coupled with coagulation defects, and this is what causes the petechiae, as well as marked bruising, bleeding from IV and blood draw sites, bleeding from other wounds, and several related or secondary effects non of which include the popular fiction of people running around spurting blood from every orifice.

If you want to get into the weeds, start here.

F X Muldoon on July 29, 2014 at 8:41 AM

It’s only a matter of time before obama imports an Ebola-infected illegal. Pork-Chop on July 28, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Not to do so would be racist and culturist. As the esteemed Bishop would say, “Read a biology book you homophobe.”

Akzed on July 29, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Ebola is such a virulent virus that it kills almost everyone it touches. The best way to let a outbreak disappear is by quarantining the areas of outbreak and telling inhabitants in those areas to avoid anyone with symptoms or who has died from the disease.

Harsh medicine but it will save countless others in the long run.

Laurence on July 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Ebola is such a virulent virus that it kills almost everyone it touches. The best way to let a outbreak disappear is by quarantining the areas of outbreak and telling inhabitants in those areas to avoid anyone with symptoms or who has died from the disease.

Harsh medicine but it will save countless others in the long run.

Laurence on July 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM

.
Good idea for the public at large . . . . . what about medical professionals ?

At least two that I’m aware of have contracted the virus.

listens2glenn on July 29, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Now I have to find my VHS of Outbreak.

vcferlita on July 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yes, we do need to talk about this…..soon…it is being totally ignored in the press. I think in large part because it is now occurring in West Africa. Who cares about West Africa? Well for one thing, a large part of the outbreak is happening in the beautiful rainforest areas of Guinea and Liberia. Liberia is a country with strong American ties. There are many Liberians living in America especially in the DC and St Paul/Minneapolis areas. They must be terrified. And surely many of them and their relatives are traveling back and forth between Monrovia and the US…that could prove to be very troubling.

driguana on July 29, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Ebola is such a virulent virus that it kills almost everyone it touches.

No it doesn’t.

Go to the table of all outbreaks, add in 672 deaths and 1200 cases.

Divide the number of deaths by the number of cases and you get the aggregate case fatality rate of about 60% (56% for the current outbreak). This is a far cry from “killing everything it touches”, and to repeat, the case fatality rate is exaggerated by delay in diagnosis and treatment (supportive care).

Even if the case fatality rate of 60% was absolute, that would put Ebola behind Naegleria meningitis, untreated visceral leishmaniasis and African sleeping sickness, smallpox, untreated rabies and pneumonic plague, anthrax, Marburg virus, aspergillosis and some other more common diseases.

…what about medical professionals ?

Personal protective outfits and equipment, as well as isolation procedures, same as for any infectious disease, though nothing offers absolute protection from anything (gloves tear, inadvertent needle sticks, etc.).

Ebola, despite the hype, is not apocalyptic.

F X Muldoon on July 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Scary scenario in 74 tweets:

https://twitter.com/GaltsGirl/status/494086909023776769

Grantman on July 29, 2014 at 12:47 PM

F X Muldoon on July 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM

The press is reporting 90% FYI

dogsoldier on July 29, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The press is reporting 90% FYI

That is because it is scarier.

Go to the WHO link I posted earlier and see for yourself, and/or do the math yourself. The aggregate is around 60%, the low for any outbreak 25% (not counting the isolated cases who lived), and a high of 90% (not counting the two separate isolated cases who died).

Regarding the current outbreak from the CDC:

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, announced a cumulative total of 1201 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 672 deaths, as of July 23, 2014.

672/1201=55.9%

I’ll take the CDC and WHO over a bunch of “journalists” any day.

F X Muldoon on July 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Coincidentally, I just finished the Tom Clancy book Executive Orders, which involves an ebola terror attack on the US. Obviously the man’s no medical expert, but I’ve always found his books to be well-researched and at least according to the book, the ebola virus is pretty fragile and doesn’t fare well outside of tropical climates.

LukeinNE on July 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

I am on page 224 of Tom Clancy’s book Executive Orders now. When I put the book down last night, the second Ebola case had just been diagnosed.

And then today I see MKH’s post on HotAir.

The line between Tom Clancy’s “fiction” and future headlines is very, very thin.

Executive Orders is a fantastic book!!! But to get the full background story, read Debt of Honor also by Tom Clancy, first. As you get close to finishing Debt of Honor, put your copy of Executive Orders on the bedside table because you will want to have it handy immediately after finishing Debt of Honor. Both books are long (900ish & 1300ish pages in the paperback versions), but the pages fly by amazingly quickly.

Tom Clancy books are helping to keep me sane these days. In the Clancy books, brave men do whatever is necessary to protect the American people. The books remind me of the good old days, when I had more faith in our government.

wren on July 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Now I have to find my VHS of Outbreak.

vcferlita

Anyone else watching The Last Ship on TNT Sunday nights? Weaponized hemorrhagic fever versus the US Navy. Good clean fun for the whole family.

werewife on July 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM