EBOLA Information.

ATCAWhy’s EBOLA So Serious?

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is “Unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times… a crisis for international peace and security… I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments… I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure… when a deadly and dreaded virus hits the destitute and spirals out of control, the whole world is put at risk… the world is ill-prepared to respond to any severe, sustained and threatening public health emergency…” states Dr Margaret Chan, director general, World Health Organisation (WHO) based in Geneva, Switzerland.  Dr Chan dealt with the 2009 avian flu pandemic and the SARS outbreaks of 2002-3.

Ebola’s Spread

ebola

 

AIDS-LIKE

 

The deadly spread of Ebola in West Africa is something unseen since the outbreak of AIDS, according to Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he told a top-level Ebola forum in Washington, DC.  The United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has called for a “20-fold” increase in resources to battle the epidemic.  “This is a global health emergency we haven’t seen for years. Possibly it could get to the scale of the AIDS epidemic. The impact it could have could be absolutely huge… if we are going to make our country safe we need to make sure the virus is contained. It is a global phenomenon…” according to Jeremy Hunt, UK Health Secretary.

 

MOST EXTREME

 

Ebola is one of the most deadly viruses known in the world today. It is extremely infectious and can kill up to 70% of those who contract it and as many as 10,000 new cases per week could be reported by early December, according to WHO. There are five strains of the virus with the Zaire strain being the most deadly.  Despite Ebola’s 40-year history, 2014’s outbreak is more extreme than all previous incidents put together.  More than 4,000 people have died from a total of 8,900+ worldwide cases.  This is the largest Ebola epidemic ever.  Since 1976, there have been just over 20 known Ebola outbreaks, each confined to isolated parts of Africa. This one has spread to more than 50 distinct areas in six different countries, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention — and has now claimed its first life in the US.  WHO declared a public health emergency in August, five months after the first international movement of Ebola.  The US Centre for Communicable Diseases has said that the number of people infected by Ebola could reach 1.4 million by January if the outbreak is not contained.

 

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS

 

When researchers handle Ebola in the laboratory, they adopt the precautions of space walkers. At the Centre for Applied Microbiology Research at Porton Down near Salisbury, United Kingdom, there are just four scientists with official clearance to deal with the Ebola virus, and they work in pairs, like astronauts.  The virus causes horrendous damage, as it attacks the internal organs, resulting in extensive bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It is not, however, particularly infectious, and can only be caught by close contact with infected body fluids.

 

NO TREATMENT OR CURE

 

There is no vaccine against Ebola and while a new drug called ZMapp appears to have helped save the lives of two American missionary treated with it, data is still sketchy and primarily based on animal models.  Despite the world’s experience of Ebola, there is not yet a proven treatment or cure.  This is partly because institutions designed to promote health innovation, trade, and investment tend to be private and therefore not focused on the diseases of the poor in Africa.  Because of Ebola’s previous containment, few citizens in West Africa have recognised it, and with families typically caring for sick relatives at home, they are often contracting the disease themselves.

 

SYMPTOMS

 

Early symptoms are non-specific and include sudden onset of fever, muscle aches, headaches, and sore throat. These symptoms appear 2 to 21 days after being infected with the virus and can be easily confused with the early stages of other illnesses such as malaria, meningitis, and bubonic plague. Some patients develop rashes, hiccups, reddened eyes, serious chest pain, shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. As the patient gets more ill, he or she develops severe vomiting, diarrhoea, kidney and liver problems, and serious internal and external bleeding. These last (and most serious) symptoms cause a deadly syndrome called viral hemorrhagic fever. Ebola is one of several viruses that can cause viral hemorrhagic fever and it wreaks havoc on many organ systems in the human body.

 

GLOBAL SCREENING

 

In America every high risk passenger arriving at five airports including JFK in New York from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea has their temperature checked and asked if they are unwell.  Exit screening is already in place in West Africa, but the World Health Organisation does not advise on entry screening in other countries.  The UK Government has decided to do screening at Heathrow from today and Gatwick and Eurostar terminals later this week.

 

SLOW RESPONSE

 

Sierra Leone’s president has criticised the global community’s slow response to Ebola.  President Ernest Bai Koroma told the heads of the UN, International Monetary Fund and World Bank that the global reaction “has been slower than the rhythm of transmission of the disease.”  There are already more than 350 US troops on the ground in West Africa. That number is set to grow exponentially in the coming weeks as the military races to expand Liberia’s infrastructure so it can battle Ebola.  Britain is sending 750 military personnel, a medical ship and three helicopters to Sierra Leone to help fight the spread of Ebola.

 

[STOPS]

What are your thoughts, observations and views?  We are keen to listen and to learn.

 

Best wishes

DK MATAI
DK Matai

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “EBOLA Information.

  1. I try not to let these things alarm me, but i have to admit — it was rather unnerving when at the grocery store today i saw the cashier was wearing latex gloves…
    Hugs

    • Maybe she just has a skin irritation? It is worrying, but at least some measures are being put in place. To avoid bodily contact it might be better to use the self scanning aisle if there is one.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    • Some also wear latex gloves because money can get so dirty. I know that many people here in some stores wear gloves to prevent cross contamination between money and foodstuffs.

  2. Has be scared, fearful of taking public transportation in NYC, it’s a terrible time and there has been a lot of cover ups and blunders.

    • I’m sure there have been blunders as usual but they are putting measures into place at airports now. Public transportation is a worry if the disease gets a grip but I’m sure there will be warnings.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Knowledge is power. Thanks for forwarding this information to us, David.

  4. To think of how fast this disease can get out of control, is terrifying. Thanks for sharing, David.

  5. Thank you so much, David. Information and education is the only way for people to understand exactly what is going on and to be cautious. An epidemic is a terrible thing.

    • You’re welcome Susan. I think knowledge is a good thing and can prevent panic. Being left in the dark creates problems of it’s own. Lets hope it doesn’t hit epidemic proportions.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  6. Owen

    Thanks for the information, David

  7. Good to share this information, David. People need to remember, however, that the virus is only spread through direct contact with body fluids or contaminated materials. Also, people are only contagious when displaying signs of infection and not during the 21-day incubation period. A lot of needless panic can be put to rest! Bises xx

  8. I remember studying Ebola as a medical student in the early 1980s, as a tropical disease, and it’s evidently carried on its merry way since without any Western governments or Pharmaceutical and research companies doing anything about it. It’s a sorry state of affairs indeed. I’m at the moment in Spain, where of course we have the first person not in Africa to get the illness (an auxiliary nurse working with a priest who had been treating patients in Sierra Leone and died when transported back to Madrid). Lot of blame to the poor victim, although it isn’t clear that it was not the protocol that was wrong (or at least not properly implemented). So far there is no confirmed further spread. If one were to think about AIDS (although its effects are much faster, and if you survive, you’re cured of it) this would indicate there will be populations at high risk but it would be unlikely to spread to the general population. It’s very important not to demonize the sufferers or the people who are unlucky enough to live in one of those countries. Check and prevent the spread as much as we can, of course, but hopefully something useful will be learned from this.

    • I think there’s so little research as pharma companies decided there was no profit in treating something in Africa and were happy to leave them to their fate. Some research was done after the last scare but certainly not enough. We need to wipe out all these illnesses no matter where they are and who has them. Paying customers or not or one day we’ll be caught with our trousers down.
      Now it shouldn’t hit the general population, but it only takes someone to return during the incubation period and to get onto public transport sneezing to be able to help spread it far and wide.These days it could probably be used as a weapon so the research must go on.
      I agree, we can’t demonize the sufferers but must treat everyone the same.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  9. Thanks David. Its kind of comforting to know the facts. But its still scary

    • It is scary Elaine, but better to know you don’t catch it by being in the vicinity of a sufferer, which could make people panic, but only by the spread of bodily fluids which should ease a few minds.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  10. This Ebola thing is a complete fake right from the beginning. Nothing to worry about in regard to your health. Everything to worry about about further restrictions of everybody’s personal liberty …

    • And the deaths? Are you saying people have been infected on purpose so that hospitals and medical staff get them for treatment, or that there have been no ebola cases in hospitals?

      • Yes, that’s one part of the story. And don’t worry, no any single Ebola case has made it outside of Africa so far. Whatever the news calim to have happend in either the US, England, Germany or any first world country, it just a game (sorry, if this sound unrespectful and perverted, but kindly tell that to those perpetrators, who have planned this whole story) with a completely different agenda.

        To provide you with only one dissenting voice among many others, you may want to read the extensive coverage of Jon Rappoport https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/category/ebola/, for example.

      • Those CDC figures were ridiculous. Maybe the one death by ebola claimed in the US is false, I don’t know. But, the nurse who died in Spain and the Spanish Government are now claiming is responsible for their cases hasn’t been exposed as a lie so far so maybe in Europe we’d better continue being careful since the crossing from Africa to Europe is quite a short distance. I hope the US doesn’t end up suffering any cases.
        xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  11. Great, very informative post, David.

    This is scaring. To a slightly hypochondriac like me, it’s read and start feeling symptoms… 🙂

    Seriously, though, the way the world treats Africa makes me practically sure that there’s no hope for humankind. What has got to happen for people to stop spending millions in stupid politics and use it to correct the centuries of exploitation and neglect that send Africa to the condition it is today? As long as any disease is within there, most governments don’t care, but as soon as some other country is affected, they’ll go ‘help’ Africa…

    Thanks for the info. Hugs!

    • Yay, Renata. My sentiments exactly. You can’t rob a continent and it’s peoples of all it’s riches then just write it off. If we’d all ensured there was proper education for EVERYONE in Africa there may not be so many corrupt regimes and there may be more stability. With the friendship and help from all those countries who benefited in the past Africa could be a thriving place with less inter-tribe warfare that we encouraged, and perhaps much less of the diseases we see appearing from there because there would be much more research done on them.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  12. Excellent information, David. Unfortunately, in the US’s Texas hospitals, they’ve made some serious errors. They seem to think things are better controlled now and agencies and hospitals are better prepared, but on tonight’s news it showed 3 elementary and middle schools in Ohio that have been closed and all the children under quarantine watch for 21 days; on the same plane with the nurse who flew to Ohio and back after calling CDC with a 99.4 temp but was told to go ahead (and now she has ebola), well on the flight with her were two children sitting nearby. They came home, went to school and activities before learning the nurse had ebola, and now their schools–the the children’s families, etc.–are at risk.
    We should have been dealing with this years ago, creating immunizations and treating the victims, but we didn’t. Supposedly, pharmaceutical companies didn’t see a big enough profit in it… 😦

    • That’s the biggest problem of all isn’t it. Profit before everything. Te big pharma might not make profits on curing the diseases of third world countries but they’d certainly help people and ensure those same diseases didn’t reach our shores. Perhaps they want the diseases here though in order to get more profits.
      I hope the children from the plane are OK.and soon back in school.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  13. Thank you for this very educational post. Ignorance is always a factor during the epidemics. I am very sad these days because it looks like i will have to dump my non-refundable and non-changeable ticket I got for Christmas and stay home. I see my family only twice a year, and this time I will skip unless something changes to the better.

    • I don’t think it’s fair to tell us of an impending epedemic but to share no information. So far the cases seem to be very isolated and very few actual confirmations so maybe you’ll be able to go after all. You should be able to get confirmation from the Government as to safety nearer the time. I hope you won’t be disappointed.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

      • I will feel better after they define their protocols and procedures for diagnostic, care and quarantine, and coordinate their actions to prevent the spread of the virus :(. If the virus spreads to India or China – it is the end of the world, seriously. We are all done.

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