Saturday, October 11, 2014

It Is So Bloody Scary Though.

After years of incidents of random deaths from Ebola in parts of central Africa, the world is watching  the current spread of this disease that has raised alarm to extreme heights.

A book written  in the last decade of the 20th century by Tom Clancy, Executive Order, both added to the fear factor and hinted at the obstacle to wide and fast spread of the viral infection that has quite dramatic symptoms as the end stage.
Ebola starts out as a flue like malady with very low infectious capability after an incubation of up to  three weeks.
The last days of the disease have horrific symptoms of bleeding from the dying body and that is when the maximum infectious stage is reached when any contact with the discharge is almost certain to lead to infection spread.

In Clancy's book converting the spread from fluid contact to an aerosol configuration was a significant thread of the plot to enable its use as a weapon.
That ability could still evolve naturally as the virus mutates.

However we still have an innate protection in its present form but only by strict total observation of serious management systems.

Most developed countries with a regime of safety built into patient contact are well equipped to resist an outbreak, however as with  the Nurse at present in quarantine on the Australian Gold coast, careless wiping of a contaminated protective glove on unprotected skin has the potential to end badly.
During my recent "other life" since retirement. primary medical care has put in place systems to protect its staff from Bird flue, SARS, HIV, Hepatitus and other potential lethal infectious diseases that with Air Travel can explode exponentially at any time into endemic and pandemic outbreaks.
In the chaotic ending of WW1 "Spanish Flue" swept the globe killing people in greater numbers than the Great War had,  even with its move to industrial slaughter.
Troops returning home to all parts of the globe from Europe took that mutated deadly flue virus with them on ships and although some ships were quarantined to prevent the spread such moves only slowed its progress.
The pandemic enveloped  almost the entire world population causing very fit and healthy victims to die in numbers unknown since the Plague.

Ebola in its present form has nothing like the ability to spread that the many mutations of influenza possess.
When a traveller lies to evade basic control systems of course such an act of stupidity can have devastating outcome as with the idiot Duncan who died in a Texas Hospital from Ebola but afaik his infection has not led to any further exposure but it could still happen with the quite long incubation period.

Health volunteers will still wish to go to Sierra Leone and other infected zones and good on them, it is the only humanitarian response that will lead to relief and control.
 Just shutting a gate is not what many will wish to embrace however some will make such calls.
However intensive monitoring of movement and in particular air travel coupled with basic precautions will control the spread with the  desire of many to help and bring relief but dishonest responses to basic protocols can lead to an unravelling that will only add to the fear factor.

More than 8 times as many  people died on US roads last year than have died in this very serious Ebola event so far.
Current annual world malaria related deaths run at 150 times the 4000 deaths counted so far in the current Ebola crisis, 627 000 dead in 2012.

As my late Dad said more than once in response to deaths of farm animals "where there are live ones there will be dead ones".

Just as the first casualty of war is truth, with an event such as this the first big casualty numbers will be from  fear, much of it irrational.


Marc said...

I admire the courage of volunteers who have gone to West Africa to help these poverty stricken countries manage this disease. However, it would be MUCH cheaper and SAFER if the UN would set up a quarantine base in each affected country where these volunteers or other people who have been in contact with the diseased patients could wait out for 3 weeks before departing home. One hotel in each international departure city could be designated, and all that would be required would be a check out when the clearance time was met symptom free. The cost and inconvenience for this would be negligable when you consider what has already happened in Australia, USA, and UK. Why do we have such a useless international organisation as the UN - no leadreship and no clue would be my guess. God it is so obvious, but then, they do have egos to massage.

Anonymous said...

FLU for fuck's sake.

Jamie said...

I used to think people like Bill and Melinder Gates would have the guns and ammunition to lead the charge on something like this.

Used to....

Jamie said...

Scene from Platoon

{Chaos and confusion reigns, fear panic and death is near, the fog of war}

Sgt. Barnes: [To CDC/Barack Hussein Obama]

You ignorant asshole!!!
What the fuck coordinates you giving???
You wasted a lot of people up there with your fucked-up pandemic response!!!

You know that???
You know that???

....Ah, shit!!!

Sgt. Barnes: Y'all take a good look at this lump of shit. Remember what it looks like.
You fuck up in a pandemic and I goddamn guarantee you a trip out of the bush in a body bag!!!
Out here, assholes, you keep your shit wired tight at all times!!!

[To 'the keep calm crowd']

Sgt. Barnes: And that goes for you, shit-for-brains. You don't run your mouth on no fucking ebola-pandemic!!!

[To CDC/US Govt]

Sgt. Barnes: And the next son of a bitch I catch copping "Z"s in the bush, I'm personally gonna take an interest in seeing him suffer.

I shit you not....

Gravedodger, tag em and bag em