Author Topic: Ebola - Worried yet?  (Read 2583 times)

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Offline Hardman

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Ebola - Worried yet?
« on: October 17, 2014, 03:53:12 PM »
This really is getting a bit crazy, lots of mixed signals, on the one hand reassurances about how difficult it is to catch, which does not jibe at all with accounts from Africa since 1976, on the other higher and higher levels of concern from CDC, WHO and Heads of State.

So what do we actually know?

This is the biggest reported outbreak in Africa, thousands are dead, thousands more infected, health workers are percentage-wise the worst affected.

Infected persons have traveled or been transported from Africa to the US and Europe, some have survived, some have died.

There have been secondary infections in both the US and Europe.

Persons subsequently found to be infected have traveled quite extensively by air not only out of Africa but within the US and Europe.

Regular hospital procedures appear to have failed, in the US known infected persons still living have been transported to CDC in Atlanta and NIH in Maryland.

WHO has gone on record as saying we have less than 60 days to contain the outbreak.

CDC has quietly predicted 10,000 infections within the US by Christmas.

The UK has conducted a National containment practice exercise.

The African infection rate shows no sign of slowing.

The mortality rate whether treated or untreated appears to be around 50%.

The incubation period is stated as 21 days, but evidence suggests it can be shorter.

Supposedly the virus is not infectious until symptoms appear but the symptoms are vague and easily confused with other ailments.

The virus is not airborne, neither is influenza.

The virus is communicated via body fluids, just what fluids seems to be an expanding list.

The virus can survive outside a host body for up to three days.

The vector from the wild is suspected to be bats but there is no conclusive evidence that this is the only vector.

The virus is highly infectious between humans.

There's a lot more but those are the highlights.

Given the deadliness of the virus and how slip-shod the reaction to it appears to have been and the very limited, one might as well say zero, success of any treatment beyond palliative care, yes, I'm concerned.

The effectiveness of the now exhausted emergency released anti-viral treatment is suspect, so is the very basic treatment of blood transfusion from recovered sufferers to the infected.

Probably some have read Preston's "The Hot Zone" more have probably seen the sensationalised movie "Outbreak" based on it, probably fewer have read Glen Close's father, a medical doctor's, much less dramatised but based on fact account of his involvement in an African outbreak many years ago.

To date this virus has proven to be untreatable and unstoppable, it only ceases to infect people when there are no people near it to catch it. In Africa it plain and simply has burned out when everyone gives up and flees into the bush to die, or survive.

That's not so likely to happen inside a city, cities are full of rats, very closely related to bats, suggesting a very nasty potential secondary vector.

It's more than a little bizarre to note that apart from the US the biggest cash contributors to fighting the outbreak are the Founder of Facebook, the Gates Foundation and one of the co-founders of Microsoft.

So, any thoughts, apart from staying away from people ?

Cheers





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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 10:48:29 PM »
Something that is getting a LOT of news coverage here and more and more people both in the media and in Congress advocating a temporary travel ban which I utterly agree with. I was about to email my Congressman last night to tell him my opinion but turns out he's already on board with the idea of a travel ban.

You probably heard the story but one the cases we've had here was a nurse who was infected who took a round trip flight and thus potentially exposed everyone on the plane to it.

A nurse for fuck's sake. You'd think a nurse would have better sense.

Another infected nurse broke quarantine to go out and get some soup.

If you haven't you should get online and watch some of the comments from the moron who is in charge of our CDC. Most of what he says makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

Even Obama has finally started paying attention which is a very rare event but he cancelled a fund raising trip and according to inside sources he had two hour long meeting on the issue and he was fucking livid.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 10:50:11 PM by McClean »
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Offline Rybags

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 11:08:59 PM »
It only takes one infectious person to bring it back to the outside world and containment measures by then might be too late.

There should be quarantine procedures in place for anyone returning from the affected countries, ie isolate them for a period to guarantee they're not infected - by that I mean before they actually leave that country.

I'd take it further still - travel bans too/from the affected countries.  Harsh measure for sure and damaging to their economies but we're talking about something that we're not likely to have a cure for in the near future and could escalate beyond the scale of the flu epidemic of 100 years ago.

Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 06:20:03 AM »
Yeah, that is a very serious concern that I have and for anyone who isn't familiar with it, look it up on Google. More people were killed in the 1918-1919 flu pandemic than were killed in the First World War.

The global estimates vary but they all have 20 million dead as the low ball number. The estimate for dead in the U.S. alone is somewhere around 600,000 and many of those were doctors and nurses who were just doing their jobs.

Fortunately we have influenza vaccines today and anybody who doesn't get one each year is an idiot but as Ry said, no vaccine exists for Ebola.

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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 10:00:19 AM »
Agreed, but it might already be too late, it's already on two continents apart from Africa.

People are saying some crazy things like it will die out and it will only spread slowly, that's not the way a successful virus behaves.

Jamie makes an interesting point, it is in many ways very similar to Spanish 'flu, or other influenzas for that matter. Influenza circulates the globe every year and is still a major killer.

I don't actually get a 'flu jab every year but that's not because I'm anti vaccination, it's because every time I get one I get the 'flu, otherwise I don't :)

Flu is a very fast mutating virus, like the cold virus and it is not easy to produce a vaccine for, you tend to be chasing last year's model. Ebola is not or has not been seen to be like that, there are different strains, one is not harmful to humans at all, but the one that keeps re-emerging is the same one.

It does now seem to be being treated very seriously, I just hope it's not too late.

Cheers
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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
This:

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/pigs-plants-and-the-black-death-have-we-learned-anything-about-ebola-since-1976/story-fneuz9ev-1227094587993

actually asks a pertinent question, I suspect the answer is not very much at all.

Ebola has not had a lot of attention outside of a few very select facilities, tropical Med in London, CDC, there was some research going on in South Africa but God knows given the state of that place if it has continued.

I've no doubt the Russian Bio warfare labs have samples, and Fort Mead certainly does but none of them have that is being said focused on much more than a test for infection, a definition of its mechanism and how to treat a sufferer. There doesn't even seem to be a lot of knowledge about the transmission modality. All a long way from having a vaccine, what commercial experimentation there has been seems to have been more on an anti-viral cure, which makes sense to respond to outbreaks but we really don't know THAT much about anti-virals, HIV proves that.

Thing is there's not much profit to be had from developing a vaccine for something that has before now killed so few people in relative terms and only in a remote part of the world.

The lack of knowledge about transmission is being shown up now, for all the soothsaying they don't know. For example there is nothing to be found on if it could be carried by mosquitoes or fleas. That's rather worrying, why not? It's demonstrably communicable by blood.

Cheers
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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 12:02:10 PM »
I'm sure I've told you this before but back in the late 90s my mother went on a work related trip down to Atlanta with two other women she worked with and her and one of the others got a horrible case of the flu. The one who drove them back wore a surgical mask and gloves all the way back from Atlanta.

When she got home she immediately went to bed. That night I grilled some pork chops and baked potatoes and told her essentially the same thing my doctor told me the last time I was in the hospital, I don't care if you're hungry or not, eat.

She'd had a rough few days and I didn't want her to eat by herself and so I sat down in her bedroom floor and ate with her even though she told me not to.

A couple of days later I was upstairs in my office and started feeling really bad. I thought it was just because I hadn't eaten and so I went downstairs to the kitchen and started heating up a can of soup. I felt like I was about to fall over in the floor and so I put my soup in the refrigerator and went to lay down for a while.

Other than to go to the bathroom I didn't get out of bed for about four days and it was a couple of weeks before I started to feel like myself again and so yeah I get a flu jab every year.

BTW, I can tell you exactly when that was. The night that I managed to crawl out of bed, make some coffee and turn on the news to see if the world had blown up while I was in bed was the night during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia that they managed to shoot down a USAF F-117.

I will never forget that. As soon as I flipped on the TV I saw what was very obviously the smoldering wreckage of a F-117 followed by a Pentagon spokesmen denying that they had a plane down.

I can understand not commenting on an ongoing CSAR operation but I don't appreciate being lied to. Especially not when I've just seen video of the smoldering wreckage.

Just say something like, I'm sorry I can't comment on that at this time.

It's really no different from the very longstanding USN policy that we will neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard our warships.

Why they felt the need to lie about having a plane down when they were fully aware there was a plane down is something I never have understood.

Totally agree that there are a lot of different strains and so the vaccines are hardly 100% but I think it's at least giving it a shot, pun intended.

My mother got one today but she had no choice her job requires a yearly flu shot.



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Offline Rybags

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 12:04:30 PM »
If it can survive outside a host body more than a few hours then that's enough cause for worry.

Maybe that's not the case in cooler, less humid conditions but still, there's plenty of the world where the climate conditions are similar to West Africa.

Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 12:09:12 PM »
@ Chris, we were cross posting but I had meant to mention the Black Death. It was most likely spread by rat fleas and wiped out half the population of Europe and I agree I don't think anybody is entirely sure how Ebola is or isn't spread.




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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2014, 12:19:35 PM »
Hmm,

The latest information from CDC says it can survive without a host for up to three days Ry, but makes no mention of under what conditions - they probably don't know.

I do recall the F-117 shoot down Jamie, and the stupidity of it, not just the denial. The pilots had become complacent and were flying set routes, their adversary was cunning and gave out no information on their locations. Nonetheless it was quite a feat to get a hit with an obsolete missile, persistent rumours remain that the aircraft's RCS was compromised by rain. I don't recall if I ever mentioned it but I've another reason to remember it, a good mate of mine was the lead on the extraction team that pulled the pilot out.

Strangely that incident was in the news again recently, the pilot and the commander of the SAM battalion have become friends :)

I can tell you exactly when I last had the flu, it was June 1974. I was being transferred from Adelaide to Darwin and decided to drive. I made it as far as my folks place in Port Augusta before the bug laid me low for the better part of two weeks. I barely recall the sickness, apparently spiked at 103 degrees.

Bounced back ok, drove PA to Brisbane almost non-stop in 36 hours with one overnight close to destination and one snooze in the car out on the Hay Plains then took a week to drive the rest of the way, big country :)

You have to love WHO, just declared the Ebola outbreak in Senegal is over - they had one infected person who drove there, isolated him and a few contacts, no secondaries. Commendations on how well the local authorities handled it.

Have to wonder how the US report card is going to read...

Cheers
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Offline AccessDenied

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 12:33:29 PM »
Rybags:  Ebola fluids can remain infectious up to 3 days outside human body.

It would require the person handling them to do something like wipe their eyes, or eat without thoroughly sanitizing to get it in that circumstance though.

Ebola is especially infectious in Africa because of superstition, distrust of western medicine and lots of things like funeral rights which require washing the body (Physical contact with deceased infectious person).

It'll be significantly less infectious in most Western countries.

My concern:  Bats can be a carrier for ebola.  There have been increasing numbers of bat attacks in South America.  Imagine getting a colony of infected bats.  Although less common in America, it's still a frequent enough occurance.  In Dallas alone in the recent few years there's been close to 100 deaths related to bat attacks (Rabies infection etc).

It's not the human vector I'm really worried about in places like US, but rather it getting an animal host and then persisting, possibly indefinitely.

AD


Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2014, 01:02:09 PM »
Hmm,

What you say AD is the sort of dogma, 3 days seems to have been demonstrated in the lab, which surprised some researchers.

The infection path in Africa is less well understood, certainly early spread when ebola first appeared was caused by a lack of understanding, funeral practices in particular but that doesn't account for the high number of infections amongst trained and protected health workers. Those people are well aware of the risks and follow established guidelines yet they suffer very high infection rates, pretty much on a par with the general population.

Bats most certainly are a concern, hadn't realised there was such a problem in Dallas although now that I think about it having been to a few conferences there bats are very visible at night around street lights etc.

My concern though is that the knowledge base just isn't big enough, now they tell us pigs can become infected, pigs are used a lot in medical research because they are physiologically close to humans. Rats are very close to bats, cities, most all of them, have far more rats than bats.

The human vector in the US is already being seen to be a concern and I'm unconvinced by the assurances that the disease is not communicable until symptoms present or of the incubation period, the facts do not align.

The story is unraveling very quickly, a few days ago CDC's page said sweat was not a bodily fluid that could harbor the virus, now apparently it can. Just why they had asserted that is unclear, it would seem at least to be a concern from as you note infection coming from handling corpses.

What we are seeing I think is an attempt to not cause panic whilst behind the scenes some people more in-the-know are extremely concerned, not too strong to say frightened.

That's a very dangerous dilemma, hide the truth and the disease could spread through ignorance - seems to have been the case at the Dallas hospital.

Cheers
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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2014, 01:31:23 PM »
I suppose it depends on what part of the U.S. you're in but I think I've seen maybe 3 or 4 bats in my entire life.

I do think whatever happens here while it may be bad it won't be like some countries in Africa. We don't practice voodoo medicine here.

Doctors and nurses as a matter of course at the very minimum use hand sanitizer and wear gloves. So do cops and EMTs anytime they have contact with bodily fluids and so do a lot of other people. I have hand sanitizer, surgical masks and gloves in my medicine cabinet and working in retail I always kept a big bottle of hand sanitizer next to me on the counter and used it with great regularity.

We are not some backwater third world country. We do have some bit of sense on this side of the world but I will say that while I did for a day or two think Obama was finally paying attention and taking this seriously I so far have not been impressed at all with his new "Ebola czar"  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/10/17/obama-taps-ron-klain-as-ebola-czar/
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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2014, 01:53:04 PM »
I don't think anyone is suggesting that Americans don't understand sanitation Jamie but with ebola we are in uncharted territory. Reports said 70 people were directly or indirectly assigned to treat the patient in Dallas, all health professionals. The patient died, two nurses are infected.

There will certainly be lessons learned from that but it doesn't take much to see that it will only take a degree of spread of the disease for the health system to be overwhelmed, which is exactly what has happened with outbreaks in Africa.

The US health system is as over-stretched and thus as vulnerable as any, if there is an outbreak then draconian measures and ruthless triage will appear very quickly.

It's pretty obvious that normal sanitation is not going to reliably defeat ebola, hell, it doesn't stop the common cold.

There is a bit of an element of a bureaucratic "answer" in appointing this "Czar" but that's what government does, try to retain order, how well he performs, well, we'll have to see.

To be fair to your POTUS he has not just a disease outbreak to deal with, normal government has to continue.

Cheers
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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2014, 02:29:57 PM »
In taking care of my step-father I always wore gloves and if he or I either one had some kind of cold or something a surgical mask as well but yes, no argument from me in that a trained nurse who was wearing full protective gear still managed to get infected is very, very troubling.

But what exactly happened in Dallas is still very murky and be sensationalized by the media. At least over here.

What I personally think is very likely how it happened is even wearing protective gear you still have to be damned careful in taking it off but I don't know. As I said, the news is still a bit murky on how they became infected and obviously all I know about it is what I've seen in the news.

As for Obama, as I've said before I believe that the job of POTUS places far too much weight on one man's shoulder but to me this is a lot more important than improving his golf game or going out raising campaign money.

A little over two years from now he'll have the rest of his life to play golf while receiving a VERY cushy pension.

He's also become so unpopular here that many Democrats who are running for reelection or running for the first time have politely told him to stay the fuck away from their campaign.

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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2014, 03:35:21 PM »
Hmm,

The two possibilities for the infections are inadequate protection, apparently the protection didn't cover the neck and throat and now simple skin contact is being suspected as a contamination path. That's why dramatic as it seems your nurses federation is calling for HAZMAT suits.

The second is indeed transfer from the outer surface of the protective clothing when disrobing although it has been suggested that training does cover that.

I find the whole thing more than a little ship-shod, whilst the terms are a bit Hollywood ebola is termed a Level 4 infectious organism and at CDC, Porton Down, Mead if you handle those you go through a chemical shower, fully clothed, before disrobing.

The suggestion is that hospital isolation facilities don't have those which makes a mockery of the claims that hospitals most anywhere in the 1st world can adequately isolate ebola sufferers.

I don't know, never having been in a hospital isolation ward but I have been on a tour of Harwell, the UK nuclear research facility, they use chemical showers all the time when handling anything emitting alpha or beta radiation. I'd have thought the same would apply for working with deadly biological agents but equally I'd have thought it unlikely every hospital would have such showers.

Perhaps it explains why the first US doctor, who survived, and no cross infection, was brought straight to Atlanta and why one of the nurses from Dallas has been flown to NIH in Maryland, facilities you WOULD expect to have level 4 handling capabilities. It doesn't explain why the other nurse is still in Dallas unless they have shipped in the showering capability because they do expect more infections to turn up there.

There is rather obviously a lot we are not being told.

Cheers

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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2014, 03:57:18 PM »
I wish I had an answer to that question but I don't. As you know I've had a few trips to the hospital in the past couple of years. Far too many but two of the top hospitals in this area and I went to see my step-dad so many times that my car could probably drive itself there. One of the times I was in the hospital I actually read a hospital guide for people visiting a patient who was in isolation but like you I have never been in an isolation ward and so I don't know.

As for training, I have no clue there either beyond you know as well as I do that people don't always follow training and protocol. Not just in medicine but in most anything and IF it is true that it can be spread by simple skin contact then it wouldn't be that hard for someone to make a mistake while disrobing. Especially if you're tired, stressed out or both.

As for radiation, no such thing as chemical showers back then but in the early days of nuclear my maternal grandfather was exposed to some type of radiation. I don't know exactly what but they told him to go home, strip his clothes off outside his house and take the hottest shower he could with soap and bleach.

My grandmother told me he walked in the backdoor, naked as the day he was born and stayed in the shower until he ran out of hot water.
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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2014, 04:29:44 PM »
Isolation can mean different things I guess, it's not quite correct to say I haven't been in isolation, I was whilst my burns healed but opposite concern, didn't want to give me anything. Didn't exactly work, had one bout of golden staph and that at one of the best burns units in the world.

So yeah, dunno, and quite correct, training is useless unless followed.

The usual decontamination for alpha and beta is just that, good hot, soapy shower, quickly. Alpha is relatively harmless unless ingested, it doesn't take much to stop beta but you don't want any sources of either left on the skin.

I suspect that skin contact with ebola is more dangerous than was previously suspected. Bit of a debate in our health programme over it this weekend, the recommendation is still the equivalent of surgical scrubs but Queensland which had a suspected, now seemingly cleared case, has gone for full cover up.

There is obviously a lot not known about ebola in the real world of coping with an outbreak even in good facilities, what they do in a level 4 facility is not exactly scalable.

Cheers



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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 07:11:08 PM »
A little extreme, but hard to argue with this person:

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/woman-wears-full-hazmat-suit-against-ebola-at-dullus-international-airport/story-fnizu68q-1227094795094

More seriously the article does highlight the confusion over just what is protection when nursing an ebola infected person.

I don't know how many here might know DFW airport but I can sort of understand the woman, not only is it one damned big International airport serving the city with the US outbreak, it was briefly the largest airport in the world in the 70s, but it forces you to be in close contact with other passengers for a lot of the time you are there.

They have a design, similar to the new Hong Kong and KL of having spoked departure and arrival lounges served by monorail trains that take you out to your aircraft from check-in. DFW has a bit of a problem though, lack of funds. The monorail was once something to envy, now it is old, slow, creaky, the aircon was not working last time I passed through and the cars are small.

It's not exactly a place where you can avoid mingling with passengers coming from hither and yon in other words.

Cheers



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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2014, 02:04:16 AM »
I've never been there but it sounds like a similar situation to ATL in Atlanta.

As I'm sure you know that is one big fucking ass and very crowded airport and if you want to fly to anywhere in the Southeastern U.S. you pretty much always have to change planes in Atlanta. You and hundreds of thousands of other people on a daily basis and if you're flying international your options from here are pretty much Atlanta or Charlotte.

I suppose you could go through Dulles but that's kind of going the long way if you're flying into or out of the country from here and it doesn't really matter. It's all the same thing a LOT of people with no choice but to be in very close proximity to each other.




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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2014, 09:10:55 AM »
Actually I've never been to Atlanta, not even the airport, Dulles on the other hand, yeah, many times. The airport with the unique way to get to your aircraft, the lounges are on wheels :)

So overnight Castro commits Cuba to work with the US on Ebola. I can imagine some Americans saying they don't need their help but actually Cuba has been in the thick of it in West Africa all year, almost 300 doctors and medical folk committed - pretty big effort for a small poor country.

Be ironic if a deadly virus buried that hatchet.

Obama has also dismissed a West African travel ban which is somewhat beyond presumptuous, the US doesn't have a national airline it can dictate to but I think Delta is the only US carrier still operating flights there anyway. Could of course ban International carriers who operate there from flying to the US, great way to wreck European relations since that's where most all flights to and from West Africa rotate.

I do see the reasoning though, isolation is not an answer, desperate people will quite possibly just sneak out and the disease could spread without control.

it's more important to actually have effective airport screening, the current methods are totally inadequate, all they really are doing is asking where people have been and taking their temperature.

Until/if there is an effective vaccine though it is a conundrum, some rapid non-invasive test is needed which CDC say they are working on.

I do find it rather surprising that there isn't a vaccine. This is not some elusive retrovirus like HIV, it's an aggressive RNA virus with a relatively short incubation period that we've known about for forty years.

Cheers



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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2014, 10:41:04 AM »
Trust me, you haven't missed much in not having been to the Atlanta airport but then I'm saying that as someone who once slept on the ATL floor, using my carry on bag for a pillow when all flights were grounded because of the snow storm from hell.

I'm sure I won't surprise you by my being one of the Americans who will say to Cuba, we don't need your help, thank you very much.

I am aware of the difficulties of a truly workable travel ban. You hit the nail on the head, they for the most part aren't direct flights. Most of them pass through Europe first. Obama and his wet noodle backbone are waffling as usual. He said a few days ago that he's not "philosophically opposed to a travel ban." Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean.

I don't have much confidence in how effective airport screening would be either. Even a doctor can't easily diagnose Ebola in it's early stages. Someone could be carrying it but have no visible symptoms at all.

There is a growing tide here in favor of the idea of while we'll offer what humanitarian assistance we can we're going to have a travel ban for the time being.

I think you know as well as I do why there isn't a vaccine. Until now there hasn't been any money to be made from it.

If the U.S. government were to say they want a vaccine and are going to make vaccinations mandatory in the same way we do with say small pox or polio. I guarantee you the drug companies would very quickly come up with a vaccine.

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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2014, 11:41:09 AM »
Eh,

With very few exceptions airports are less than pleasant places, Singapore Changi and KL, KLIA, are notable exceptions, you can easily get a hotel room for a few hours although probably not if everything is grounded but that would be beyond unusual both of those places.

Really speaking I doubt Cuba gives a fuck what Americans think but it was a surprising gesture by Castro. It is true though for whatever reasons and there probably are other motives that Cuba frequently sends medical teams to Africa and the ebola outbreaks have been no exception.

The real question of a travel ban for the US is not international flights it's domestic. Like it or not ebola infected persons have been traveling on domestic sectors, those aircraft remain in service and the only one that has apparently been immediately thoroughly decontaminated was the one from Cleveland to Dallas, presumably the aircraft that took the nurse to Cleveland was not given the same treatment.

In other words the cat is actually out of the bag in both the US and Europe already, only time, the incubation period, will show if it has spread via jet already.

A commercial imperative for a vaccine is one thing but the frightening concept of weaponised ebola is far from new, hell, Clancy based an entire novel on it and he is not the only one. so the real question is why the bright boys at CDC and the scarier ones at USAMRID have not developed one.

It's more than interesting actually, we have vaccines for all the old scourges really, some rather nastier than others. Before working in Africa back in the 70s I had vaccinations against things I've never even heard of but there don't seem to be vaccinations for any of the emergent viruses, not Marburg, not Hanta, not Lassa and certainly not Ebola. Yet there has long been one for a much earlier known disease, Yellow Fever. It used to be a required jab before going to most of sub-Saharan Africa but that was stopped decades ago.

I'm not a virologist but I've read a great deal on the subject and given that all those diseases have had human survivors that implies that some of us have developed antibodies so if vaccination is more than a theory why no vaccines ?

One of the most frightening books that I've ever read on the subject would be "The Coming Plague." Whilst covering most every viral nasty known the only time the subject of vaccines gets much discussion is on the difficulty of producing one against HIV.

Cheers

 

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Offline McClean

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2014, 04:06:26 PM »
I'd just say the hotel room thing is unusual for Atlanta as well but so is a snow storm of that scale. All flights were grounded and ATL has over 200k passengers per day.

There were no hotel rooms to be had and I was hardly the only person sleeping on the floor.

As for Cuba, I have no doubt whatsoever that they don't give a fuck what we think but that sentiment goes both ways.

As for vaccines with the exception of my annual flu shot jab I've had all of the vaccines that are required here and while I will get one the flu shot is a personal choice. Especially if you're an adult and can make your own medical decisions.



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Offline Hardman

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Re: Ebola - Worried yet?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2014, 05:53:27 PM »
Heh,

Without de-railing the thread it really is time that Cuba and the US stopped the bullshit.

The creation of Cuba as a communist thorn in the side was not really so much to do with even Castro and his brother, they had a revolution because the island was being robbed blind by the mob, the US mob. It was Che who brought communism to the revolution and the USSR of old was only too happy to have an ally, a naval base and incidentally a major supplier of sugar and tobacco right in America's back yard.

Cuba has remained a very poor alienated nation ever since with very, very little in the way of communist ideals just a lot of Latin American machismo over the stand-off with the US.

They most certainly were manipulated by Kruschev to bring in the missiles, which was most probably a bargaining chip anyway, which in several odd ways worked, like getting the Jupiters out of Turkey and the way it was reported in Moscow actually prevented K from being ousted, for a while.

In 1962 despite a lot of bluff Soviet ICBMs were not only hideously unreliable they were impossibly inaccurate which was partly what led to their developing such massive warheads.

The reality is that the US' missiles were not much better, thus keeping the -52s around, spending ridiculous amounts of money on the -58s and fast tracking the Minuteman's and SLBMs whilst making Atlas and Titan actually reliable enough for manned space shots.

But all the crap about Russian missiles in the Caribbean was really high-stakes poker, plenty to suggest the Kennedy's used it as much as K to further their political goals. If those missiles had ever been installed rather than turned around at sea Le May would have gotten his way and hit the sites probably with nuclear strikes and we would have had WWIII with the US goaded into first strike. But K knew all that, he was far from stupid, just left Cuba holding the baby.

Cuba hasn't really been communist for a long, long time, just why it didn't unilaterally tell Moscow to fuck off when the wall fell was also political, keeping the Castro's in power.

But it's such a useful bogeyman for Washington, perpetuated by turning Gitmo into a political prison outside of direct view.

Fucking pathetic and high time mainstream America woke up to it.

The Castros wont be there much longer, best prediction is for a more peaceful revolution and Cuba can go back to being just another nice Caribbean destination with a half-decent economy and considerable foreign affairs experience. They can even get some new cars, they were never stupid enough as to import Russian ones, the mob Caddys are still their preferred wheels :)

Of course just where the US is then going to put its political prisoners because Gitmo has become far more than just a hole to stuff captured terrorists into might be another matter :)

I hate to think how many vaccinations I've had. I do think the process has stopped many diseases in their tracks, the extinction of smallpox will one day be seen as one of medicine's greatest achievements and tuberculosis will probably follow. Chicken pox, whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, several others, so why is it taking so long to produce vaccines for these new viruses?

Rather notable that today Canada shipped a trial Ebola vaccine.

Cheers











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