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Ebola
Old 08-02-2014, 08:08 PM   #1
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Ebola

Anyone else deeply uncomfortable with the idiotic decision to bring known, infected Ebola patients into the US? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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I have no problem with the decision and if it were my son or daughter I would be very thankful. The US has the best medical system in the world. Who better to take a shot at trying to save their lives. A dollar to a donut, I'll bet they already have Ebola cultures/samples somewhere in the States.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:32 PM   #3
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You don't think flying a C130's worth of hospital equipment and personnel to the infection site would be a lot more judicious?
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #4
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I would guess that anything we could fly to Africa would be less capable than what we have installed here. If we want to get a handle on this disease and work up ways to defeat it, a fully equipped facility in the US seems to be the best way to ensure that we learn as much as humanly possible, regardless of the outcome for the patient.

And, no, I don't worry about it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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I'm not really worried about ebola spreading here because we bring back a patient on a specially equipped plane to a well equipped hospital. The fear should be the casual tourist traveling to the US from west Africa.

What could go wrong? Consider the recent news stories about the CDC exposing their staff to pathogens and finding old vials of pathogens in various research labs that they didn't know about.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:52 PM   #6
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From the news, Ebola only spreads by physical contact of bodily fluids. So the spacesuits should be safe. I'm sure the medical profession will learn a lot more about the virus with this experience.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Anyone else deeply uncomfortable with the idiotic decision to bring known, infected Ebola patients into the US? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
According to Wikipedia (granted, not the most esteemed of sources, but the easiest to find),
Quote:
Between 1976, when it was first identified, through 2013, fewer than 1,000 people a year have been infected
I share your concerns related to those ill with any contagious disease traveling; I would imagine that there is always a possibility of spreading that disease. However, after reading about it I admit that ebola doesn't sound nearly as contagious and scary as the news media would have us believe.

Not only that, but also it appears that the most stringent of public health measures are being taken, a sensible approach given the high mortality rate of those infected with Ebola.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:00 PM   #8
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People are very poor at imagining unexpected risks and unexpected outcomes. We THINK we know enough to contain the current Ebola strain, but several medical professionals taking every precaution and being acutely aware that they were needing to prevent infection, still managed to get infected. We do not properly account for the unknown unknowns.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #9
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Wow. I have some really high quality florida real estate you guys might want to consider buying...
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #10
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ebola doesn't sound nearly as contagious and scary as the news media would have us believe
Ebola is a lot more scary than you think. The low infection counts were strongly influenced by the remote and isolated places where previous outbreaks occurred and the fortunate circumstance of containing it before it reached cities. It has nothing to do with being difficult to transmit (it isn't) or not so dangerous (it can kill 90% of cases). It has everything to do with the high rate at which it kills or disables infected people, which limits opportunity to spread in remote areas. People that sick typically stay home to recover, but this time there are several reports of people panicking and travelling to "get away" instead of staying put to try to recover. WHO says it isn't contained yet and to expect a lot more cases.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:31 PM   #11
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And how does it help any of us to live in fear? The world is a dangerous place, and we will all die eventually. I prefer to enjoy my life until that happens. Then, I won't care anymore, because I'll be dead.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:33 PM   #12
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Anyone else deeply uncomfortable with the idiotic decision to bring known, infected Ebola patients into the US? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
To be honest, when I first heard of it, I was thinking the same thing. Why on earth do we want to bring some Ebola infected immigrant here so that they can spread that disease here.

But when I saw they were Americans, just wanting to get home for our health care, I was OK with it. If I was there I would want to take a chance of getting cured here, and worst case die among family (in rubber suits).

Ebola is spread via bodily fluids. If it took hold here in the cities, it would be a disaster. But the odds of someone getting it here, unless they are eating gorilla meat, is almost nil.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:39 PM   #13
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And how does it help any of us to live in fear?
Come, come now Sherman. Fear is a very helpful reaction. Makes us think. Makes us defend ourselves instead of just being subject to the whip and whim and fate. Lack of appropriate fear is what got that Siegfried and Roy guy's head almost bit off

In 2 or 3 years I expect we'll all be exhorted to get an ebola vaccination. It will be safe and "may reduce the risk" of ebola.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:40 PM   #14
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Lassa fever and MERS are worse (more easily transmitted, with significant fatalities), and we've already seen those in walk-ins within the US, in Minnesota, Indiana, and Florida.

Walk-ins. Not flown here in isolation gear within a containment environment.

The Ebola virus has been in the US before. Subtypes Reston and Ebola have been brought in in 1989, 1990, and 1996 to facilities in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and twice in Texas, via monkeys from the Philippines. Four humans developed antibodies but did not get sick.

Jahrling PB, Geisbert TW, Dalgard DW, et al. Preliminary report: isolation of Ebola virus from monkeys imported to USA. Lancet. 1990;335(8688):502-505.
Centers for Disease Control. Update: Filovirus infection in animal handlers. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report. 1990;39(13):221.
Rollin PE, Williams J, Bressler D, et al. Isolated cases of Ebola (subtype Reston) virus among quarantined non-human primates recently imported from the Philippines to the United States. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1999;179 (suppl 1):S108-S114.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:51 PM   #15
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I found this article interesting:

Who Invited Ebola to Atlanta? - Bloomberg View

I must admit I tend to share brewer's concern.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:54 PM   #16
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Or I suppose we can all just listen to the noted infectious disease expert, Herr Doctor Professor Donald Trump. (Caution: link contains Crazy!)

Even The Donald isn't at risk, unless he's swapping fluids with the infected, or engaging in funeral practices such as carefully washing the bodies of deceased victims, including bodily orifices, by hand.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:01 PM   #17
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Or I suppose we can all just listen to the noted infectious disease expert, Herr Doctor Professor Donald Trump. (Caution: link contains Crazy!)

Even The Donald isn't at risk, unless he's swapping fluids with the infected, or engaging in funeral practices such as carefully washing the bodies of deceased victims, including bodily orifices, by hand.
Or we could accept the assurances of the CDC, which mistakenly shipped out live anthrax cultures to researchers and belatedly discovered that it had allowed smallpox cultures to reside in an unguarded college lab (oops!).
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:03 PM   #18
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Isn't The Donald already a germaphobe from the start?
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:04 PM   #19
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Or we could accept the assurances of the CDC, which mistakenly shipped out live anthrax cultures to researchers and belatedly discovered that it had allowed smallpox cultures to reside in an unguarded college lab (oops!).
Good point.

I suppose all we can really do is save the last round for ourselves.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:05 PM   #20
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Come, come now Sherman. Fear is a very helpful reaction. Makes us think. Makes us defend ourselves instead of just being subject to the whip and whim and fate. Lack of appropriate fear is what got that Siegfried and Roy guy's head almost bit off

In 2 or 3 years I expect we'll all be exhorted to get an ebola vaccination. It will be safe and "may reduce the risk" of ebola.
Careful preparation is one thing. Fear is quite another. Long ago, when I was a young man, I was a US Navy submariner. We spent months at a time cruising several hundred feet underwater in a boat designed to sink. If we had a large enough leak, we would die. Consequently, we spent a substantial amount of time and effort preparing ourselves for the time when that leak inevitably came. We had established procedures and assignments to combat the flooding, and we would do our best to survive. But every single sailor who ever went on the submarine knew that there may come a time when all our efforts would be for naught and we would be unable to keep the water out and we would die. We lived with that fact, day in and day out. But we did not fear, because fear paralyzes a person and makes him or her irrational. Preparation is helpful. Fear is not helpful at all.

From one of my favorite science fiction novels:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert
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