Why am I getting a bad feeling about the Ebola thing.

I have been holding my keyboard back with the Ebola outbreak as not to fall with the ZOMG! crowd, but I think it is time to start raising the voice about WTF is going on here.  And yes, there is a game changer somewhere because the numbers are scaring the crap out of me.

My knowledge about Ebola still is cursory at best and only what I have read in techno-thrillers. My memory kept insisting that even at the old scares we had, the numbers of patients was rather low and the instances did not last long.  Just to be in the safe side, I did some research and found the CDC’s Outbreak Chronology of Ebola worldwide and I was correct.

Please pay attention to the numbers: Before this last outbreak, the record for the most cases in one year was Sudan 2000-2001 with 425 infections and 224 deaths. The outbreak with the most deaths was the first one on record: Zaire (1976) with 318 infections and 280 deaths. 

Now here come the real scary numbers; According to the CDC, there have been 34 outbreaks of Ebola since 1976 with only six having infections and deaths in three digit area and that in the low range.  The rest have been in the two and single digits!

This particular outbreak since March this year? 3,974 infected with 2,007 deaths as of today.  All other deaths by Ebola going back to 1976 total 1,498 and we blew past that mark long ago. What is special about this strain that is spreading so fast and so wide? If anything, we are better at containing  and treating the disease than in 1976 but this strain makes it look like we are in the 1600s medically wise.

About the only “good” thing is that either by design or treatment, this outbreak is not as deadly as some: instead of the all time high of 89%, we are having a 51% chance of death if infected. Then again you have a better chance of survival playing one round of Russian Roulette (12 16% aprox).

So, I am not liking this shit one little bit.

Via the Feral Irishman, go check the October 3 and the October 4 posts by Raconteur Report.

And yes, you may want to start prepping.

9 Replies to “Why am I getting a bad feeling about the Ebola thing.”

  1. Why am I getting a bad feeling about the Ebola thing?

    A. Because the UN WHO has mis-handled this epidemic in Africa. Well connected bureaucrats bungled the original contagion.

    B. Because the Obama Administration refuses to interdict travel from the West African Nations. Even Saudi Arabia will not let Hajj visitors into KSA from them. We should require every visitor be put into quarantine here or abroad.

    C. Because Dallas and the CDC looked like a clownshow when Duncan was ID’d.

    1. The vomit was cleaned up with pressure washers by two unprotected workers TWO DAYS after Duncan was sick in the apartment courtyard. How many people walked through it? How much was aerosolized by the washer? Anyone think of using some bleach on it before “cleaning”?

    2. The CDC let the quarantined woman out to go food shopping, rather than delivering food. They did not start clean-up of the apartment for four days, exposing the women and children to the infectious remains from Duncan.

    3. The Dallas County Commissioner and two women traipse through the contaminated apartment without any protection, or any cares on Saturday (for a photo op?). He later drives them to a new quarantine house and casually wears the same clothes to a press conference (and brags about it).

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    At least that is why I have a bad feeling.




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    1. Beside the incompetence. This particular strain appears to be better at surviving the environment. And God Forbid maybe it transmits airborne?
      That is the shit keeping me awake.




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  2. I’ve always wondered why Cholera doesn’t have the same cachet as Ebola? The transmission vectors are pretty much the same, and the death count for Cholera is higher, and more consistent.




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  3. I’ve seen a lot of explanations (still going through a rather long one), but I believe the big one is that this strain is “less virulent” than previous strains.

    On the surface, this sounds like a good thing, but take the 1,000-yard look. The Zaire strain debilitated its victims quickly, and killed them in 7-10 days – there wasn’t much time to spread, and it overran itself quickly. This one takes longer, 21 days, and its victims are able to move/work/travel for some time before becoming bed-ridden. There’s much more time and opportunity to contract.

    Sure, there are other factors – lack of sanitation, lack of trained health workers or decent quarantine facilities/hospitals, religious death rites that use the blood of the deceased, travel restrictions based on the honor system, etc. – but I think we’ll discover that this “less lethal” version will spread farther than previous ones directly because it’s less lethal, and that ironically will produce more dead victims.




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