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My nightmares are becoming realities.

I am a biologist (semi-retired) with training in virology.  My Ph.D. thesis concerned a retrovirus (Moloney murine leukemia virus) with a lot of similarities to HIV, although I did my thesis defense a decade before HIV was recognized.

The path of my research diverged to other things, but I have always kept an interest in viruses. Viruses, it seems to me, are the biggest threat to mankind, because they use our own cellular machinery against us.  We have antibiotics to protect us against most bacterial infections, but anti-viral medicines that actually work are few, and viral evolution is very rapid.  Viruses that have RNA genomes (HIV, Flu, Ebola) evolve even more rapidly because RNA polymerases or reverse transcriptases, in general, are more error prone than DNA polymerases.

Besides science and teaching, I have done some science writing, including publishing a book on nanotechnology.  I have also written a novel (The Latter Day Adventures of Luis and Clark), so far unpublished.  The premise of the novel is that a vaccine against HIV goes awry.  The idea was to use an aerosol delivered flu virus to deliver an HIV protein, to which people would make antibodies.  An unfortunate recombination event occurred resulting in an active respiratory HIV virus with the rapid action of a flu virus.  Most of the people in the world died.  The survivors were 99%+ male. Survival was unfortunate for most of the females.

The Ebola virus outbreak, while probably over-hyped in its threat the West, is a serious threat not only to Africa, but basically anywhere that medical care is sub-standard.  Like previous outbreaks, this one probably started with animal to human transmission, but human to human infection seems to be much more effective than previously, possibly because of higher population density. And similar to my fictional  work, 75% of the infected are female. This is not a quirk of the virus, but a result of cultural practices, wherein females are usually the caregivers.  In this case, Africa is not unlike the rest of the world.

Why things just got worse below the elaborate orange squiggle.

The current Ebola epidemic is thought to have started in Guinea with a toddler who became infected in December of last year. Guinea is in West Africa whereas all previous epidemics have been in East Africa.  And how does a child become infected?  Current thinking is that the animal reservoir of Ebola is fruit bats.  But fruit bats don't bite children and children don't slaughter fruit bats, so the actual transmission is a mystery.  I will offer a theory:  The virus is emitted in essentially all secretions, of which saliva is one.  The child ate fruit that a bat had taken a bite out of.  West African nations have all prohibited sales of bush meat.  But how do you prohibit the consumption of fruit in an area where most people are undernourished?

In the current epidemic, Ebola has so far killed over 1300 people out of 2500 people infected.  It is different than all other previous epidemics because, for the first time, Ebola is in the cities.  Liberia has quarantined a huge slum called West Point (population 50,000-75,000)  in its capital city of Monrovia because of the incidence of Ebola.  Armed soldiers have prevented people from leaving or entering the area.  Three people were injured in a confrontation with police, at least one of whom has died.  So huge numbers of people are now imprisoned in a plague village without access to food or water.  Most people relieve themselves on the beach, which barefoot children use as their playground.  I have seen videos where relief workers are throwing baggies of drinking water over the barbwire.  This is many times worse than Abert Camus imagined in his classic The Plague (Le Peste).

In the last few days, news broke that an ebola-like disease had emerged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  This was originally described as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, a disease not usually seen in human beings.  The number of deaths was variously put at 10, 13, or 70, depending upon the source.

Today, theDRC has admitted that at least two of blood samples submitted were positive for Ebola.  The region of the Congo that has seen this outbreak is where Ebola was first isolated in 1976.

The link between the Congo outbreaks and the West African outbreaks is unclear.  But it now appears that we have essentially a pan-African epidemic with cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and the DRC.

Just to make matters worse there are concurrent epidemics of cholera in Ghana and meningitis in Nigeria, with deaths in excess of those from Ebola.

Update

Hate to get a recommended diary on such a depressing topic, but thanks anyway.

Steve

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (415+ / 0-)

    No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

    by MadScientist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:57:23 PM PDT

  •  Small point (25+ / 0-)
    Guinea is in West Africa whereas all previous epidemics have been in East Africa.
    Aside from the Sudan, and the last "major" outbreak was about 40 years ago, there haven't been any Ebola outbreaks in East Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, etc)

    Unless you are counting Uganda as E. Africa?  Zaire is central sub-saharan Africa, the Congo and Gabon are on the West Coast and the Ivory Coast (which had an outbreak in 1994) actually borders Ghana, Guinea, Mali and Liberia (all current outbreak countries).

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:25:39 PM PDT

    •  I think that you would have to count (32+ / 0-)

      Uganda as East Africa.  But my point, really, was to separate the current outbreak from the rest of Africa, which has been definitely to the east.  DRC, Gabon, Uganda, etc.

      No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

      by MadScientist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitely (17+ / 0-)
        EAC

        The East African Community (EAC) is  the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda,  the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi and Republic of Rwanda  with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

        http://www.eac.int

        I ♥ rock crushers.

        by fly on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:16:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ebola can be spread through airborne means (22+ / 0-)

        No, not like the flu but through airborne water air droplets and while they don't go as far as the flu virus... they sometimes can go far enough.

        Additionally, the transmission is from animals to humans and animal to human viral transmission has been well documented... but not airborne transmission.

        I've been sitting on this information for sometime now as to not contribute to the media induced Ebola frenzy and not wanting to deal with the science deniers out there who are just masking their fear with passionate denials.

        While WHO and CDC spokes persons have been all over the tube saying it can't be spread through airborne means... the research says otherwise. Sorry Dr. Sanjay Gupta... but your information is not correct.

        Doctors Without Borders recently called WHO to task for drastically understating the seriousness of the out break and reporting that they were out of field staff to dispatch to infection zones.

        Could Ebola now be airborne? New research shows lethal virus can be spread from pigs to monkeys without contact
        Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg deliberately infected six piglets with the ebola virus and put them in pens where macaque monkeys were housed in wire cages. Within eight days all four monkeys caught the virus through indirect contact, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

        Dr Gary Kobinger from the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada took part in the study. He told BBC News that they suspect that large droplets of moisture containing the virus were being exhaled with the piglets' breath.

        'They can stay in the air, but not long, they don't go far,' he told the broadcaster. 'But they can be absorbed in the airway and this is how the infection starts, and this is what we think, because we saw a lot of evidence in the lungs of the non-human primates that the virus got in that way.'
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

        Here is the abstract of the published research:
        Transmission of Ebola virus from pigs to non-human primates.
        Abstract

        Ebola viruses (EBOV) cause often fatal hemorrhagic fever in several species of simian primates including human. While fruit bats are considered natural reservoir, involvement of other species in EBOV transmission is unclear. In 2009, Reston-EBOV was the first EBOV detected in swine with indicated transmission to humans. In-contact transmission of Zaire-EBOV (ZEBOV) between pigs was demonstrated experimentally. Here we show ZEBOV transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques without direct contact. Interestingly, transmission between macaques in similar housing conditions was never observed. Piglets inoculated oro-nasally with ZEBOV were transferred to the room housing macaques in an open inaccessible cage system. All macaques became infected. Infectious virus was detected in oro-nasal swabs of piglets, and in blood, swabs, and tissues of macaques. This is the first report of experimental interspecies virus transmission, with the macaques also used as a human surrogate. Our finding may influence prevention and control measures during EBOV outbreaks.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...
        Interestingly, epidemiologist in Saudi Arabia are beginning to suspect a similar mode of transmission for the MERS virus. They also suspected bats, as you have in your hypothesis, and here they are looking at air samples in a barn... a favorite roosting place for bats!
        Detection of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Genome in an Air Sample Originating from a Camel Barn Owned by an Infected Patient

        ABSTRACT

        Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel betacoronavirus that has been circulating in the Arabian Peninsula since 2012 and causing severe respiratory infections in humans. While bats were suggested to be involved in human MERS-CoV infections, a direct link between bats and MERS-CoV is uncertain. On the other hand, serological and virological data suggest dromedary camels as the potential animal reservoirs of MERS-CoV. Recently, we isolated MERS-CoV from a camel and its infected owner and provided evidence for the direct transmission of MERS-CoV from the infected camel to the patient. Here, we extend this work and show that identical MERS-CoV RNA fragments were detected in an air sample collected from the same barn that sheltered the infected camel in our previous study. These data indicate that the virus was circulating in this farm concurrently with its detection in the camel and in the patient, which warrants further investigations for the possible airborne transmission of MERS-CoV.
        http://mbio.asm.org/...

        •  There are some possible flaws with the pig (6+ / 0-)

          primate study that offer alternate explanations.  

          A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

          by d3clark on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:08:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's hear 'em then... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Kathy Scheidel, sockpuppet

            What are they? Inquiring minds want to know.

            •  This quote from the published paper gives (8+ / 0-)

              alternate possibilities.

              "The design and size of the animal cubicle did not allow to distinguish whether the transmission was by aerosol, small or large droplets in the air, or droplets created during floor cleaning which landed inside the NHP cages (fomites)." Emphasis mine.

              So the researchers, in evaluating their own work, explain that they can't conclude that Ebola was transmitted via direct airborne exchange from piglet to macaque.

              Also, pigs, unlike other animals tested, produce large numbers of Ebola virions in their respiratory secretions and pigs, unlike other mammals can secrete large droplets that can be expelled from their respiratory tract. Large droplet transmission is different from airborne transmission.  These large droplets could have landed on the macaques' cages, in their food, directly to their conjunctivae or other mucous membranes, or even on the macaques themselves and caused the infection.  From the study: " . . . pigs can generate infectious short range large aerosol droplets more efficiently then other species."

              Again, the authors state that there is another method, different from airborne transmission, that may be at work.

              So, multiple methods of transmission other than airborne are possible.  The pathophysiology in pigs is different from other species and may favor large droplet transmission (different from airborne.)  

              A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

              by d3clark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:27:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Question D3clark (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sunspots, sockpuppet, Flint

                You wrote:

                "The design and size of the animal cubicle did not allow to distinguish whether the transmission was by aerosol, small or large droplets in the air, or droplets created during floor cleaning which landed inside the NHP cages (fomites)." Emphasis mine.

                So the researchers, in evaluating their own work, explain that they can't conclude that Ebola was transmitted via direct airborne exchange from piglet to macaque.

                The droplets got into the cages...That may not be "direct" as scientifically determined....but what matters to me, a non scientist is, it WAS spread...from pigs to monkeys without physical contact.
                •  No, I didn't write that. That's a direct quote (7+ / 0-)

                  from the article.  

                  And, no, there was physical contact.  Just as the author of this post stated his hypothesis.  Saliva from the fruit bat on a piece of partially eaten fruit, later eaten by the child.  The bat and child were nowhere near each other (if the spread occurred like that.)   If the piglets' waste splashed the bars of the macaques' cages, and the macaques touched the fluid and infected themselves, there WAS physical contact.  The animals never touched, secretions and mucous membranes made contact.  Humans don't have to touch to spread Ebola, they can, but it's not required.

                  A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

                  by d3clark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:24:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is not what the article said... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sockpuppet
                    And, no, there was physical contact.  Just as the author of this post stated his hypothesis.  
                    Dr. Kobinger and his team came to the conclusion, "Our findings support the hypothesis that airborne transmission may contribute to ZEBOV spread, specifically from pigs to primates, and may need to be considered in assessing transmission from animals to humans in general."

                    He did acknowledge that there MAY have been cross contamination, but never said there WAS cross contamination and physical contact.

                    Further, he went on to reference the definitive study on the subject that was done in 1995... and I have provided links to all the studies so they can be read in context!

                    •  You misread my reply. (0+ / 0-)

                      My reply was about what the author of THIS POST said as a proposed mechanism of how the index case got Ebola.  My reply here had nothing to do with the research article you're talking about.

                      A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

                      by d3clark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:00:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  If this were the only airborne Ebola study... but (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sockpuppet, KayCeSF

                It isn't the only study indicating airborne transmission of Ebola and even the CDC warns about it. I'll come back to this in a minute, but first let's return to Dr. Kobinger's study:

                Transmission of Ebola virus from pigs to non-human primates
                Discussion:

                It is of interest, that the first macaques to become infected were housed in cages located directly within the main airflow to the air exhaust system. The experimental setting of the present study could not quantify the relative contribution of aerosol, small and large droplets in the air, and droplets landing inside the NHP cages (fomites) to EBOV transmission between pigs and macaques. These parameters will need to be investigated using an experimental approach specifically designed to address this question.

                The present study provides evidence that infected pigs can efficiently transmit ZEBOV to NHPs in conditions resembling farm setting. Our findings support the hypothesis that airborne transmission may contribute to ZEBOV spread, specifically from pigs to primates, and may need to be considered in assessing transmission from animals to humans in general. The present experimental findings would explain REBOV seropositivity of pig farmers in Philippines2, 3 that were not involved in slaughtering or had no known contact with contaminated pig tissues. The results of this study also raise a possibility that wild or domestic pigs may be a natural (non-reservoir) host for EBOV participating in the EBOV transmission to other species in sub-Saharan Africa.

                http://www.nature.com/...

                Dr. Kobinger and his team came to the conclusion, "Our findings support the hypothesis that airborne transmission may contribute to ZEBOV spread, specifically from pigs to primates, and may need to be considered in assessing transmission from animals to humans in general."

                They acknowledged that there may have been alternate methods of transmission, but were supporting what has been called "The definitive study on Ebola airborne transmission" which was done in 1995 and meticulous experimental design protocols were maintained. .

                Lethal experimental infections Of rhesus monkeys by aerosolized Ebola virus

                Summary.The potential of aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head only exposure aerosol system. Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2,um were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days. The illness was clinically identical to that reported for parenteral virus inoculation, except for the occurrence of subcutaneous and venipuncture site bleeding and serosanguineous nasal discharge. Immunocytochemistry revealed cell-associated Ebola virus antigens present in airway epithelium, alveolar pneumocytes, and Inacrophages in the lung and pulmonary lymph nodes; extracellular antigen was present on mucosal surfaces of the nose, oropharynx and airways. Aggregates of characteristic filamentous virus were present within type I pneumocytes, macrophages, and air spaces of the lung by electron microscopy. Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                When you have been in Health care long enough, you learn that there is a big difference between what the CDC says to the public at large and what they say to the professional health care community.
                Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
                Early recognition is critical for infection control. Health care providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients suspected of having Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

                Exposure Risk Levels
                Levels of exposure risk are defined as follows:

                High risk exposures
                A high risk exposure includes any of the following:
                Percutaneous (e.g., needle stick) or mucous membrane exposure to blood or body fluids of EVD patient
                Direct skin contact with, or exposure to blood or body fluids of, an EVD patient without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

                Processing blood or body fluids of a confirmed EVD patient without appropriate PPE or standard biosafety precautions
                Direct contact with a dead body without appropriate PPE in a country where an EVD outbreak is occurring*

                Low1 risk exposures
                A low risk exposure includes any of the following
                Household contact with an EVD patient

                Other close contact with EVD patients in health care facilities or community settings. Close contact is defined as being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations)
                having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD case while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
                Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact
                http://www.cdc.gov/...

                So we are right back to what I originally posted,

                Ebola can be spread through airborne means

                No, not like the flu but through airborne water air droplets and while they don't go as far as the flu virus... they sometimes can go far enough

                •  From the study by Nancy Jaax, et al. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  realalaskan

                  that you cited:

                  " . . . aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head-only exposure system.  Virus containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 [micrometers] were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys."

                  In other words, the rhesus monkeys' respiratory mucosa was sprayed directly with a solution of virus particles.  That's quite different from what you're proposing as aerosol transmission.  This was a direct inoculation of mucosa with virus.  The monkeys didn't inhale ambient air that had Ebola floating in it.  

                  A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

                  by d3clark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:18:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you ever read the full articles you quote? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KayCeSF

                    They used a Henderson environmental box with a nebulizer, so they did inhale air that had Ebola droplets floating in it... and what is more they could precisely measure their size and test the number they chose to put in suspension.

                    Lethal experimental infections of rhesus monkeys by aerosolized Ebola virus

                    E. JOHNSON,  N. JA AX,  J. WHITE  AND  P. JAHRLING
                    United State Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, Maryland, USA

                    Aerosol exposure

                    Monkeys were anaesthetized with ketamine HCI (5 mg/ kg) for the aerosol exposure phase of the experiment. While anaesthetized, each monkey was placed in dorsal recumbency with its head extending through a rubber dam (designed to fit snugly around the neck without restricting ventilation)  into a 8000-cm3  exposure  box.
                    The monkey was placed in a gas tight, environment controlled Hazelton chamber (24°C and < 40% relative humidity) that contained a modified Henderson appara­tus  and a Collison  nebulizer  (Henderson  1952). The nebulizer, driven by compressed air at 20 PSI, gener­ated an aerosol flow rate of 16.51/min and disseminated the 25 ml of test solution at 0.35 ml/min. The  median mass  diameter  of  the  generated  aerosol  particles ranged  from  0.8 to  1.2 µm. The  aerosol  was  mixed automatically with a secondary 8.51/min air supply and circulated  through  the  exposure  box.  The  aerosol challenge  dose  was  determined  by  a  mid-exposure sample collected in an all-glass impinger calibrated to sample at a rate of 12.51/min. The aerosol specimen was impinged in supplemented  EMEM containing an anti­ foam emulsion. After a 10-minute exposure, the Hazel­ ton chamber was flushed with clean air and the virus contaminated contents exhausted through double HEPA • filters.

                    Discussion

                    This study demonstrates aerosol transmission of Ebola virus to non-human primates. Inhalation doses as low. as 400 PFU of virus caused a fatal illness clinically similar to that previously reported for monkeys infected by parenteral inoculation (Baskerville et al. 1978; Bowen et al. 1978; Fisher-Hoch et al. 1985). The illness was characterized by fever, anorexia and a petechial rash. Fibrin deposition and fibrin thrombi throughout the vascular system in all monkeys suggested that disseminated intravascular coagulation  (DIC)  may have also played a role in the clinical manifestations of Ebola virus infection. Our aerosol infectivity findings for Ebola virus support Dalgard's and Pokhodyaev's observations that suggested a role for aerosol transmission of filoviruses in monkeys.

          •  specifically? when it comes to dangerous diseases (6+ / 0-)

            .... the risks of false negative error (mistakenly rejecting a hypothesis) are worse than the risks of false positive error (mistakenly accepting a hypothesis).

            So if you have alternative hypotheses for the pig study, by all means let us know.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:00:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not my hypotheses, but those proposed by (9+ / 0-)

              the researchers who did the experiment themselves.

              A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

              by d3clark on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:29:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again... quote the whole article in context (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sockpuppet, KayCeSF
                Transmission of Ebola virus from pigs to non-human primates

                Under conditions of the current study, transmission of ZEBOV could have occurred either by inhalation (of aerosol or larger droplets), and/or droplet inoculation of eyes and mucosal surfaces and/or by fomites due to droplets generated during the cleaning of the room. Infection of all four macaques in an environment, preventing direct contact between the two species and between the macaques themselves, supports the concept of airborne transmission.

                It is of interest, that the first macaques to become infected were housed in cages located directly within the main airflow to the air exhaust system. The experimental setting of the present study could not quantify the relative contribution of aerosol, small and large droplets in the air, and droplets landing inside the NHP cages (fomites) to EBOV transmission between pigs and macaques. These parameters will need to be investigated using an experimental approach specifically designed to address this question.

                The present study provides evidence that infected pigs can efficiently transmit ZEBOV to NHPs in conditions resembling farm setting. Our findings support the hypothesis that airborne transmission may contribute to ZEBOV spread, specifically from pigs to primates, and may need to be considered in assessing transmission from animals to humans in general.

                http://www.nature.com/...

            •  tara smith has some too (5+ / 0-)

              link

              anyway, if ebola was airborne, everyone in conakry should be dead and dying by now.

              I encourage everyone to take a look at how Uganda handles periodic ebola outbreaks. They are very good. The short version is they don't panic, as authorities and the population in Liberia is doing now.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

              by terrypinder on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:45:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  my understanding of Ugandan outbreaks (which (7+ / 0-)

                may be flawed since I've read only a little about them) is that one reason they are limited is that the outbreaks occurred in discrete villages which could be isolated from other communities. The Ebola now in West Africa is urban and therefore it's almost impossible to keep it contained.
                One interesting thing -- maybe hopeful? -- is that the death rate in this outbreak, high though it is, is still lower than the death rate in previous outbreaks. That is, many many more people have died or are dying than in previous outbreaks, but the percentage of people dying is lower.
                In any case I find the whole topic both fascinating and horrifying. The horrifying part is not just the terrible deaths but also the fact that the people hit by this awful disease have no resources to fight it. Health workers are dying in huge numbers at least partially because they don't have the protective gear they need. (not only because of that however. I read recently that the famous, Sierra Leone doctor, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, was infected even though, according to his head nurse, he was scrupulously careful about protecting himself and apparently made sure others were also).
                http://www.nytimes.com/...

                While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

                by Tamar on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:16:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  education on ebola is big in uganda (5+ / 0-)

                  plus, they have a top-notch laboratory.

                  it probably also helps that Uganda, despite decades of war with itself and its neighbors, has a fairly intact and functional bureaucracy so that they can respond easily and quickly to outbreaks. This is lacking in Sierra Leone and Liberia, but it isn't in Nigeria.

                  Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

                  by terrypinder on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:41:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The discrepancy in mortality rate might be either (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tamar

                  from the different strain of virus or from better early interventions and treatment.

                  It has been documented that this outbreak is from a different strain, they've done the genome analysis.

                  WHO & Drs w/out Borders have both hypothesized that the earlier supportive treatment have been factors in the decreased mortality vs previous outbreaks.

                  Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                  ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                  by FarWestGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:47:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Have you seen this bad news? (4+ / 0-)

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        MONROVIA, Liberia — A Liberian doctor who was among three Africans to receive an experimental Ebola drug has died, the country’s information minister said Monday.

        Dr. Abraham Borbor, the deputy chief medical doctor at the country’s largest hospital, had been among three Liberians, and the first Africans, who received the drug, ZMapp. Two Americans received the untested drug and survived. A Spaniard infected with Ebola received the treatment but died. There was no update given on the two other Liberians who took doses of the drug.

        Borbor “was showing signs of improvement but yesterday he took a turn for the worse,”

        The only good part is the "signs of improvement." Perhaps he was beyond the point in which this treatment could help? I hope it was that rather than that the medication is not effective.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:24:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Though keep in mind that not all treatments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, Cassandra Waites

          are 100% effective.  It is entirely possible that it "merely" increases the survival rate from say, 50 percent to 75 percent rather than almost always curing it like many antibiotics do to an ear infection.  The only way to know for sure is to collect more data.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:07:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard that the current outbreak's a different (0+ / 0-)

        strain of Ebola than the previous outbreaks in Sudan and east Africa. And that other primates have long been considered a common reservoir, if not the primary reservoir.

        Thank you for posting.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:17:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are several documented strains of Ebola (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          In fact I think that each confirmed outbreak has involved a distinct strain, each named after the location of the outbreak: i.e. Zaire ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, etc.  The different fatality rates of each outbreak are de facto attributed to the different strain, not to anything people have or have not done, which would help to explain why this outbreak hasn't exploded despite being introduced into some of Africa's largest cities.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:30:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Novel: vaccine against HIV goes awry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftyAce, AuntieRa

      Quite honestly I hope your novel stays unpublished. It's not like the world needs more anti-vaccine propaganda.

      Just look at what is already happening in Nigeria:

      Nigeria Polio Vaccine Workers Killed, Boko Haram Suspected
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
  •  If we can tackle HIV as a species, I'm sure we can (8+ / 0-)

    do it with Ebola.

    /fear

    As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:26:30 PM PDT

  •  For me the biggest thing (62+ / 0-)

    is to see what happens in Nigeria.

    There are confirmed cases in Lagos.  Lagos is the biggest city in Africa.  For some people that may not sound like much, I mean how many "big cities" could there really be, right?

    Wrong.

    Lagos has a population just larger than to the entire New York City metropolitan area with a fraction of the health care resources, sanitation, infrastructure, etc.

    Lagos is a city estimated at 21 million people.  New York City Metro is is 19.9 million.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:31:19 PM PDT

  •  O.M.G. This nightmare is devolving into (26+ / 0-)

    one of those damned zombie movies that I won't watch.

    Are we going to get the point where the whole continent is quarantined? Much of Africa is poor and has inadequate medical services and much of it is extremely rural. Access to adequate food and clean water is also problematic. And then there is the fearmongering by outside groups, the distrust by locals of "white medicine" and deeply ingrained cultural practices.

    What an awful, convoluted, deathly mess.

    A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

    by Gwennedd on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:33:43 PM PDT

    •  I think vampires and werewolves are immune. (11+ / 0-)

      Thank god.

    •  Africa is a HUGE continent (24+ / 0-)

      I think we in the west tend to view it as one big entity, divided by the Sahara into the "Arab" part and the "black" part (plus a few white enclaves). But it's vastly more complex than that, with very different regions divided by deserts, mountain ranges, river deltas, forests, etc., dozens of countries, hundreds of languages and ethnic and subethnic and cultural groups, religions, levels of development and hygiene, etc. Problems that affect one part, or country, don't necessarily affect others. The last thing we need to do is overgeneralize, or get into panic mode. If an flu epidemic breaks out in Provence, do we start worrying about Latvia and Bulgaria because they're all in Europe?

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:28:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the hot zones (11+ / 0-)

        they talked about long distance truckers in Africa as a way of things spreading .

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:08:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, FarWestGirl

          This is where military and intelligence experience and expertise could become helpful, in terms of monitoring cross-border commerce and travel at borders, ports and airports to determine possible or likely patterns of its spreading, and thus be able to contain its spread and focus treatment at loci of greatest dissemination. I'm guessing that this is part of why AfriCom was established a few years ago. Or, at least I hope so.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:40:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A trucker goes and picks up ebola (3+ / 0-)

            gets back in the truck and drives for weeks and then gets sick , hundreds / thousands of miles away .

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:14:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And he crosses borders doing this (4+ / 0-)

              Passports, manifests, bills of lading, origins, destinations, way points, etc. You think Africa doesn't have rules and bureaucracies, however corrupt, inefficient or antiquated, that can be leveraged to contain this?

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:06:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Drives for weeks? (6+ / 0-)

              Not here in Africa he doesn't.

              http://www.economist.com/...

              Transport is a perpetual problem in Africa. Potholed roads and missing rail links get in the way of economic growth. Intra-regional trade accounts for just 13% of total commerce, compared with 53% in emerging Asia. Landlocked countries suffer the most. Transport costs can make up 50-75% of the retail price of goods in Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda.
              I'd be more concerned about merchant marines than the situation you are describing.

              I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet and my vote.

              by ExpatGirl on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:22:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Weeks and months . (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Angie in WA State, FarWestGirl

                http://www.watradehub.com/...

                TRUCKING TO WEST AFRICA’S LANDLOCKED COUNTRIES
                16
                II TRUCKING COSTS
                II
                -
                1 Road
                -
                transport costs
                Transport prices for delivery from the port to the capital city of most African landlocked countries range from 15 to
                20 % of import costs, a figure three to four times
                greater than in most developed countries.
                In addition to the issues of market distortions that chiefly concern this study, key factors explaining these high transport prices
                are:
                distances of the order of 1,000 km from port to landlocked capital city
                low productivity of the trucking industry in much of Africa. Infrastructure that is at best adequate, combined with numerous physical and non-physical barriers and a low capacity use (with a high proportion of trucks running empty back to the port because of a
                structural trade deficit of the landlocked countries).
                The mileage covered per month gives a good indication of capacity usage. The average
                monthly distance covered by trucks in Africa
                , based on various sources, is: 11,000 – 12,000 km for domestic transport within South Africa
                8,000–9,000 km per month in regional Southern Africa (for instance South Africa to Zambia through Zimbabwe)
                5,500 km per month in Eastern Africa
                2,500 km at best for trucks destined for Mali and Niger (according to clearing and forwarding agents).
                Truck truck goods , there is no question about that .

                "Table2: Elements of delay on a round trip to Bamako (days)"

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                by indycam on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:50:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  These figures are for where I live (7+ / 0-)

                  southern Africa. We have a good infrastructure with roads that make this possible.

                  Thousands and thousands of miles away is West Africa. Totally different ballgame. Getting to Senegal from South Africa is a nine hour flight.

                  I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet and my vote.

                  by ExpatGirl on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:23:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People seem to think that Africa (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FarWestGirl, Cassandra Waites

                    is one tight little community you can drive across in a day or two.

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:00:19 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From today's Mail & Guardian (4+ / 0-)

                      http://mg.co.za/...

                      ebolacrisis

                      I sympathize with people who aren't actively knowledgeable about the continent. Whether talking about HIV/AIDS, hunger, civil war, etc., it is consistently treated as a monolith by international media.

                      I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet and my vote.

                      by ExpatGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:20:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have a hard time sympathizing (0+ / 0-)

                        with people who can't, don't and won't think beyond what official sources tell them and what they're most comfortable believing. We all have brains and the capacity to use them. No pity from me for those who won't. Having lived in the US most of my life, the default view of the world beyond one's tiny little corner of it is ignorance and incuriosity. Pity. A very big world out there.

                        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                        by kovie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:47:00 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  This illustrates the size issue pretty well :) (12+ / 0-)

                      africa

                      I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet and my vote.

                      by ExpatGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:26:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yep, pretty much (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw, Cassandra Waites

                        Of course, mapmakers contribute to this by making Africa seem smaller than it is, and North America and Europe bigger. The imperialist mindset still pervades.

                        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                        by kovie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:48:54 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  everyone knows the Mercator is flawed now (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ExpatGirl, Ozy, Cassandra Waites

                          National Geographic dumped it decades ago.  The only reason it's still used has nothing to do with how big or small it shows continents.  Instead, it's the preferred map projection for navigation.

                          This is because the Mercator is one of only a handful of map projections where latitude and longitude are both plotted as straight and uninterrupted lines, which vastly simplifies navigation calculations.  This is helped by the fact that useful navigational charts can show only a very small part of the Earth's surface at a time, which tends to minimize the Mercator projection's distortion even at high latitudes.  The 0,0 point of your grid can be any point on the Earth's surface.

                          The Mercator is also a "conformal" projection, which means it doesn't distort shapes - or rather angles - therefore what direction your map tells you to point the ship or plane.  "Equal-area" projections that preserve relative size and also try to have all straight lines invariably distort shape.  No map can do all three.

                          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

                          by Visceral on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:57:18 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And what percentage of the map-using public (0+ / 0-)

                            is employed as a naval or merchant marine navigator?

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:04:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't have a clue what the words you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            buddabelly

                            have put together here actually mean, but they sound really cool and like something I would enjoy learning more about!

                            I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet and my vote.

                            by ExpatGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:23:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  if you ignore the math, it's pretty simple (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ExpatGirl, Ozy, Cassandra Waites

                            Maps have three basic features: area (size), angle (shape), and distance between two points.  No map can show all three accurately, so mapmakers decide which information is most important, and design the map to maximize accuracy there at the cost of less accuracy elsewhere.  The real challenge is how to take a spherical 3d surface and transform it into a rectangular 2d surface.

                            Projection - is just the technical term for how you depict the Earth's surface and in particular the math behind it.

                            Conformal - means the map shows the shapes of landmasses accurately; in technical terms, it preserves angles.  A conformal map will show what Africa or Europe actually look like.

                            Equal-area - means the map shows the [relative] sizes of landmasses accurately.  When they talk about showing Africa at its true size relative to Europe or North America, they're implying an equal-area map.

                            No map can be both conformal and equal-area; that's mathematically impossible.  But you can get pretty close if you're willing to sacrifice accuracy elsewhere, in particular distance.  There are some very trippy projections out there that try to do this.

                            Mercator is just the name of a 16th Century cartographer who developed that particular projection which plots latitude and longitude as straight parallel lines.  A much earlier mapmaker - Marinus of Tyre - did this too, and his map accurately shows distances while distorting shape and size.  Mercator's map was intended to improve on Marinus' map by accurately showing shape.

                            Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

                            by Visceral on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:42:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Great graphic! Thanks. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ExpatGirl

                        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                        by FarWestGirl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:43:27 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  "military and intelligence." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo, Angie in WA State

            Meanwhile, Americans are busy bashing NSA.

            Reminds me of when President Clinton was trying to wipe out Al Qaeda but the Republicans were busy trying to impeach him.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:43:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I only bash the stupid and illegal parts (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, FarWestGirl

              I've never said I don't think we need an NSA, CIA, military, etc. Having all that power, though, they tend to get out of hand sometimes (now there's an exercise in understatement), and need to be reined in.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:04:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's also too much overlap in those agencies... (0+ / 0-)

                There's also too much overlap in those agencies- agencies that have been shown to be reluctant to share information. It doesn't make for a streamlined, effective system.

      •  And that's part of the problem (6+ / 0-)

        It is appearing in countries that have no experience, or even awareness, about Ebola; so they are slow to get on top of it. It's like that flu outbreak in Provence leading to a growing number of cases in Bulgaria, with most people (including medical professionals) saying "Flu? What's that?"

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:10:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Over 2000 children die every day due to (27+ / 0-)

      diarrhea (non Ebola related).

      It's not on anyone's radar and very few people even know or care.

      I'll repeat. More children die every day of non-Ebola related diarrhea than have died in the entire Ebola outbreak thus far.

      Ebola is bad and there's certainly a risk of the disease spreading, but we need to get beyond "scary disease that might somehow spread to the developed world" and actually look at what's killing people in Africa.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:58:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ebola's Effect (6+ / 0-)

        The trouble is that ebola is having an effect beyond the actual infections.  The shoddy medical structures have to focus on it at the expense of other problems, people are freaking out and doing extra damage, and the government is using a quarantine that will probably kill more people than ebola will.

      •  But unlike Ebola, diarrhea can be easily treated (14+ / 0-)

        with an inexpensive zinc rehydration solution. There is no cure for Ebola. It is also unlikely that someone who is flown from Africa will spread diarrhea to the rest of the world.

        If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

        by betorah on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:51:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apparently diarrhea can't be easily treated (0+ / 0-)
          But unlike Ebola, diarrhea can be easily treated
          Because it's killing more people than Ebola and will continue to kill more people than Ebola every day, every month and every year.

          If we had a sense of priorities in this country we'd make more efforts to stop it, but unfortunately it takes something that might be scary to US to even care about it.

          Except that diarrhea isn't doubling every month.
          Again, you are missing the point that more people die EVERY DAY to diarrhea than the entire Ebola outbreak. Something like 750,000/year.

          Ebola deaths could double every month and it would still take a long time to come close to what's happening right now every month on the ground in Africa.

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:34:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it passes diarrhea in month 9 and hits 8 million (0+ / 0-)

            dead in a year.....to 730k for diarrhea at 2k per day.....

            exponential growth is a bitch......

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:35:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  because toilets aren't patentable. (7+ / 0-)

        Much of the world is suffering terribly due to diarrheal diseases and other diseases spread by human feces.  In India this is also a huge problem.  

        The obvious solution is for people to stop shitting on beaches, streets, and open fields, and start shitting in toilets that provide sanitary waste management either via sewage systems, septic tanks, direct chemical treatment in the toilet, or composting, or anything.

        But those things are not patentable, nobody can make a ton of money on them, and they require expertise beyond the level needed to create a new "app" for smartphones.

        Sexy Sergey with his Google Glass ("become a walking surveillance drone and look like a dork, for only $1500") would hardly look so sexy sitting on a shitter.

        Thus people keep shitting anywhere they can find to shit, because there isn't anywhere safe to shit, because safe shitting doesn't make for sexy consumer toys.

        Shit!

        GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

        by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:49:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Off topic (5+ / 0-)

          But have you ever read the Conrad Stargard books by Leo Frankowski?

          Modern Polish engineer ends up in 13th century Poland just 10 years prior to the Mongol Horde invasion of Europe.

          He addresses a lot of issues, but his creation of massive septic fields was one of the best ideas of Frankowski's, for a character who was on a mission to Technology-up an entire nation to get them ready to repel an invading force which in his original timeline decimated eastern Poland.

          "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

          by Angie in WA State on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:36:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow, never heard of 'em, but sounds interesting. (5+ / 0-)

            I will admit to fantasizing about time travel.

            Give the First Nations peoples walkie-talkies with solar rechargers.  Ditto for the slaves.  

            Tell Hitler's art teacher in Austria to praise his paintings to the Gods, and encourage young Adolph to pursue his art as his life's work.  (But what to do about Stalin, hmm...)

            Intercept the assassins of JFK, RFK, and MLK, and get them arrested before they could do the deeds.

            And of course 9/11... appearing at a Presidential briefing in July 2001 with newspapers from 9/12/2001 might be sufficient.  Or dropping in on the head of the FBI and telling him to take seriously the reports of the guys taking flying lessons but not learning how to land.

            Though, going back to early 2000 and persuading Ralph Nader to throw his support behind Al Gore would have prevented that entire sequence from playing out.  

            Better yet, going back to the early 1960s with news articles about climate change.  "Mr. President, I helped catch the guy who tried to assassinate you.  Please take a look at this..."

            Yeah that's pretty megalomaniacal.  

            None the less...

            Might make an interesting DK diary topic: "if you had a time machine..."  Hmm...!

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:51:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stephen King and Stewie Griffin (4+ / 0-)

              King has a cautionary message about twiddling with the past, even with the best of intentions. (stopping Oswald inadvertently leads to nuclear war with the USSR).
              and in the family Guy episode where Brian gets run over, Stewie uses his time machine to arm the Native Americans of 1608 with assault rifles, with predictably disastrous consequences.

              Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

              by kamarvt on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:46:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, we all know the score with time travel. (5+ / 0-)

                The normal fiction tropes are that messing with time has bad consequences.  

                IMHO some of that is pandering to fatalism and predestination, and the idea that you can't improve on the status quo, all of which I regard as bull poop.  

                It would be much more useful to write something in which a bunch of goodguys & goodgals build a time machine and then proceed to tweak the past and produce utopia.  If nothing else, that would emphasize the idea that you CAN make a difference.  It could be done effectively without having to worry about the "hard sci-fi issues," since after all there's plenty of acclaimed science fiction that skips the hard science and focuses on plot & characters (Dr. Who among others).  Occasionally they might screw up but then go back and fix their screwup.

                There are other interesting philosophical issues to pursue, such as whether time is only one dimension (axis of measurement), "forward and backward" or whether there is a 2nd time dimension ("sideways" into alternative histories), and so on.  And if 2, why not 3: "the fulness of time," an admittedly vague notion but food for thought.

                While we're on the subject, here's the "nonviolent version of the Grandfather Paradox:"  You go back in time and convince your grandfather and grandmother to use contraception.  

                The way I figure it is, kinetic effects can't pass backward across time, but information can (there is some support for this in physics).  If you go off into wild speculation territory and translate that to a fictional scenario, you can't shoot your grandfather.  But you can call up your grandfather & grandmother on the "tele-time phone" and ask them to use contraception.  

                Having done so, you can't be certain of what is actually going to happen: they may use contraception and it may fail, or they may decide to not use contraception, and either way, you still continue to exist.  But if you succeeded in your objective, you would only have forked the timeline, creating a "time vacuole" or bubble in which the two forks of the contradiction were kept from interfering with each other.  The bubble in which you caused yourself to not-exist would be isolated, and you would not know the difference.

                More LSD, please;-)

                GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

                by G2geek on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:12:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  This chart (from the WHO) is (33+ / 0-)

    especially unsettling:

    It shows that new infections are growing exponentially, and are outpacing deaths. It also shows that in the last 4-6 weeks, there have been more (documented) new infections than in the several years leading up to that point.

  •  Did strike me as very unsual (10+ / 0-)

    that healthcare professionals were catching it.  That does not usually happen and made me suspect there had been some change in the virus.

    "Gentlemen, let's get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn't there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder." Richard J. Daley.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:40:59 PM PDT

  •  The NYT just ran a story on nurses contracting (25+ / 0-)

    Ebola in a hospital in Sierra Leone.  Very high death rate.
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    You may be right about saliva transmission from fruit partially eaten by a fruit bat.  But the index case may have been fed bushmeat by parents or caregivers. Soup made from fruit bats is supposed to be extremely popular in Guinea.  The government banned making it in March. http://www.nytimes.com/...  Perhaps the child ate bushmeat with the family and just developed symptoms first.  Possibly the child was playing near bat guano and contaminated himself that way.  All are interesting possibilities.

    There are supposed to be two confirmed fatal cases of Ebola in the DRC.  But the government there says that those cases are not related to the Ebola strain in West Africa.  That may be true.  But often Ebola outbreaks start during the dry season (usually around November to March.)  So, it could be spread of Ebola from Liberia and the other affected nations, or perhaps a local outbreak limited to DRC.  WHO has not confirmed that the deaths were due to Ebola.  Also, from what I've read, there's been no mention that the deceased traveled outside of the DRC.  

    Here's hoping that, if they are Ebola, are unrelated and DRC cases are not part of a spread of Ebola from West Africa.

    Looking forward to reading your book in the near future!

    A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

    by d3clark on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:43:27 PM PDT

  •  Drug resistant TB is still vastly more dangerous (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, ypochris, vcmvo2, Woody, G2geek

    the only issue being that this particular zebu has long since left the kraal...

    •  Just get on the bus in San Francisco. (hi CSK;-) (6+ / 0-)

      There are bus routes in San Francisco that are known as "TB runs" because they routinely carry lots of people with TB with varying degrees of drug resistance.

      We are going to have to re-think our usual devotion to buses and trains as the solution to urban transport problems.  During pandemics, such as TB and others yet to come, they are vector paths.  

      I'm going to start doing some math about the energy consumption of various types of electric vehicles, to see if there's a way to get comparable efficiency levels without the disease transmission hazards.  The simplest solution of all is telecommuting: everyone who does not have to put hands on product or on customer, should be telecommuting.  Then in a pandemic, they just stay inside and have their groceries delivered.

      GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

      by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:52:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Subsidize telecommuting (0+ / 0-)

        and distributed offices, with money from a carbon tax, while eliminating all spending on new roads.  Even just eliminating the addition of even one more square inch of road surface would be a big help, because it would mark an end to the era of taxpayers being forced to subsidize developers and urban sprawl, with its concommitant massive increase in traffic and CO2 pollution.

        In any case, I like the way you're thinking.

        I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

        by tle on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:41:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there any data to suggest what percentage of... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, sandblaster, G2geek

    Is there any data to suggest what percentage of those who have succumbed to Ebola already had HIV?

  •  Some useful info resources (8+ / 0-)

    Fluwiki Forum
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/

    Head of Public Relations/Social Media for the World Health Organization-the UN Organization for public health.
    https://twitter.com/...
    Medical reporter for The Canadian Press. Flu freak/ID geek.
    https://twitter.com/...

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:03:05 PM PDT

    •  Great links! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, G2geek

      Has anyone heard if there have been any new cases in Nigeria?  Last I heard, there were twelve cases.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:41:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  14 now (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ROGNM, FishOutofWater, alx9090, G2geek
        Ni­ger­ian officials confirmed two new cases of Ebola on Friday, bringing the number of people who have been stricken with the disease in Africa’s most populous nation to 14. Five have died, five have recovered and four are in isolation and being treated.
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:59:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  given the under-reporting, make that 30 - 60. (0+ / 0-)

          Assume 2 - 4 cases for every case that's reported.

          If we also assume R0 = 4 (each case spreads it to four more people), that means up to 240 additional cases, assuming this thing can be stopped in its tracks at that point.

          GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

          by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:57:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yes people spread the disease (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Sunspots

     But suppose something a drought, a plant disease killing the fruit bats preferred food whatever is making fruit bats, other animals eat fruit other foods humans eat?
         I find it hard to believe human contact by secretion could effect this many people so quickly.
       I find it hard to believe fruit bats could target that many people in cities.
        But Rats they I believe can do the job easy. Just an idea to think about I'll et wiser heads than mine debate this if they choose.

    •  And your thoughts are based on what scientific (0+ / 0-)

      studies?  

      Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.--Lu Xun
      Support the BDS Movement--www.bdsmovement.net

      by Timaeus on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:47:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  logical inference: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, Sunspots

        Fruit bats are rodent carriers that eat food that is also eaten by humans.

        Rats are rodents that eat food that is also eaten by humans.

        We do not know that rats can act as carriers.  However it should be very easy to find out: just put some infectious cloth such as a bloody piece of bedding, into a lab rat colony, and wait a month.

        If this gets into rats via urban municipal waste, we are in for a whole new world of hurt.  Prudence calls for caution.

        GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

        by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:00:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  bats aren't rodents. (0+ / 0-)

          Not sure if that makes a difference to your point.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 01:42:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oops! OK... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            ... hmm, I always thought that bats were basically mice that diverged at some common ancestor and grew wings.

            In any case, the empirical tests are easy enough: introduce Ebola-contaminated material into lab colonies of mice and rats, and see what happens.  IMHO this really needs to be done, to scope out the potential risk scenarios.  May as well do mosquitoes at the same time, and common flies.  

            We are now at the point in this epidemic where we need to assess the risk of other potential vector paths, notably common urban pests, if this has not already been done.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:59:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know, touching sweat and the 21 day (5+ / 0-)

      incubation period are pretty serious when it comes to infectiousness of diseases.

      Am I correct in my understanding that this incubation period is longer than it was in the past, or am I wrong on that.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:13:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's hard to believe with that (11+ / 0-)
      I find it hard to believe human contact by secretion could effect this many people so quickly.
      In some respects I find it hard to believe it's not affecting way more people. How does anybody take care of a sick person without coming in contact with sweat and other body fluids?

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:14:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's the problem. (4+ / 0-)

        That's why it's spreading outside of hospitals.  Family members taking care of sick family members.  Entire families found dead in their huts.  Like this:

        Family member A catches it, three weeks go by, they develop symptoms.

        Family members B, C, and D, take care of A.  They in turn catch it and the clock starts ticking.  In a few days, A dies.

        Second wave:  B, C, and D become sick.  But children E, F, and G are too young to take care of them plus or minus getting them food & water, and hugs.  Uh oh.  

        Next, B, C, and D die.  Children E, F, and G end up dying as well.

        After this thing has burned itself out and it's safe for outsiders to go into villages, they will find large numbers of dead victims in their huts.  Thousands more, possibly tens of thousands more.

        GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

        by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:06:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Usually what happens is that Ebola starts (5+ / 0-)

      from people eating (or butchering) infected bushmeat.  Once it starts in a human population, person-to-person spread becomes the dominant mode of transmission.

      Your concept of "cities" is Westernized.  Some houses in Monrovia have bats roosting in them.  Ebola has also been found in bat feces.  People in the area like to eat fruit bats and will go out and try to catch them in nets.  Markets sell bushmeat, restaurants serve it.

      A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

      by d3clark on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:58:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live in the country in TN (4+ / 0-)

        I've had to shoo a bat out of my bedroom.  Yesterday, I had a bat in my garage.  Bats are supposed to be dying like flies from white nose syndrome, but there's a shitload of them around here.  I don't mind, they eat bugs.

        But our bats don't spread ebola.  I actually think that the evidence for bats being the reservoir in Africa is weak, but that's the current thinking, for what it's worth.

        Basically all primates, a number of rodents, and even antelopes can harbor the virus.

        No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

        by MadScientist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:17:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Still 2500 infected is pretty small (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, terrypinder

    The threat is very high, and 1300 dead is a lot of people dead but each year diarrhea (not related to Ebola) kills over 750,000 children under the age of 5 and basically very few people in the west even care.

    Diarrhea kills over 2000 children every DAY.

    The 1918 flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 MILLION people.

    So as bad and scary as Ebola is, it could be much worse.

    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

    by PhillyJeff on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:55:30 PM PDT

    •  If it can't be contained and starts running rampid (8+ / 0-)

      out of the known infected areas, it can get that bad.  There is necessary urgency to contain the infections.  Most diarrhea is caused by contaminated water sources.  That can be fixed, provided there is a will to do so.  Ebola can't be fixed.  Are you saying that we shouldn't worry about containment until 50 million people have died over a couple weeks time??

    •  Yes, it could be much worse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alx9090, bogieshadow, G2geek

      Thus the heroic efforts being made to keep it from becoming much worse.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:16:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, aside from Doctors without Borders (5+ / 0-)

        there have been no heroic efforts.  The international response has been underwhelming at best.

        When the first case hits Europe or the U.S., then you will see some action.

        No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

        by MadScientist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:21:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Poor Africans, (0+ / 0-)

          always suffering, always with no way out.

          So many dying in a last ditch effort to flee war and famine, on boats that sink, in holds that suffocate.

          "Civil" society involved in business as usual. Should be massive financial opportunities in Africa, once the population has died off and there is no resistance left.

          Anyway, Africa's on the other side of the world. I've got my own problems to worry about.

          /nasty snark, with bitter tears

    •  If you had seen the start of the 1918 flu (9+ / 0-)

      and it had only killed 500 so far , what would you say ?

      This ebola epidemic is out of control .

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:20:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Flu was much much worse as it was airborne (0+ / 0-)

        It's actually not that easy to randomly get infected with Ebola if you're not a healthcare worker. Much of the transmission is from people caring from loved ones who are infected.

        My point is that there's a stunning failure of compassion in my book where people care about a "scary disease" that might someday make it's way to Europe or America and kill first world people and don't really give a second thought to people dying around the world.

        More CHILDREN will die to diarrhea this month than the entire Ebola outbreak.

        Since various non-Ebola causing diarrhea disease aren't likely to be exported to the US it's not a big deal.

        In my opinion that's a problem.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:38:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eh ? (0+ / 0-)
          The Flu was much much worse as it was airborne
          Dead is dead .
          My point is that there's a stunning failure of compassion in my book where people care about a "scary disease" that might someday make it's way to Europe or America and kill first world people and don't really give a second thought to people dying around the world.
          That's not me you are talking about , right ? Because if it was I would have to say you have the story bassackward .
          It's actually not that easy to randomly get infected with Ebola if you're not a healthcare worker.
          Eh ? What % of the total have been health care workers ?
          More CHILDREN will die to diarrhea this month than the entire Ebola outbreak.
          That's a game . It's not a game of what kills more . If A is 100 and B is zero vs A is 100 and B is 50 and growing .
          The funny thing is , A will be more than 100 if B is more than 1 . B is making A worse . If you care about A than you really need to care about B .
          B is having a ripple effect that is doing great harm .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:09:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This kind of reminds me of the terrorism vs gun (0+ / 0-)

            violence argument.

            Hundreds of thousands of people have died from "run of the mill" gun violence since 9/11. I don't know the numbers but even including 9/11 thousands of people have died from terrorism.

            Yet in this country we spend almost no effort in combating gun violence (although we're trying now at least) and we spend a heck of a lot of effort fighting terrorism.

            Terrorism is like Ebola - it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. It's very dangerous and bad obviously. People die.

            Diarrhea, starvation, nutritional deficiencies etc are like gun violence. They kill many, many more people than Ebola. I guess they're not "scary" in that they don't get exported to the 1st world for the most part so we don't really care about them.

            This isn't to say we shouldn't fight terrorism, but we should at least look at it in the context of the number of deaths.

            If A is 100 and B is zero vs A is 100 and B is 50 and growing .
            The funny thing is , A will be more than 100 if B is more than 1 . B is making A worse . If you care about A than you really need to care about B .
            I will repeat since you cannot seem to understand. Around 3000 people have died IN ALL EBOLA EPIDEMICS COMBINED.

            750 Million children under the age of 5 die every year to diarrhea.

            Mathematically, that's saying A = 100 and B = 0.4 and B is growing.

            Maybe I'm not "progressive" but I don't think 750,000 dead infants and toddlers warrants a yawn because Ebola is scary.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:28:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  ... (0+ / 0-)
          Ebola is major threat to (7+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
              Laurel in CA, alx9090, aitchdee, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, aimeehs, highacidity, thanatokephaloides

          people living in parts of West-Central Africa.

          The US, not so much.  

          "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

          by Calvino Partigiani on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:24:25 PM PDT

           Because we have a functioning system . (11+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
              PeterHug, aitchdee, G2geek, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, alx9090, aimeehs, highacidity, Kevskos, thanatokephaloides, Calvino Partigiani, RN that thinks

          It can come to the USA
          but it will be hard for it to catch and then go out of control .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:05:51 PM PDT

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:14:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That number is almost surely (13+ / 0-)

      a vast undercount.

      W.H.O.:

      Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
      http://www.who.int/...

      Most cases will never be counted because they are happening behind cordons where entire regions have been sealed off. Or people see that treatment centers as death traps where most people don't come out, and whole families just stay home and bleed out in hiding until they are all dead. Aid workers have come across villages with dozens of bodies just lying around. This official count can't last much longer; at some point, they are going to have to move to estimates.

      "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

      by randomfacts on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  meningitis, malaria, TB, flu killing far more (0+ / 0-)

      this week than this outbreak has over its entire lifespan, and i'm including the estimates due to the likely undercount here too.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

      by terrypinder on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:31:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good and bad news from Europe (13+ / 0-)

    The suspected death in the Irish Republic has proved to be negative for ebola.

    On Sunday, the RAF repatriated a male nurse who is infected. He is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London which has the only ultra-high barrier nursing unit in the UK and, I believe, western Europe fully suitable for ebola patients.

    The difference between the isolation tented bed in a special unit with its own laboratory to the field conditions in Africa is stark.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:59:30 PM PDT

    •  Don't know about that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, G2geek, terrypinder, Visceral
      the only ultra-high barrier nursing unit in the UK and, I believe, western Europe fully suitable for ebola patients.
       When the American health workers were brought to Atlanta it was stated again, and again, that almost any modern American hospital could have coped with the necessary protection and isolation.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:19:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Different protocols (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randomfacts, Woody, G2geek, Catte Nappe

        NHS England appears to be going down the route of isolating the patient within a tented bed structure which incorporates half-suits rather than individual protection suits for those treating the patient which appears to have been the case in the USA and is used and fails to protect in the African clinics.

        The Royal Free ward was demonstrated to the BBC well before this patient was known and the video is on this page along with their reports about the transfer. (Apologies if the video is geo-blocked)

        Looked at in isolation from public concerns, the level of bio-security at the Royal Free is probably excessive as the virus is not believed to be transmitted by air. There is also a bit of difference between any 'US hospital having the ability to cope' and a ready set up specialist unit dealing with other highly infectious diseases besides ebola. For me, having staff visible and not swathed in isolation suits all the time would appear to be better for the patient psychologically and to provide a better working environment for those treating the patient.  

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:07:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You make the assumption that us hospitals (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catwho, Catte Nappe, Cassandra Waites

          Don't have the same tech.  We do, but it sucks which is why we don't go there anymore.  Try actually care for a patient in that tent and you will know what I mean.  Just starting an iv is an adventure in futility.

          Every single hospital in the country has to have an isolation room that work very well for infectious disease.  

      •  I remember reading that there are (0+ / 0-)

        only 4 isolation units in the country of the caliber of the Emory unit where those patients were cared for.

        •  Very possible (0+ / 0-)

          But that doesn't mean units of such caliber are necessary to deal with an Ebola patient.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:58:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  See anything on the R-zero on this strain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mosesfreeman, G2geek

    and for cities ???

    The old numbers at 1.83 and 1.34 are wrong. Plainly.

    And what's chances the unreported cases are pi times what's reported ?

    Today had it 1,200 dead and roughly 2,000 cases.

    (A side bet tipped at 30,000 dead by November seems a 50:50 at this point.)

    "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

    by waterstreet2008 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:17:11 PM PDT

    •  i've been guessing R0 = 4 in the wild. (4+ / 0-)

      This on the basis that the largest observed R0 is 8, so use 50% of that number for estimating purposes.

      I'm also guessing that somewhere in the high thousands to low tens of thousands of bodies will be found in villages after it's safe to go in and look.

      I have no relevant academic qualifications for making those estimates.  But I've kept abreast of public health news since the beginning of the HIV pandemic in the 80s, and my "gut instincts" have been on-target a few times over the years.

      GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

      by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Use 8 for the estimation process. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots, Woody, Cassandra Waites

        This is sweat we're talking about and the equator is... right over there. Runs through Gabon, the two Congos and points east.

        Wait till this strain of Ebola gets going full speed in the working class Sweat Hog neighborhoods.

        I guess I could do a diary on simulation software. But seriously, a R-zero at 4 and a 2-to-21 day latency period for symptoms with infectious transfer point an unknown -- that's going to explode.

        They've barb wired a neighborhood with 50,000 in it already. We could end up barb wiring Africa.

        "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

        by waterstreet2008 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:53:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Watch a pup die of PARVO and you would get the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, G2geek

    idea.  The dog will seek water and lie in it trying to cool off as their body is inflamed.  They slough the interior layer of the GI tract.  In the end, I think it is dehydration that kills.  Pain, delirium, death.
    Cordoning off a population thereby sacrificing the population is from the Redakar Doctrine from the book, WWZ by Max Brooks.  You cannot save everybody and populations must be sacrificed to the hoard so that those with higher ratings can retreat to safety zones.
    We can consider these people doomed.  We should honor their sacrifice given willing or not.  By their sacrifice, Africa is saved and in turn, US.

    •  Good God. (10+ / 0-)

      Surely we can do better than that?

      This is the 21st century.  We spend billions of dollars just to bomb tent-dwelling peasants into the Stone Age.

      No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

      by MadScientist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:53:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. Cordon Sanitaire isn't an answer. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Visceral

        It's whats left when you're out of answers.

        It's 'nuke the site from orbit', and I'm sure we can do better than that.

      •  In the era of privatization what's the ROI (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Angie in WA State, marina

        for a cure?

        Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

        by The Dead Man on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:30:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  too low until now (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, Sunspots, Woody, qofdisks

          it was reported (probably on this site) early on that there is no special difficulty to creating effective treatment for Ebola, but the fact that is has been a disease of the rural areas of Africa has meant it has not risen to the level of profitability required for anyone equipped to develop treatments to, you know, give a shit.
          Yay, privatization. Now that Ebola has become a Big Deal, there will be no-bid contracts galore for any private entity willing to cash those checks. we might get a treatment or even a vaccine out of it. Eventually. For a price.
          Imagine a world where the first appearance of Ebola in 1976 led to a government-funded research project into creating a vaccine simply because it was a prudent thing to do, a wise use of resources, a hedge against catastrophe. That world probably wouldn't be facing the climate crisis we are seeing either.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:08:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Imagine a world (5+ / 0-)

            where wealth is shared equitably; where resources are treasured instead of squandered and wasted; where learning and wisdom are revered; and where every life is valued and given nurture.

            It would be unthinkable that whole countries lack hospitals, schools, roads, clean water, sewer systems, electricity.

            There is no good reason why we can't have a better world. No good reason.

      •  surely we can do better than: (5+ / 0-)

        Climate change denialism with the resulting threat of (according to a number of sober climate scientists) human extinction within two centuries.

        Anti-vaccine conspiracy theory with the resulting measles & whooping cough outbreaks.

        Religious fundamentalist fanaticism breaking out in many of the world's major religions.

        A Congress in which Republicans have dedicated themselves to blocking anything and everything associated with Obama while passing idiotic measures to kill off health care.

        A culture that is addicted to consumer baubles and ignorant of science.

        Infrastructure that continues to crumble.

        Global oligarchies that loot and rob at every opportunity.

        And the world's major medium of communication, the internet, being an ecosystem that is wholly open to all manner of predators and parasites in the manner of a baby born without an immune system.

        Welcome to the 21st century.  This was supposed to be The Future.

        GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

        by G2geek on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:44:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you didn't read a lot of dystopian fiction (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody, Cassandra Waites, qofdisks

          as a kid, did you?
          My dad taught a science fiction course, so i got a heavy dose of it early on.
          we're right on track for a lot of those stories...

          i think there's a good collective-unconscious reason that zombie movies and Hunger Games are so popular at the moment.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:11:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't the article say that quarantine with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mwm341

        nothing going in or out is already happening? Better?  What is better than The Redakar Doctrine?

  •  The kid who was shot in the leg during (13+ / 0-)

    the West Point riot last week has died. The kid had a totally treatable wound, he was on the front pages of the news all over the world. It's not like this was a massacre, only two or three people were shot. Most prominent was this teen, who had gone to the store to buy food and got caught in the crossfire coming home.

    Apparently, the kids' family drove him to JFK hospital where he was refused admission; then they drove him from hospital to hospital all over Monrovia and not a single one admitted him. Finally he ended up at Redemption Hospital and bled to death. He needed an infusion of blood but there was no one in the whole city who could give him blood, so after 2 days he just bled to death, his wound totally untreated.

    This is a guy who was on national news and his photo was splashed over every paper in the country. And he couldn't get someone to treat a simple wound for 2 days, and died. Health workers dressed in full ebola gear came to pick up his body and wouldn't let his family near him.

    There are stories of pregnant women wandering from hospital to hospital in Monrovia and getting rejected, finally giving birth with no care and some of them died.

    This is the new Liberia... NO health system AT ALL. You might as well be in the stone ages. On top of that, it is reported that there are thousands of HIV patients who are no longer getting their retrovirals because the clinic they were going to has stopped functioning.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:46:18 PM PDT

  •  D. R. Congo outbreak apparently not related (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mosesfreeman, Woody, Cassandra Waites

    Congo authorities have apparently determined that their Ebola outbreak is a different strain from the one that's ravaging West Africa. I'm also pretty optimistic that they can contain it. So I think we can consider this a different, unrelated incident.

    What worries me is the exponential spread in Liberia. If we can't control that, millions are going to die in 2015. I'm hoping it doesn't turn into billions in 2016.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:13:30 PM PDT

  •  Wondering why Ebola isn't airborne and Flu is (0+ / 0-)

    Is it because an ebola virus is a lot bigger than a flu virus? If that's the case then it would seem hard for it to mutate and become smaller without losing a lot of its functionality.

  •  Heard on the radio the virus is a different (0+ / 0-)

    strain in DRC than it is in West Africa.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:23:45 PM PDT

  •  Just rec'd your diary. Sorry to be adding to your (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    misery...

    Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

    by kaliope on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:04:53 AM PDT

  •  There's an old joke, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, marina, Woody

    I think I first heard it in the 70's:

     

    Why worry?

    Either you're well,
    or you're sick.

    If you're well,
    no worries;
    if you're sick,
    your only worry is,
    will you live,
    or will you die?

    If you live,
    no worries;
    if you die,
    your only worry is,
    will you go to heaven, or hell?

    If you go to heaven,
    no worries;
    and if you go to hell,
    you'll be so busy
    shaking hands with all your friends,
    you won't have a chance to worry.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:09:33 AM PDT

  •  I'm not worried about ebola (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008

    at all.

    The panic is worse than the disease and the coverage in western media is pretty terrible and uninformed. In Conakry, Guinea, the disease only took 406 lives.

    How many in Conakry, during the same period, succumbed to malarial symptoms? Anyone know? How about meningitis? Both of those are technically pandemics on the African continent. And as we all know, ebola's the very least of our concerns.

    I like what NEJM had to say.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

    by terrypinder on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:08:04 AM PDT

    •  Not what simulations tell us. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody

      Malaria is passed by mosquitoes. This strain of Ebola is passed by sweat.

      Meningitis is also passed rather easily, but the latency period with respect to symptoms doesn't work to present a severe R-zero new-victims-to-known-infection ratio.

      Meningitis is not exploding. It has become endemic and it is killing a lot of people. But it is not exploding. We're talking the bacterial meningococcal meningitis, so that could be contained at least theoretically with standard hygiene.

      Components of R0

      R0 = b x k x D

      b = risk of transmission per contact

      k = number of such contacts that an average person in the population has per some unit of time. This goes up with population density

      D = average duration of infectivity per infected person

      Take this sweat-borne virus into a tropical city and Hell on earth is your most likely result. It also passes with semen from male to female. This is a PHEIC event -- overall seen as follows:
      "...this epidemic is almost certainly being sustained by person-to-person transmission through physical contact. Although contact with infected body fluids carries great risk, Ebola virus does not usually spread rapidly through large populations.
      And now it does.

      "Don't sweat the small stuff" ??? Sweat and semen borne virus with a 30% to 90% kill rate is not small stuff. This pandemic needs a budget of $5,000,000,000,000 ASAP.

      "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

      by waterstreet2008 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:16:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Won't really get worries about ebola... (0+ / 0-)

    ...until it develops the ability to become airborne.  If that happens, we have the next smallpox on our hands, and that would be devastating.

    "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party. The license plate I want? OMG GOP WTF

    by TheOrchid on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:22:21 AM PDT

    •  Extremely unlikely (0+ / 0-)

      The genome of this family of viruses in general, and ZEV specifically, has been fairly well-conserved since its discovery back in the 1970s. Biohorror fiction and film aside, there's really no reason to suspect that this disease is going to suddenly change its infection vector.

  •  Great Diary, thanks. I aqree (sans Putin) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    For the 285,000 years before US/USSR nuclear standoff and since the 1990's, the number one threat to mankind is biological .... virus/bacteria.

    Mother nature not being bad enough, we've developed the tools to potentially design our own doom as well.

    What I find especially disturbing is the lack of seriousness on the part of Government level leadership in addressing what is the number one threat to our very existence.

    Rather than developing the technology and building the facilities (redundantly) to identify, disassemble, and develop vaccine/anti-biotic solutions IN DAYS IF NOT HOURS of the discovery of a biological threat .... and .... the vast factory facilities needed to manufacture nationwide and worldwide quantities of vaccine/anti-biotic with response times in DAYS not months or years. Our leaders flounder around in idiocy.

    Maybe making them understand that today's Ebola is an example of Mother nature, but TERRORIST ENEMIES with proper equipment and know how could do the same or worse ... and THAT is why we need to take some of the $1 Trillion per year we waste on military and homeland security program and direct it into developing a real War level response to biological threats.

    These idiots and their inaction on many subjects are ultimately going to get us all killed. Scientists need to become the new "Moral Majority" level  movement to address the real factual tangible threats to human life and the health of our society.

  •  Also, the REAL concern about non-containment.... (3+ / 0-)

    EVERY single infected person becomes a giant biological laboratory for mother nature to make that one critical MISTAKE, mutation, that turns this Ebola outbreak into a pandemic.

    It is only a matter of time before our luck runs out and it becomes airborne. Isolation, and then proper disposal of the remains, stop the spread and buy more time .... WHILE putting in our fullest effort to disassemble understand and find a vaccine/cure to end the threat permanently.

    •  Sweat is almost as bad as airborne IMO (3+ / 0-)

      If an infected person boards an airplane, and his sweat gets on the surface of the restroom sink, lots of people are going to come into contact.

      Very good diary, although I don't share the optimism that western medical infrastructure can handle an  outbreak to the extent it is a non-threat. Hell, they can't event cleanse hospitals of MRSA.


      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:27:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. We are "capable" of developing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CitizenOfEarth

        the capacity to deal with organisms quickly, provided the will from President on down, and the leaders of other nations invest in the capability .... it means building lab/factories capable of producing millions of doses per day. And duplicating them in strategic locations worldwide.

        I'm hoping Hospitals will leave the 19th century and join the 21st.

        The building and rooms need to be designed to be decontaminated after each use. They need to be built as private 1 patient per room facilities and be designed so that each room can be SEALED and gassed with Chlorine gas between uses. It is the only way to kill every living thing left in the room on all surfaces.

  •  Women dying = too many men = war (0+ / 0-)

    It's a simple equation that has played out over the centuries. When you have too many men with too few women, they start going ... crazy, is the only word I can come up with.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:05:37 PM PDT

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