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I am a little  disturbed to hear that a person on a plane was found to have Ebola, was very ill on the plane and died shortly afterwards. Seems that the outbreak is taking a nasty turn for the
worst.http://www.news.com.au/world/us-doctor-kent-brantly-contracts-ebola-as-sick-government-official-carries-the-deadly-virus-to-nigeria/story-fndir2ev-1227003339461

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This thing has scared me ever since watching the Robin Cook movie about Ebola about 20 years ago when I was in college.  I hope they can figure out something to get it under control.

 

If you want to be scared, try reading The Demon in the Freezer about smallpox.

 

Melissa, Ebola scares me, too. Ugh.

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I am very concerned about the spread by plane of this virus. I wonder if we shouldn't close our borders forvtravel to and from these areas except for aid workers and then require a negative test before coming home. With the ease of travel within our birders, it would spread rapidly.

 

Sigh, I feel so bad for the victims.

Well it wouldn't have to be like that entirely.

 

In olden days of ships, the ships were quarantined.

 

For flying, there could be a mandatory quarantine of 3-5 days before people could board the plane. Yes it would be a pita, but it would certainly be better than no flights at all.

 

Of course, the question is how to ensure fair and quality quarantine.

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I spent a bit of time in Liberia as a child, my father is a doctor and worked in the hospital at ELWA.  We do not know the two medical workers involved but we know *of* them and have friends in common.

 

Please pray if you are inclined, for both Americans who have now contracted Ebola.  Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly.

 

Thank you.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/american-contracts-ebola-liberia/story?id=24733440

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My oldest is reading The Hot Zone right now. We've been following the outbreak. Scary how this one is spreading.

I read this book when it came out. I was a teen and was fascinated by Marburg and Ebola. I entertained the idea of becoming a virologist for a few years.

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I read this book when it came out. I was a teen and was fascinated by Marburg and Ebola. I entertained the idea of becoming a virologist for a few years.

I admire people who can read all about these horrifying viruses and want to actually work with them to combat them. I couldn't do that!

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A dear friend I grew up with in Africa is an epidemiologist.  He now works closely with the CDC.

 

 

I read this book when it came out. I was a teen and was fascinated by Marburg and Ebola. I entertained the idea of becoming a virologist for a few years.

 

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I spent a bit of time in Liberia as a child, my father is a doctor and worked in the hospital at ELWA.  We do not know the two medical workers involved but we know *of* them and have friends in common.

 

Please pray if you are inclined, for both Americans who have now contracted Ebola.  Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly.

 

Thank you.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/american-contracts-ebola-liberia/story?id=24733440

These are friends of my friends...

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I am very concerned about the spread by plane of this virus. I wonder if we shouldn't close our borders forvtravel to and from these areas except for aid workers and then require a negative test before coming home. With the ease of travel within our birders, it would spread rapidly.

 

Sigh, I feel so bad for the victims.

 

I traveled to Taiwan on the first flight after the SARS outbreak.  They had these nifty temperature scanners.  As you got off the plane they used ropes to get you in a single line and the machine that sort of looked like a radar gun took your temp.  They said if it was high, you went to another room and I assume they took a more accurate temp and interview etc.  The cool thing was, we didn't have to slow down.  I won't mind if those were added to preboarding for flights coming into the U.S. 

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For flying, there could be a mandatory quarantine of 3-5 days before people could board the plane. Yes it would be a pita, but it would certainly be better than no flights at all.

 

the incubation period is as long as 21 days.  a 3-5 day quarantine isn't remotely long enough.

 

the guy appeared healthy when he got on the plane.  he was sick when he got off.  they quarentined everyone else.

 

the biggest problem in that part of the world is the distrust of modern medicine.  they are taking ill family members to tradition medicine men. over the weekend, there was one family who forcibly removed their loved one from the hospital.  some "nurse" told people they doctors were using their loved ones for cannibalism - and the hospital had to deal with everyone descending upon them and protesting.

 

family members are handling and rubbing the dead bodies which is part of traditional funeral rites.  when a person shows symptoms they are even more contageous - even after they have died.

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If I am understanding it correctly, this article makes me feel a bit better about it all.  I guess it isn't spread through coughing/sneezing like colds or the flu.  It takes more intimate contact.  Healthcare workers are at risk through blood, syringes, etc.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/28/ebola-potential-to-spread/13267909/

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the incubation period is as long as 21 days.  a 3-5 day quarantine isn't remotely long enough.

 

the guy appeared healthy when he got on the plane.  he was sick when he got off.  they quarentined everyone else.

 

the biggest problem in that part of the world is the distrust of modern medicine.  they are taking ill family members to tradition medicine men. over the weekend, there was one family who forcibly removed their loved one from the hospital.  some "nurse" told people they doctors were using their loved ones for cannibalism - and the hospital had to deal with everyone descending upon them and protesting.

 

family members are handling and rubbing the dead bodies which is part of traditional funeral rites.  when a person shows symptoms they are even more contageous - even after they have died.

 

I read how groups of people are greeting doctors and healthcare workers by throwing rocks at them when they come into their towns. 

 

Has any read the WHO page about this?  There is plenty there to keep you awake at night.  "People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory."  So you can recover from the virus and still give it to someone else as far out as 61 days later.  Fatality percentage rates are staggering.

 

Viruses are simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. 

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the incubation period is as long as 21 days. a 3-5 day quarantine isn't remotely long enough.

 

the guy appeared healthy when he got on the plane. he was sick when he got off. they quarentined everyone else.

 

the biggest problem in that part of the world is the distrust of modern medicine. they are taking ill family members to tradition medicine men. over the weekend, there was one family who forcibly removed their loved one from the hospital. some "nurse" told people they doctors were using their loved ones for cannibalism - and the hospital had to deal with everyone descending upon them and protesting.

 

family members are handling and rubbing the dead bodies which is part of traditional funeral rites. when a person shows symptoms they are even more contageous - even after they have died.

I wasn't being scientific in my example, just giving a theory as to how to handle it for whatever duration necessary. :)

 

I agree there's bigger problems.

 

I was thinking more of not having to completely close OUR border.

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We're waiting right now to pick up middle son from his Ivory Coast medical missions trip.  Ivory Coast is not an affected country as of yet, but I'll admit to watching this spread rather closely due to being a mama.

 

I have a ton of admiration for health care workers who put their lives on the line dealing with these super deadly diseases, but the mama in me would prefer my  guy not be one of them - at any point in his life.

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the biggest problem in that part of the world is the distrust of modern medicine. they are taking ill family members to tradition medicine men. over the weekend, there was one family who forcibly removed their loved one from the hospital. some "nurse" told people they doctors were using their loved ones for cannibalism - and the hospital had to deal with everyone descending upon them and protesting.

Not just in that part of the world. Did you see the sunscreen thread?

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Not just in that part of the world. Did you see the sunscreen thread?

 

Oh, definitely the same thing...  :lol:

 

My guy is back and seems just fine.  The main things they had to deal with were malaria related... bad enough, but nowhere near on the same scale.  The group saw around 1100+ people in 4 days - and had to turn some away due to lack of time.   :(

 

It seems things were much better in Cote D'Ivoire (apparently, they don't like it when the name gets translated, so...), but then the Civil War hit and many doctors left (can you blame them?) and haven't returned.  Now there are still many people there - esp those who aren't so wealthy - but few doctors or health professionals of any sort esp in rural areas (where they went).

 

I hate war.

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I read Hot Zone as well. I don't think I slept for a month!

 

Me, too.  I think that's when I decided that I'm never going to Africa never in a bazillion years.  Or the tropics.

 

I've backed off the ledge somewhat, but it's taken years.  Why do people bother with horror books a la Steven King?  Reality worked nicely for me.

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Me, too.  I think that's when I decided that I'm never going to Africa never in a bazillion years.  Or the tropics.

 

I've backed off the ledge somewhat, but it's taken years.  Why do people bother with horror books a la Steven King?  Reality worked nicely for me.

 

Because Stephen King ISN'T real.  Same with haunted houses.  They are fun, but being genuinely scared is no fun at all.  

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I read last fall about a possible treatment for Ebola. I hope it turns out to be successful and they can speed up approval for it to be used in humans. http://www.npr.org/2013/10/18/237100762/promising-new-treatment-for-the-deadly-ebola-virus

 

DS and I read The Hot Zone last year and it's really scary. I'm hoping he doesn't pay enough attention to the news to find out about this.

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I'm not familiar with the hot zone - I did read tom clancy's executive orders, which was about a manipulated (trying to make it aerosole to use as a chemical weapon) ebola virus outbreak.

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I traveled to Taiwan on the first flight after the SARS outbreak.  They had these nifty temperature scanners.  As you got off the plane they used ropes to get you in a single line and the machine that sort of looked like a radar gun took your temp.  They said if it was high, you went to another room and I assume they took a more accurate temp and interview etc.  The cool thing was, we didn't have to slow down.  I won't mind if those were added to preboarding for flights coming into the U.S. 

 

I can't imagine that would go over very well here.  Too many people would freak out.  "Oh, the horror!  Don't you know what the government can do with that kind of information???" :P

 

As for the actual outbreak, I never know if these kinds of things are as serious as they sound, or if it's just another case of the media trying to freak us out for ratings.

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A dear friend I grew up with in Africa is an epidemiologist.  He now works closely with the CDC.

 

Epidemiology is so fascinating. I studied John Snow extensively and was just amazed at the work.

 

And the Band Played On is another captivating book for young epidemiologists at heart.

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I really feel bad about my Plague Inc addiction. I have never been a gamer, but my DS got me the app, and we were addictively trying to create just the right plague to obliterate the human race. It was all fun until this broke out. And now I fee like the FBI is going to arrest me.

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I really feel bad about my Plague Inc addiction. I have never been a gamer, but my DS got me the app, and we were addictively trying to create just the right plague to obliterate the human race. It was all fun until this broke out. And now I fee like the FBI is going to arrest me.

My dh and kids are addicted to that game!  They are like "Yes!  We killed everyone!" and I'm just horrified.  Absolutely horrified. But hey, I guess they're learning about geography and germ transmission?  :lol:

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How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

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How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

 

Because viruses always find a way to another host.  The workers who were infected were suited up properly and obeyed all rules and took all the necessary precautions.  It's the virus itself that isn't playing nice.

 

Edited to say that even if it did arrive in the US, it could be fairly easily contained.  There are many viruses in Africa that kill hundreds there, and have come to the US through travelers on several occasions, but have never spread beyond the traveler or a close family member...Lassa Fever being one of them.  It's similar to Ebola (in that it's a hemorrhagic illness) and just as nasty, but you aren't seeing the media outcry over it.  I really wouldn't worry too much about Ebola here in the States...or any other developed country, for that matter.

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How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

I would suspect they got it outside of the medial environment. They can't LIVE in a hazmat suit after all.

 

I think people in the US might be more inclined to seek medical help vs run from it. One hopes anyways.

 

But also, from what little I have read, it seems the greatest reason they die in high numbers in bc of dehydration and such. If given saline drips and fever reducing meds very early on, survival is much higher. Still low 50/50, but much better than up to 90% chance of death.

 

And like the pp said. Viruses find ways.

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How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

 

 

I asked my dh this. He said that this is a different strain of Ebola.  It's not as fatal, only fatal 60% to 70% of the time when treated quickly(not great, I know), compared to 90% of the time with the other strain. This strain is not as fatal, but seems to be hardier.  It is not well understood yet. At this point all focus has been on containment.  

 

As for the medical workers, yes, they took the proper precautions, which does make it scarier.

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I spent a bit of time in Liberia as a child, my father is a doctor and worked in the hospital at ELWA.  We do not know the two medical workers involved but we know *of* them and have friends in common.

 

Please pray if you are inclined, for both Americans who have now contracted Ebola.  Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly.

 

Thank you.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/american-contracts-ebola-liberia/story?id=24733440

 

 

We also, while not knowing them personally, have friends in common.  This has been scary.  

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How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

 

I read an interview with a doctor who said it is very difficult to maintain the proper standards to prevent infection/transmission in the environment they're working in.  He was in a hospital where most of the staff fled.  He and one other doctor were caring for fifty very ill patients on their own.  

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I can't imagine that would go over very well here.  Too many people would freak out.  "Oh, the horror!  Don't you know what the government can do with that kind of information???" :p

 

As for the actual outbreak, I never know if these kinds of things are as serious as they sound, or if it's just another case of the media trying to freak us out for ratings.

 

I have tendencies to be one of those people.  But, this hadn't bothered me.  It was just the file of people getting off the plane, and nothing happened unless you had enough of a temp to trigger the machine.  No one triggered the machine while I was in hearing.  Now, the people that triggered the machine,... that would be a whole other ball of wax.  In a way, it was a lot like those speed sensors that are setup that  say "You are going 37 mph" and then flash if that is too fast.  Well, then you add on a cop sleeping that wakes up when the too fast alarm goes off and then uses the official radar gun on you and gives you a ticket.  But, for those like me that weren't flagged, no information was gathered.  

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Update on the American doctor.  His prognosis is grave.  So sad.  He says he followed the protocol to the letter.  Viruses like Ebola don't care about that.  His family is at a very low risk for contracting the illness, but his likelihood of survival is small.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/07/29/336328995/american-doctor-sick-with-ebola-now-fighting-for-his-life

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But people aren't contagious until they start showing symptoms, right?  So his family couldn't have picked it up from him unless he was already sick before they left. 

 

According to WHO, this is correct.  The incubation period can be as long as 21 days but the carrier isn't contagious until symptoms show.  Then they are contagious for as long as two months afterwards.

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Update on the American doctor.  His prognosis is grave.  So sad.  He says he followed the protocol to the letter.  Viruses like Ebola don't care about that.  His family is at a very low risk for contracting the illness, but his likelihood of survival is small.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/07/29/336328995/american-doctor-sick-with-ebola-now-fighting-for-his-life

 

:(  So sad.

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According to WHO, this is correct.  The incubation period can be as long as 21 days but the carrier isn't contagious until symptoms show.  Then they are contagious for as long as two months afterwards.

 

I think this is probably correct...  but I also wonder if we know as much as we think we know about this virus, what with the high infection rate for the health care workers even though they all felt they had followed the protocol so closely.  :(

 

This whole thing is just so sad and scary.

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I think it's really hard to change cultural customs anywhere.  I do think the USA should have a 2-3 week quarantine for anyone who has passed through an affected country; at least until the outbreak is under control.

 

I read in the paper some where a CDC official said it was highly unlikely Ebola would make it to the USA, but I don't believe that for a minute.  In fact, I think it's likely it will make it here.  Perhaps it won't rise to the level of an epidemic, but I think there is a good chance it could land here.  All it would take would be an exposed person visiting relatives here who hopped the plane before they felt sick.

 

the incubation period is as long as 21 days.  a 3-5 day quarantine isn't remotely long enough.

 

the guy appeared healthy when he got on the plane.  he was sick when he got off.  they quarentined everyone else.

 

the biggest problem in that part of the world is the distrust of modern medicine.  they are taking ill family members to tradition medicine men. over the weekend, there was one family who forcibly removed their loved one from the hospital.  some "nurse" told people they doctors were using their loved ones for cannibalism - and the hospital had to deal with everyone descending upon them and protesting.

 

family members are handling and rubbing the dead bodies which is part of traditional funeral rites.  when a person shows symptoms they are even more contageous - even after they have died.

 

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This scientist seems to peg bats as the carrier of Ebola, but not a single Ebola virus has ever been found in a bat; the only thing that has ever been found in a bat are antibodies to the Ebola virus. It's entirely possible bats are not the original host of Ebola, but are exposed along with apes (it kills chimps and gorillas in the same way it kills humans).  "Spillover" by David Quammen gives a good treatment of Ebola and is an interesting, non-fictional read.
 
The whole idea of using antibodies against Ebola is not new.  In the Kinshasa outbreak in the 70s, which had a 90% fatality rate, a nurse who came down with Ebola was treated with serum taken from a recovered Ebola patient in the same hospital.  Western doctors were furious that the African doctors had tried this experimental procedure because the serum/blood from the infected patient was never tested for any disease, but the nurse recovered.  'Course, she may have just recovered because it was the end of the outbreak, and who knows if the virus was weakened due to mutation at that point, but at any rate, she recovered.  Using antibodies is actually a pretty old treatment (old in reference to the course of this disease, anyway).

I read last fall about a possible treatment for Ebola. I hope it turns out to be successful and they can speed up approval for it to be used in humans. http://www.npr.org/2013/10/18/237100762/promising-new-treatment-for-the-deadly-ebola-virus
 
DS and I read The Hot Zone last year and it's really scary. I'm hoping he doesn't pay enough attention to the news to find out about this.

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Accidental needle sticks, a small amount of virus particles splashing onto a barely-noticeable scratch on the skin, splashing of fluids into the eyes... It's hard to keep every body part covered in the environment in which they are working.

How are doctors and medical workers getting infected? I don't mean to ask a silly question - I'm wondering if they are infected by accidents (overwork? tiredness-related?), or by exposure to patients before they show symptoms, or whether we are seeing other forms of transmission? The medical workers who have made the news would presumably be well educated and aware of the danger of transmission. I haven't seen this specifically discussed in any articles about them. I guess I am thinking about whether this disease could be more effectively contained in a developed country, or whether it is unavoidable that some medical personnel would get infected, even in a developed country with good quarantine and containment procedures.

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