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  #1  
Old 31 March 2014, 03:21 AM
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Icon81 2 cases of deadly Ebola virus confirmed in Liberia

Liberia’s health minister says two patients have tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, which is already believed to have killed at least 70 people in neighboring Guinea.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...7af_story.html
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  #2  
Old 31 March 2014, 04:03 AM
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This disease is a particular phobia of mine, I've been watching it for days now. Usually the fact that the infection is days from the nearest airport keeps me calm during outbreaks. This one is only a few hours drive from an airport with international connections and it's taking a lot for me to not barricade myself in the house. Rationally, I know that's stupid but this scares me more than any other disease in the world.
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Old 31 March 2014, 04:47 AM
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Given the way in which it spreads, I don't think a breakout in the US is likely to ever occur, and if it did I think we'd be able to contain it fairly easily.
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Old 31 March 2014, 04:56 AM
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You sound like my husband. He advised me to avoid making out with strangers on the bus and I'd probably be fine.
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Old 31 March 2014, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Given the way in which it spreads, I don't think a breakout in the US is likely to ever occur, and if it did I think we'd be able to contain it fairly easily.
If you read The Hot Zone, you might be a bit more worried. It recounts the story of Ebola going airborne. A version of Ebola was found in macaques in a facility in Reston, VA. It had mutated into a species that was infectious via airborne transmission. Luckily in that case, the mutation also made it not very dangerous to humans.

Ebola itself can be transmitted via airborne transmission as well, but it isn't an efficient means of transmission. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...ay-go-airborne. But it's certainly possible that it could mutate to become more pathogenic through the air.
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Old 31 March 2014, 05:21 AM
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Eh, if I worried about all the lethal mutations that pathogens could potentially develop, I'd lock myself in my room and only eat things that had been sterilized with UV light.

Ebola's a terrifying disease, but I'm more worried about coming down with a serious MRSA infection.
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Old 31 March 2014, 05:40 AM
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I'm not saying you should panic about it. Just that airborne transmission isn't off the table for Ebola.
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Old 01 April 2014, 05:19 PM
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The Washington Post yesterday put up this great infographic: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/pag...in-africa/904/

For context, the 122 cases so far in this outbreak compares with 425 cases in the 2000-2001 Uganda outbreak, which (according to this) was the worst outbreak on record. The current outbreak is the worst since 2007 in Democratic Republic of Congo, with 264 cases. This year's outbreak is unprecedented in its distribution, but so far not in number of victims.

This news report says this is the 23rd outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976.

I didn't realize that the Soviet Union had turned ebola into a bioweapon.

I think research for ebola treatments should be a higher priority. Because it has so far only affected poor African countries, it hasn't been earnestly pursued.
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Old 02 April 2014, 04:24 AM
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By the way, ebola's definitely not something to panic about. Measles kills around 164,000 people each year, and malaria kills 627,000. They kill people every day. That's something to worry about.

Ebola is a disease where we can go years without a single human infection. Malaria's a disease where there's never been a single year without a human infection.
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Old 02 April 2014, 04:28 AM
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That's the problem with irrational phobias. Everyone thinks the way to get rid of them is to replace them with rational ones. Now, where did I put my MRSA suit...
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Old 05 April 2014, 04:39 PM
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I was reading about this again and had seen some claims that ebola Zaire was the deadliest disease in the world with a ~90% fatality rate. So I did some Googling and found that rabies has a virtually 100% fatality rate. The CDC says that only 10 people have ever been known to survive. The main way to get rabies in the U.S. these days is through bats, and it's exceedingly rare even then.

Our country has been free of the canine-specific version of rabies since 2007, but we still have to vaccinate our pets against rabies because it's possible for them to get the general rabies virus from wildlife.
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  #12  
Old 05 April 2014, 05:02 PM
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Yeah, the reading I've done on it said that only rabies is more lethal. Some of the accounts of the first known outbreaks of Ebola Zaire are terrifying in how completely they wiped out villages, and eventually also a lot of healthcare workers as well.
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  #13  
Old 01 August 2014, 03:27 PM
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Ironically, it's the rapid-fire wiping out of entire villages that makes Ebola less of a threat. People get so sick so fast after they become contagious that it doesn't spread very efficiently.
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Old 01 August 2014, 05:24 PM
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I'm sure there are much bigger worries I should have but this http://news.msn.com/us/ebola-patient...health-worsens scares the pants off of me.
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  #15  
Old 01 August 2014, 05:31 PM
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The scary things about Ebola, I think, are several:

(1) We don't know where it comes from - the host animal has never been identified. It's generally theorized that the index patients probably are infected by animal bites (probably monkeys) but never actually proven.

(2) It kills in a particularly gruesome fashion, very quickly, and there's no known effective treatment. Of course, the fact that it kills rapidly is another reason it doesn't spread further - victims don't usually have time to infect many others.

(3) The early symptoms are essentially flu-like (fever, muscle aches). This both means that there's a good chance you won't realize at first that it's serious, and also makes it easy to imagine you might have it when you've actually just got a cold.

Rabies may be more fatal, but the method of transmission and the host animals are well known, and there is a treatment. You get bitten by an animal that might be infected, you go get the shots - one of the reasons the fatalities are few. And of course we can protect our pets from becoming carriers.

So, no, if I were setting odds on how I'm likely to die, Ebola would be pretty low on the list. Rationally, I should be worried much more about heart disease, cancer, stroke, accident, murder, choking to death, falling down the stairs, any number of things. But viscerally, yeah, it's nasty.

We really need to put more research into viral diseases in general. While we can vaccinate for many of them, we can't cure any of them, as far as I know.
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Old 02 August 2014, 02:58 AM
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One of the things that bugs me is hearing talk of how the rural health workers are treating ebola victims without access to running water, antiseptics, gloves or face masks.

Seems to me, if the rest of the world is so keen to see this outbreak contained, we should ship over a bunch of basic tools to help beat cross contamination between infected and potentially exposed patients.

Better to stop it there than here....
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Old 02 August 2014, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marrya View Post
One of the things that bugs me is hearing talk of how the rural health workers are treating ebola victims without access to running water, antiseptics, gloves or face masks.

Seems to me, if the rest of the world is so keen to see this outbreak contained, we should ship over a bunch of basic tools to help beat cross contamination between infected and potentially exposed patients.

Better to stop it there than here....
Sadly at least part of the problem is the misguided promotion of 'alternative medicine' as the cure for Africa's ills, this 2012 podcast includes a letter from a volunteer in Uganda describing how they operate on the 'smell of an oily rag' while well funded groups study how homeopathy can be used to cure AIDS.

http://www.pusware.com/quackcast/quackcast86.mp3

The full letter is quoted on the archive page:

http://edgydoc.com/references/
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  #18  
Old 02 August 2014, 03:18 PM
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Overseas aid is a highly unpopular political proposition. Even otherwise rational people get het up about us sending millions overseas when people are going without here.
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Old 02 August 2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Overseas aid is a highly unpopular political proposition. Even otherwise rational people get het up about us sending millions overseas when people are going without here.
Although those same people are the same ones who than get butt-hurt about phantom "welfare Moms" driving Cadillacs to buy groceries with their foodstamps. Also they think that nonmilitary foreign aid is some huge chunk of the budget when it's really fractions of a penny per dollar.
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  #20  
Old 02 August 2014, 04:08 PM
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Some do. I think the number of people who resent foreign aid is bigger than that; as I said, it included the otherwise rational.
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