Ebola

Friends,

Have you noticed the news is causing fear about Ebola?

Well, Twitter, like Wiki, is adding fuel to the flame.

How bad is Ebola? Do you remember the last real epidemic? SARS? Well Ebola is worse than SARS was.

Some will try to use the R(naught) modeling tool. That model says SARS may be worse. R(4) compared to an official R(1.8).

I do doubt the low R(1.8), but it is a modeling tool. It does not tell us the true ‘virulence’ of the disease. Patient numbers within a general population tell us that.

Over a similar time period, SARS infected 8100 people, Ebola has infected 15,000. At this stage of the SARS epidemic, SARS ceased. Stopped. And there have been no more cases. Ebola has not started slowing down, yet.

The targeted populations are also different. SARS hit cities in China. Those cities were better prepared. Ebola has devastated villages and cities in western Africa. They were not prepared. But, SARS spread within a much larger and denser population.

SARS had a 9.5% fatality rate. This epidemic of Ebola is around 50%.

It is difficult to compare diseases. But, I would say Ebola is much more dangerous than SARS, and it seems easier to catch.

Will you change your life because of Ebola?

Wayne

Ebola.

SARS.

Stopping the Ebola pandemic.

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About Wayne

First, I blogged on blogger, then Myspace - soon I was consistently ranked. Next, I quit. Then the blogging addiction came back .... Comments are appreciated. Not nice comments are edited. You can follow me at the top right.
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4 Responses to Ebola

  1. Lately on my blog I’ve been trying to call attention to the churning out of fear by the media; fear that ISIS is on our doorstep, fear that our personal hygiene (or lack thereof) will offend others around us to the point that we become easily manipulated to by certain products, fear of Ebola. Fear is tossed our way constantly each day. Fear of being politically correct and not being label as a racist.. fear of oil prices going up… fear of running out of gas and not getting to work… the fears are endless. We are letting fear itself be a fear. As FDR said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. I think this Ebola thing is yet another event being blown way out of proportion to the facts. The latest stats I saw on CNN show Ebola as having a 50% mortality rate in Africa… and here in the U.S., so far, is zero. Common sense suggests a couple things. The U.S. has yet to experience the numbers of those infected as in Africa so we don’t yet have a wide sampling of victims with deficient immune systems at the outset. But also… in the U.S. the patient gets intensive medical care generally not available in Africa. This care for the most part is IV administered fluids to replace those lost, tending to the symptoms of the disease as they appear, and treating any infections that may arise through monitoring vital body functions. As I write this the fellow in Texas has taken a turn for the worse but so did the others who were treated here, before they got better. If the gentleman in Texas succumbs to the disease then it’s likely more due to his own immune system not being able to withstand the Ebola onslaught to his body in spite of the intensive treatment.

    Also.. this disease is actually not all that easy to get if you take basic precautions, like SARS. It’s not transmitted in the air, food supply, or water. Simple cleanup, hand washing, and wearing protection when around others who have the disease. I gotta tell ya, when I think of an epidemic I am thinking like the Black Plague that hit Europe in the Middle Ages, some apocalyptic people-dropping-in-the-streets virus that’s spreads in the air or with casual contact, like in the movies “Outbreak” or “Contagion”. I tend to think the average cold/flu virus kills more people worldwide in a year than Ebola has. Yes, the CDC wants to find the reservoir that keeps feeding this spread and along with other health organizations there is the international alarm about getting quality care care and equipment to Africa quickly. If Africa is such a festering cauldron of any possible numbers of diseases, known and yet to be discovered, that could become apocalyptic scenarios, then even on a good day there should be an international effort to help out those folks because it helps us all out in the long run. But for now we truly don’t need to fear this Ebola thing as the potential demise of mankind or even coming to a neighborhood near you.

    • Wayne says:

      Doug,

      Than you for a Great Comment.

      Fear motivates the media more than anything else.

      But, the one thing about Ebola that does not make sense to me is: “Why don’t we close the borders to Africa for a couple of months?”

      Wayne

      • That is a very good question and one I would be curious to hear about as well. One has to presume that isolating a country has likely been taken into consideration in the various CDC containment scenarios. But this day and age I dunno if it’s even practical. The only thing one could do is stop air travel out of the country to some degree. By that I mean, people all over the world take connecting flights. This means a flight from London my appear to be “safe” but it could harbor travelers from Africa who arrived in London on various connecting flights. Do you stop travelers with passports from those African countries? If so, where do you put them? Would it be practical to stop all flights out of a country? Would it be a containment process that would work? I don’t know, to be honest. It would certainly delay the spread. Land travel could not be stopped because borders are porous. There are a lot of questions. If I hear or read anything I’ll share it.

      • Wayne says:

        Thank you.

        Delaying the spread does several things.

        First, it contains the current risk.

        Second, it allows time to develop safety protocols that actually work.

        Third, it gives time to develop vaccines and medical treatments that work.

        Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it allows the disease time to die out naturally.

        Simple US Army doctrine.

        What do you think?

        Wayne

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