Ebola Outbreak 2014
Thanks for mentioning this Wendy.
I've been doing a little reading these last couple of days and wondering if any of the "flu-like syndrome" (fever chills body aches) patients in the emergency department will turn out to have ebola.
From what I can gather, you can sit in the same room or ride the same bus with someone infected by ebola and not be at risk for infection. (Not spread via aerosol — the droplets released in a cough or sneeze.) However bodily secretions contain the virus including sweat, blood, semen, saliva. Those at risk: health care workers, family member holding a dying person or giving a bed bath, or those preparing the body of the deceased for funeral. [The virus can continue to live in secretions past the death of the patient.]
The cdc site summarizes
Because the natural reservoir of ebola viruses has not yet been proven, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers have hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal. (Don't eat uncooked monkey meat….)
When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others. These include:
- direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person
- exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions
The viruses that cause Ebola HF are often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with infectious secretions when caring for ill persons.
During outbreaks of Ebola HF, the disease can spread quickly within health care settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to ebola viruses can occur in health care settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves.
Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak.
…over at ZH. They're not always on point with the fine-grained details, but I've been getting enough info to have this on my radar.
Is this a new strain? How many infected at this point? NO, really — how many infected (I don't think the govs in question will be totally forthcoming with that info — nor am I convinced they're out ahead on this enough that they'd necessarily have a real handle on that number). What are the options for containing a serious breakout? Etc.
As the dark-humored folks in the comments section at ZH have been wondering: can the Fed print a cure for a massive Ebola outbreak?
Yet another developing story to keep an eye on. Glad I have the means to hole up for a month if need be…
Viva anyway — Sager
Trader talk: "Gun to the head, what's the trade when the first case of Ebola is detected in the US?"
I don't think the answer is "buy equities."
Measures taken to stop the spread in first world countries would hopefully work, but the added stress on our already-stressed world economy would probably end up wreaking all sorts of havoc.
I'm left to wonder if the strong buy seen in COMEX gold near the close was due to the Ebola news.
Me, I'm more in the mood for a water & food purchase.
Chris? Is this time for some research into the "US Government Response Plan for an Ebola Outbreak in the US?" Or am I just fear-mongering? The thing that got me taking this very seriously is the report of the known infected person running around loose in a major african city.
There's also the matter of the air traveler from Liberia that died in quarantine in Nigeria. We await test results to see if it was Ebola.
My brief research on infectious disease responses: quarantines of suspected/actual infected people, closure of public gatherings (schools, ball games, churches, etc), closure of mass transit systems, travel restrictions, travel suspensions.
to top it off the man who flew from Sierra Leone to Lagos, Nigeria, who collapsed in the airport has since died of what was confirmed to be Ebola.
Given an incubation period of as long as 3 weeks, that 40% of cases present as vomiting and diarrhea without the hemorrhagic aspect, and that it's transmissible by sweat, perhaps on door knobs and elevator buttons, is containment possible or already too late?
Am I correct in that Ebola previously killed on a much shorter timeline?
I seem to recall reading some medical publication that cited this as the reason that (at that time) no major outbreaks had sustained themselves.
Essentially, it taking people through the progression of illness to death to quickly for it to "creep" its way into society.
If that is the case, the longer incubation periods may indeed indicate that there is something different about the strain of Ebola making the rounds now, correct?
Shut the barn door – the horse may be gone.
One good thing is that I understand that the virus will probably mutate to a less violent form. It does not reproduce well, and makes errors that make it less virulent several generations down the line.
[quote=Wendy S. Delmater]
Shut the barn door – the horse may be gone.
Either way, just add it to the long stack of dominoes.
A side of this epidemic I had not heard of before: The epidemic is happening in a population without any basic knowledge or understanding of biological science. How would you explain viruses, bacteria, RNA, macrophages and inflammatory cytokines to someone who has never seen a microscope? They would think you were BSing them.
From zerohedge this morning:
1. [T]he female [Ebola] patient whose family broke her out of a hospital in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, and who had been on the loose of several days, leading to a nationwide hunt. [P]olice found her in the house of a healer. Her family refused to hand her over and a struggle ensued with police, who finally retrieved her and sent her to hospital, he said. "She died in the ambulance on the way to another hospital," Sisi said.
2. What is making things worse and is hindering the containment is that fear and mistrust of health workers in Sierra Leone, where many have more faith in traditional medicine. And over the past few days, this has culminated in crowds gathered outside clinics and hospitals to protest against what they see as a conspiracy, in some cases clashing with police as they threatened to burn down the buildings and remove the patients.
Thousands had gathered outside the [the country's main Ebola hospital in Kenema] the day before, threatening to burn it down and remove the patients. Residents said police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds and that a 9-year-old boy was shot in the leg by a police bullet. …A former nurse who had told a crowd at a nearby fish market that "Ebola was unreal and a gimmick aimed at carrying out cannibalistic rituals"….. He said calm had been restored to Kenema on Saturday, adding that a strong armed police presence was in place around the clinic and the local police station.
3. A 33-year-old US doctor working for relief organization … in Liberia was the latest to test positive for the disease on Saturday. (Dr. Kent Brantly, on the right)
I'll bet this brings Ebola into American households.
Is everyone prepared to stay home for a month??
I'm a big fan of google trends to chart a story's "penetration" into the mainstream population's attention zone. I did that with bitcoin, and it seemed to align pretty closely with price movements.
Here's a link to "google trends ebola" – I was fascinated to see particularly the "regional focus" section only had hits for the African countries directly affected by the virus. The US didn't even appear on the list!
At least according to google, ebola is not on the radar screen of anyone outside Africa. At least, as of last week.
At some point after the first case in America appears, the coverage will flip from "totally asleep" to "24/7 Ebola" coverage. CNN will go nuts. "OUTBREAK AMERICA". There just doesn't seem to be any middle ground.
I like sand_puppy's question. Are you prepared to stay home for a month? That's what I concluded too.
Here's an article with a more positive note to it entitled: "I caught Ebola in Guinea and survived." Its not all roses though – once people realize you've had ebola, they tend to get nervous about physical contact.