Ebola

What's Scarier Than Ebola? Fear-Induced 'Solutions.'

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Protective gear
CDC Global

Make no mistake about it: Ebola is a nasty bug. With its cinematically awful symptoms in the late stages of some cases, it's seemingly tailor-made to scare the shit out of people. That's exactly the problem. As legitimate a medical danger as Ebola poses, diseases tend to breed fear-induced reactions that are less likely to improve public safety than to pose threats to people's liberty.

The classic example is the Spanish Flu, which raced around the globe at the close of World War I. The bug gained its name not from its source, but because Spain wasn't a belligerent, and maintained a free press unburdened by wartime censorship. Spanish newspapers reported on the spreading pandemic, while authorities in other countries were afraid to permit such coverage. Spain was rewarded by lending its name to an unpleasant chapter in medical history.

But restrictions went well beyond censorship. In Phoenix, Arizona, police shot dogs and arrested people who ventured outside without wearing gauze masks. Both measures were ineffective (dogs didn't carry the disease and viruses pass right through gauze), rendering the results unjust for the unmasked and tragic for the city's canine population.

Around the world, Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. Many of the dead were doctors and nurses, while others decided the risk wasn't worth what help they could render. Faced with a shortage, officials weren't afraid to conscript medical personnel into service. In Buffalo, New York, even former nurses who had retired from the profession were ordered to report for duty—by what authority is anybody's guess.

While it's still spreading, Ebola isn't the Spanish Flu. It's killed over 4,000 people so far (that we know of), and will kill more before it's done. But those deaths have mostly been in impoverished countries without modern medical care or resources. Knowledge of how disease works has advanced since 1918, and so has our ability (despite major missteps in Dallas and Spain) to care for people afflicted with contagious diseases. The U.S. and other developed countries will probably see more cases, but nothing that's likely to rival the thousands of people who die in this country from regular old influenza every year.

But if medical science and practices have changed since 1918, the human brain has not. Show us pictures of somebody bleeding from the eyes and drip out stories about newly infected patients, and the urge to do the equivalent of shooting every dog in Phoenix is hard to resist.

Travel bans are among the lousy proposals that have already surfaced—limits on getting from Point A to Point B not just for tourists and business people, but for private aid workers who might actually limit the impact and spread of disease.

Some border warriors fret that illegals will stagger across the southwestern desert with a lethal dose of Ebola virus in their baggage, and so are putting a fresh gloss on their usual immigration-control proposals.

Meanwhile, politicians on the other side of the aisle see Ebola as the logical end result of failing to placate the bureacracy gods with sufficient sacrifices of tax dollars.

To be honest, it could all be a lot worse. In the frenzy of panic over potential bioterrorism post-9/11, many states adopted part or all of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, written by Lawrence O. Gostin, a professor of law and public health at universities including Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. Gostin argued that "Although security and liberty sometimes are harmonious, more often than not they collide." He added, "The central inquiry, then, is not whether government should have the power to act…Rather, the proper inquiry is under what circumstances power can be exercised."

The resulting legislation, the American Civil Liberties Union noted at the time, "doesn't adequately protect citizens against the misuse of the tremendous powers that it would grant in an emergency."

Nobody has yet proposed dusting off that fear-fueled legislation. But with the whiff of cold sweat in the air, it's all the more reason to fear panic more than a virus.

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  1. So Arizona has always been an inhospitable shithole lorded over by clueless authoritarian thugs. Good to know.

  2. Travel bans are among the lousy proposals that have already surfaced?limits on getting from Point A to Point B not just for tourists and business people, but for private aid workers who might actually limit the impact and spread of disease.

    That is without a doubt the dumbest point people make about this subject. Jesus tap dancing Christ, you think maybe we could put the aid workers on charter planes? The idea that a travel ban somehow can’t be tailored to allow aid workers to get there is so idiotic its insulting.

    1. The idea that a travel ban somehow can’t be tailored to allow aid workers to get there is so idiotic its insulting.

      Then it’s not a “ban”, is it?

      1. My sarc meter is off today. So I am just going to assume you are being sarcastic here.

        1. No, just noting the argument is about semantics. What you’re proposing isn’t a “ban” but “restrictions”. Not everyone is arguing for restrictions; some are arguing for a complete ban.

          1. No. At most they are arguing for a ban from people returning. No one is saying the aid workers can’t go. And once there, why would you let them return? It is not like they are any less likely to have the disease.

            People like Shackelford are saying we should do nothing because doing something would mean aid workers couldn’t get there as if there are not way to get around that problem. And that is complete nonsense.

            1. You let them return because that is a right of America citizenship.

              1. Not when they can transmit a pandemic. Quarantine is a basic police power

    2. It’s just a straw man argument used by defenders of Top Men and the Obama regime, and by open borders types.

      1. Even Tony has better straw men than this.

      2. The Top Men proponents aren’t those arguing for government-controlled travel?

        1. “The Top Men proponents aren’t those arguing for government-controlled travel?”

          Libertarians ? Anarchists

          1. ^This. One of government’s few legit functions is to protect the country from external threats, like Ebola.

      3. Strawmen inside of strawmen. Strawmanception!

    3. you think maybe we could put the aid workers on charter planes

      This right here. I believe Shikha was parroting the brainless CDC/multi-culti trope that if we impose travel bans on the hot zone, that cuts off all this Western aid that is doing so much good.

      As far as I’m concerned, right now a huge chunk of CDC staff should be on charter planes to the hot zone right now. If helping in Africa is so important, why are they hanging around in the US?

      1. CDC staff make note of MM for ‘containment’.

  3. Have you even seen 28 Days Later, Tuccille? This is the future we’re looking at, soon through blood-teared eyes. I for one am going to ground. We’ll see who the last man standing will be.

    1. Hey, at least it was contained in 28 Days.

      … Now 28 Weeks Later, on the other hand…

    2. No, no. No, see, this is a really shit idea. You know why? Because it’s really obviously a shit idea.

      1. +1 Junk shot

      2. You know, he grew up as a little shit-spark from the old shit-flint. And then he turned into a shit-bonfire and then driven by the winds of his monumental ignorance, he turned into a raging shit-firestorm. If I get to be married to Barb i’ll have total control of Sunnyvale, and then I can unleash a shitnami tidal wave that’ll engulf Ricky and extinguish his shit-flames forever. And with any luck, he’ll drown in the undershit of that wave. Shit-waves.

  4. Why not limited travel restrictions? 1) No visas to citizens of Ebola-epidemic countries. 2) Mandatory quarantine of aid workers etc. before they leave those countries and return here. Fine, go to Liberia and help out or buy cocoa beans or whatever, but you have to be in quarantine there for three weeks before you return.

    putting a fresh gloss on their usual immigration-control proposals.

    Another way of putting it: current events prove that immigration-control proposals make sense. I know, it’s hard for libertarians to object to “free movement of people,” and for people who want to “fight stereotypes” to ever admit they might actually be true, but sometimes it happens. We’ve got people dying of imported EV-68 and Ebola, and people don’t want to admit that the old “immigrants import diseases” trope might actually be true sometimes. Well, now is one of those times.

    1. people don’t want to admit that the old “immigrants import diseases” trope might actually be true sometimes. Well, now is one of those times.

      Then isn’t the answer to open up Ellis Island to serve its intended purpose again?

      1. The Reason open borders types would have dozens of kittens over that idea. How dare you other them like that? Natives have diseases too you know. Do you quarantine people who travel from Texas to New Mexico? I didn’t think so.

        1. Do you quarantine people who travel from Texas to New Mexico?

          I’m sure there is a WW2-era executive order lying around that allows just that.

      2. That’s what Angel Island here was for, also.

        1. Can we use Guantanamo?

        2. I’m all for reopening those places. I bet a center devoted to the task of processing immigrants would be quicker than what my wife and I experience at JFK. We had to wait around 3 to 4 fucking hours while they processed her paperwork.

    2. imported EV-68

      Stop lying. You are a slimy lying SOS.

      1. Yeah, I’m all about calling a spade a spade, but Enterovirus D68 isn’t some exotic disease. That thar is a red-blooded ‘Murkin infection!

        1. Which was rare in the US but common in the countries all those illegal children came from a few months ago. The illegals who were proven to be carrying many diseases, but were shipped all over the country anyway. And now there’s an outbreak among children all over the country. What a coincidence!

    3. Tourists import diseases. Movement inside of America does too! Lets just force people to stay home.

      1. Yes it is called quads time you half wit.

    4. Another way of putting it: current events prove that immigration-control proposals make sense.

      And nobody’s even talking about the enterovirus outbreak going on in the US right now.

      This bug kills or paralyzes children. It was pretty much unknown in the US until very recently.

      One place it was known to exist was Central America. A place from which we just imported tens of thousands of people, with no health screening to speak of, and scattered them all around the country.

      Is this outbreak traceable to the Central American illegals? Nobody knows, but I have the feeling that even asking the question is so un-PC that nobody is even looking into it.

      And this isn’t a handful of patients in one city. This is all over the country. Right now. Killing and paralyzing children.

      1. What Mega (when did you switch from RC, anyway?) said. Depending on how long it takes to sequence a viral genome, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this enterovirus was known by the CDC to be identical to a strain going around Central America a few years ago. It’d be unexpected for the CDC to not have a sample of bugs going around neighboring countries. How hard would it be for them to see if they’re related?

        1. What would be hard would be to go against the political bosses and uncover a fact that might inhibit their plan to elect a new people, one more likely to vote for Democrats.

    5. The immigration laws already require a physical before you can get a visa. One of the rules prevents patients with TB from entering.

      I don’t see why further controls are necessary. It takes a lot longer than 21 days to get a green card.

    6. What’s funniest is that some of the same people like to bash the US because, during exploration and colonization, Euros brought diseases here.

      Plus, plague blankets.

  5. Some border warriors fret that illegals will stagger across the southwestern desert with a a lethal dose of Ebola virus in their baggage, and so are putting a fresh gloss on their usual immigration-control proposals.

    That happened you fucking half wit. How do you think it got to Dallas? Lets hope it isn’t actually that contagious. If it is, we are doomed because our society is apparently made up of a lot of people like JD who seem to be too stupid to live.

    1. Thomas Eric Duncan wasn’t an illegal immigrant. You think he would have gone to the hospital if he feared arrest?

      1. He was an illegal immigrant if he lied to get his visa, or lied when exiting Liberia.

        He didn’t swim a river or anything, but still.

        And I say this as a notorious open borders guy.

        1. He was an illegal immigrant if he lied to get his visa, or lied when exiting Liberia.

          You are correct, but we don’t know if he did. Until proven that he had committed visa fraud, he was legally here.

          1. He wouldn’t have been had there been a travel ban. That is the entire point.

            1. Exactly. And has been pointed out, giving tourist visas to unemployed Liberians so they can visit their “fianc?s” in the US is a bad idea. The odds that he was intending to overstay are about 100%.

              1. If he did that, that’s actual visa fraud. And if he was unemployed, I’m shocked that he got a tourist visa…though there may be some Libero-America treaty from the 1800’s that accounts for that considering Liberia’s history.

                1. Well, he died before it could really be proved, but it seems pretty likely.

        2. Now, now, Fluffy.

          He wasn’t an illegal immigrant. He was an immigrant with documentation irregularities.

      2. He apparently didn’t for a while. And if we had stopped travel here, he never would have gotten back in the first place. Beyond that, Ebola doesn’t care what your passport says. It just as easily could have been someone here illegally or on a tourist VISA who brought it.

  6. In Buffalo, New York, even former nurses who had retired from the profession were ordered to report for duty?by what authority is anybody’s guess.

    “By the power invested in me by the mighty MNG.”

    nothing that’s likely to rival the thousands of people who die in this country from regular old influenza every year

    I think that’s a dishonest comparison. Some people are old, and some people are very young, and some people have compromised immune systems, and those people are vulnerable to any old respiratory disease that comes along. They always will be, until we achieve transhuman nanomedicine.

    Saying that means we shouldn’t care about a disease that kills 70% of the normal, healthy people who get it is absurd.

    I may only have a 1 in 20,000,000 chance of dying of ebola in the next 12 months. But I have a 0 chance of dying of the flu.

    1. Also, I think maybe that the dying from ebola statistic changes if we actually get the disease in this country.

      1. Exactly. Past numbers are only predictive of the future until they aren’t. In July 1914 the chances of the average European male dying a violent death were really low. The number, however, didn’t account for future changes in circumstances.

        1. And it just ticks me off that so many people who should know better act as if we already know everything there is to know about Ebola, and it can’t possibly surprise us. It already has, and I expect it to do so in the future.

          1. Cough Ron Bailey Cough Cough

            Part of it is western arrogance. People have a bad habit of thinking Africans are these sub human savages and that we are smarter and thus nothing like that could happen here. Ah no. The Africans may be poor but they are not suicidal or completely stupid. If Ebola were easy to contain, they would have contained it.

            1. It’s one thing to point out that African villagers can ignorantly spread it, but I started to get worried with all the health care worker deaths there. That told me Ebola wasn’t acting the way it was expected to, and/or that “protocols” were inadequate. And then the excuse was that they didn’t follow protocol, but we shouldn’t worry because our “advanced Western medicine” would have it all under control. Turns out: not really.

              1. Yes, really.

                OMG TWO PEOPLE GOT IT LETS FREAK OUT-this is you.

                1. Sure there is nothing asymmetric about the spread of disease. God forbid we interrupt someone’s african vacation

                2. Agreed. You always wait until things get really bad; that’s always the smart, prudent play.

          2. The most interesting fact that gets little attention is you don’t have to be symptomatic to transmit ebola. If you already have recovered from ebola, it is still transmittable via semen for up to 3 months.

            This makes a quarantine less useful. I’d feel more reassured if they did blood tests to determine if you carry the virus.

            1. Surely to God people who had and recovered from Ebola would me smart enough to stick to self abuse for three months or use a condom if they had that date with the one legged hooker they had always dreamed about having. But maybe I am expecting too much.

              1. But with a 30% non-fatality rate, would the person necessarily know they had ebola? People might have a mild case and are never treated and just naturally recover. Or, maybe they never become symptomatic – does the virus only become dangerous after symptoms?

                1. DK,

                  I wonder if the mortality rate for Ebola is less than they are saying. And the reason why it is spreading is that people can get it an only have mild symptoms and thus not know they ever had it. This would explain why it has spread so much in Africa. Usually the upside of a disease that has a really high mortality rate and fast onset is that it doesn’t spread very far since everyone who gets it dies before they can infect very many people.

                  1. It is well known why it spread so much in Africa.

                    The local funeral customs require the washing of the dead body before burial.
                    Family members personally wash their dead, and thus contract the disease.

                    Ebola isn’t airborne, but it is VERY infectious, even a tiny number of viral particles can cause infection. A microscopic bit of sweat might be enough.

                2. This is a good question, one glossed over by the “Nothing to see here” folks. OK, so someone “showing symptoms” of Ebola is contagious, but how do you define that? Yes, when they’re vomiting blood, but what about earlier, when their temperature is merely 99? When does transmission really start? Is it really the same in every case? I don’t think we know for sure.

                  1. Ebola is symptomatic before it is transmissible. That’s why outbreaks don’t go that far.

                    1. This one has. So apparently your assumption is wrong.

                    2. If it makes you feel better, John it because they are Muslims. Because Muslim funeral customs require the body to be bathed as soon as possible after death. Preferably within hours.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_funeral

                  2. PapayaSF,

                    Yeah, the media doesn’t seem to be asking those questions. But, I wouldn’t necessarily fault the medical community. They are likely not answerable since it relies on self-reporting.

                    In any case, I don’t really like the quarantine option. I’d rather go the blood test route which would capture pre-symptomatic, symptomatic, and post-recovery people. The holdup on blood testing seems to be the regulatory state. Here’s a company that is trying to market a 10 minute test.

            2. Thank God Kent Bradley is a missionary.

              1. I don’t think the virus cares what sexual position you choose to engage in.

          3. How dare Ron Bailey use reason and evidence to arrive at his position on Ebola! How are we supposed to scare people into accepting draconian restrictions?

            1. Ignore the fact that every prediction he has made has been wrong.

            2. Please identify the draconian restrictions that people are being asked to accept.

    2. But I have a 0 chance of dying of the flu.

      Is that so?

      Seriously, if you ask me what keeps me up at night, it’s not blood-borne Ebola. It’s SARS, MERS, Hantavirus, and H5N1, etc.

      1. Which are among the things that infect and kill 75,000-99,000 Americans in hospitals every year. So as I’ve been saying, the idea that our “advanced Western medicine” is ready for Ebola is laughable.

        1. We have two things going for us, generally good health and really kick ass antibiotics. Ebola is a virus. So scratch number two. Number one only buys us a 70% mortality rate rather than the 90% one in Africa. That isn’t very comforting if you ask me.

          1. And the practical aspects are frightening. Apparently it costs $500,000 to treat one patient, and how many hospitals do we have that can do the level of virus containment required? I read about 140. We’re not even prepared to adequately dispose of the massive quantities of contaminated clothing and bedding etc. that just one case creates.

            1. Now I think I’ll go watch the plague episodes of Deadwood.

          2. Number one only buys us a 70% mortality rate rather than the 90% one in Africa.

            Uh wrong. Pretty sure the 70% number includes African casualties. If it doesn’t the sample size is too small to come to a conclusion.

        2. ?

          The US has only had 27 cases of SARS, and 2 cases of MERS. You might be confusing MERS with MRSA. Again, all of the viruses I mentioned are airborne and virulent. MRSA usually isn’t. While 75,000 to 99,000 are infected, only about 20,000 die. The North American strain of Hantavirus has a mortality rate of about 50%. The mortality rate of bird flu is about 60%

            1. You’re conflating MRSA with all hospital borne infections, of which SARS, MERS, Hantavirus, and bird flu are not.

              So forgive me for not seeing a point to your statistics.

              1. Yeah, I get rather frustrated with those kinds of statistics. It is true that MRSA and other nasty bacteria (VISA, ESBL) cause nosocomial infections, but many of these deaths are in people who are already severely compromised.

                I am not suggesting these aren’t a problem. I’m annoyed that these numbers are used to suggest that American medicine is somehow dangerous/useless.

              2. My point is that hospitals aren’t great at containing contagions far less lethal than Ebola, so why are so many people so naive as to believe that Ebola won’t be a problem here? “Oh, but we have good hygiene and advanced Western medicine.” Well, so far we have had *1* unintentionally imported Ebola case, which has resulted to *2* more cases among health care workers. You don’t have to be a mathematician to dislike the implications of that.

    3. Here’s the deal with Ebola:

      It is already acting in new ways. The current African outbreak can only be chalked up to a mutation in the virus. Nothing else has changed, so the virulence and transmissibility it has suddenly starting exhibiting are new.

      It is growing exponentially in Africa, as in, doubling every month or so(?). At that rate, you get to very large numbers pretty quickly.

      If it is infecting people in hazmat suits, then we obviously don’t know how it is transmitting. There is no reason to believe there won’t be a bigger outbreak here, and that when it happens it won’t be minor and easily handled.

      I’m guessing that a couple hundred thousand Ebola cases in the US would collapse our health care system, at least as long as we are trying to treat it.

      1. Well, we don’t know if it’s mutated. A thing that’s changed from previous outbreaks is that both Sierra Leone and Liberia have had ruinous civil wars that have crushed their governments’ ability to do anything, much less play public health protector. Both countries have, despite their civil wars, gained in population, thereby providing the bug more places to find new hosts. And both countries, despite being more urbanized, still have typically African attitudes towards burial, trusting their governments, and public health. So you get things like people washing their dead, and thereby infecting themselves. People raiding hospitals and taking their patients back into the hinterlands, etc…

        Go look at WHO’s estimates for how this will progress in Liberia/Sierra Leone. Basically, the number of cases will continue to double every 20-30 days or so until a majority of the population is infected. Eventually the exponential will flatten out, but I doubt it’ll be for awhile.

        Now, as to what risk this is to the U.S., you all are aware the costs for just this one patient cluster is at least 500k USD, and probably a whole hell of a lot more. Never mind the blow caring for these patients has done to a major hospital in Dallas.

        1. Yes, we don’t need “a couple hundred thousand Ebola cases” to crash the system. I’m afraid even a hundred would be a huge, huge blow.

        2. Most, hell, the vast majority of hospitals aren’t set up to isolate a BSL-4 agent. Especially one that seemingly requires a moon suit for clinicians towards the end of the patient’s life. So, they’ve had to do things like isolate an entire ward, bleach and scour things to an absurd degree, and wear PPE that’s several steps beyond anything these clinicians have ever had to do before.

          And it still isn’t enough to prevent infection a significant percentage of the time. Even if the clinician manages to stay uninfected, they’re still having to contend with the idea of being stuck under the same travel restrictions as their patients. E.g., the massive butthurt that ensued when the second nurse was discovered to have taken a commercial flight (this was before anyone had heard she spiked a small fever and still boarded the return flight.) A few thousand cases nothing, if we get more than a few tens of cases, and they result in tertiary infections—i.e., the clinician leaves the ward and infects the produce clerk at the store down the street—that, coupled with flu season, is going to be ruinous to the American healthcare economy.

          1. Oh, and some more cheerful thoughts. We suspect, cause we don’t know everything about this organism, that there’s a reservoir for it in local fruit bat species in Zaire. Cue all of the Kitum Cave stuff.

            What if you don’t need an African fruit bat to harbor the bug? What if, I dunno, prairie dogs, better yet, scavengers like raccoons can get it and not die? Or Mexican free tail bats like the ones Austin is so famous for. How does the thought of this shit becoming endemic in the U.S. sound to you all?

            The easiest way to deal with this bug is to make sure we don’t have to deal with it here. Which means quarantining people from the hot zones until they test negative or until their putative incubation period is over. How this is in the least controversial, I have no idea.

            1. Yes, I thought of that when I saw the picture of the guy in street clothes (!) washing Duncan’s Ebola vomit off the sidewalk with a pressure washer (!). What is a dog eats some? Are there rats nearby?

        3. A thing that’s changed from previous outbreaks is that both Sierra Leone and Liberia have had ruinous civil wars that have crushed their governments’ ability to do anything,

          A lot of this is happening in villages where the government was never a presence, and I doubt, in any event, the ability of previous governments to seriously affect something like this.

  7. Wait, I thought that just the other day Reason was saying that travel bans don’t work and they just make the outbreak worse.

    So which is it? Temporary travel bans cause more Ebola-ridden people to seep through the borders and we all die or they turn us into North Korea? Or is it North Korea but with more Ebola?

    1. North Korea now with more Ebola!!

      That is funny.

      1. Eborra!

  8. I was very late to the party re: being concerned about this, and I was shocked to hear that travel to/from Africa is not being limited to only aid workers.
    Has anyone in the Admin been questioned about this?

    1. By the still-sycophantic mainstream media? Ha.

    2. No. And Reason has run two articles now saying how wrong that would be to do. People have lost their minds.

      1. It’s really a classic case of ideology colliding with reality. Libertarians want people to be free to move about, which is generally laudable and a good thing. But purists and fanatics hate to admit that their principles might have exceptions. Plus, people (especially progressives) hate to “reinforce negative stereotypes.” So, if something negatively stereotypical happens, like immigrants bringing in disease, a bunch of people will claim it’s not really happening, or not important, despite the evidence right before their eyes.

        1. Yes. Politics can make people stupid sometimes. No single political ideology is the answer to every circumstance.

          1. You are often wise, John. Especially when you agree with me!

        2. You still can’t make a case for travel restrictions, and you’re scolding others for dogmatism. Classic.

          1. I just have the entire history of how to control a disease that says we should. How do you manage to be this stupid.

            Cytoxic in medieval England “just because the ship has the plague doesn’t give you the right to say it can’t come into port”.

          2. Sure I’ve made the case. It’s a friggin’ deadly epidemic coming from just a few countries. How about we stop people from those countries from entering the country? They can do business by phone or internet. They can talk to their family via Skype. One single case has already cost us millions of dollars.

      2. Jesus just when I pick something to not worry about and assume even Obama would do something right, I’m hit in the nuts.
        What possible reason is there to not restrict travel to/from the places we actually know have Ebola outbreaks.
        What the fucking fuck?

        1. I can’t speak for Reason but I can tell you exactly what is going on with the government, political correctness and ass covering. The government had the power to ban travel from those areas from the start. It didn’t do it because the powers that be didn’t want to ban travel from Africa because that wouldn’t be fair and would make Africans feel stigmatized. Once the thing got out of control and it was clear they had fucked up, then the story became “the restrictions wouldn’t work anyway”. Meanwhile the laws of biology really don’t give a fuck about political correctness or Obama’s poll numbers or if West Africans feel othered or not.

  9. How many people actually believe this bullshit about travel bans not working? Are Sheikha and JD retards or liars?

    1. [reads thread]

      bans restrictions

    2. Neither, it’s just that “Politics is the mind-killer”: ideology can cause otherwise intelligent and honest people to act as if they were stupid or lying.

      1. so … religious fanatic. I think that falls under the ‘retard’ umbrella.

      2. So they act like nativists?

        1. You are so deep into your ideology that you can’t see common sense, even when it’s backed up by medical facts and history. Just calling names is all you’ve got on this.

    3. I’m dumbfounded by this, and will be going back to the puppy killing threads where it’s safe.

  10. One thing to note about travel bans vs. restrictions.

    If an infectious disease isn’t a threat to become a pandemic, the number of American deaths is related linearly to the number of infected immigrants. So reducing travel from West Africa by 90% will reduce American deaths by 90%.

  11. I see our resident nativists are as pumped up for draconian restrictions thanks to Ebola as gun control activists are as pumped up by gun massacres. They really are gross, low creatures.

    Everyone else on this thread: STFU. You are way beyond your expertise. Ebola is not a threat to America, end of story. If you believe otherwise YOU ARE WRONG. You don’t how diseases or microorganisms work. The fact that you’re afraid is not my problem. If you’re this paranoid, you should refuse to drive because that’s more likely to kill you than Ebola.

    1. It doesn’t need to be a threat to “America”.

      America wouldn’t be “threatened” by 100,000 people dead from ebola.

      But it would suck for the 100,000 people.

      Or 10,000.

      When the CDC says, “It’s no threat because we’re better at contact tracing and infection management than they are in Africa,” that means that they think that when people get it they’ll be able to stop it from spreading very far. They aren’t claiming that no one will die; they’re claiming they can stop it before everyone dies. And they’ll stop it by putting your name on a checklist and waiting for you to die before you pass it on to more than one other person.

      Sorry, but as methods go that one doesn’t impress me.

      you should refuse to drive because that’s more likely to kill you than Ebola

      Driving has an upside for me, so I accept the risk.

      Gun ownership has an upside for me, so I accept the risk.

      Letting people come here on tourist visas from Liberia has no upside for me, so fuck that risk. Cut it to zero.

      1. “You don’t how diseases or microorganisms work.”

        1. Hey Sidd Ebola only has a 30% mortality rate and an outbreak would only kill a few hi Fred thousand people. Only a nativist would want to temporarily restrict travel over that

          Cytoxic is the new Tulpa.

      2. What Fluffy said.

    2. Ebola is not a threat to America, end of story.

      I would agree, if

      (a) we knew how it transmits (we don’t),

      (b) we could treat these people (we can’t, really),

      (c) we had realistic preventive measures (we don’t – you can’t moonsuit an entire ED, just for starters, and there is no vaccine),

      (d) any outbreak would stay microscopic (unlikely, as we don’t really know how it transmits and we appear unwilling to take the kinds of steps it takes to control an outbreak).

      I don’t believe that a relatively small outbreak (say, 20,000 people) wouldn’t have a catastrophic impact on health care and the economy of this country. It would.

      Our best defense is to keep Ebola from being imported again. What we have now, we should be able to get on top of. But we can’t count on chasing down the collateral from a new Ebola immigrant every month.

    3. “You are way beyond your expertise.”

      Does the term “appeal to authority” mean anything to you?

      Again, anyone who doesn’t question what we’re being told about the disease vector–despite the fact that the protocols healthcare workers are using are failing–is being irrational.

      Hundreds of thousands of HIV patients treated by millions of nurses–and not one documented case of transmission from a patient to a healthcare worker since 1999.

      One Ebola patient has already infected two professionals in a hospital setting–despite protocols at least as strict as those that have successfully protected healthcare workers from hepatitis and HIV for more than a decade.

      Yeah, who are you going to believe?

      A government spokesperson or your own lying eyes?

  12. You let them return because that is a right of America citizenship.

    How about the foreign nationals?

    Do we have to let them travel here too?

    Look, as everyone here knows, I am a notorious open borders guy.

    But even my love for open borders has limits.

    For example (and I have to admit that this is an argument I lost with Tulpa, of all people), while I believe in both the principles of free travel and trade, and the principle of free gun ownership, if a Soviet armored division undertook an amphibious landing at Seattle and said, “Hey, we’re here as tourists! You have open borders and no gun control, right?” I have to admit that I would not be down with that.

    So to summarize: Mexican farm workers, YAY! Soviet armored divisions and assholes from plague zones, BOOOOOO!

    1. You let them return because that is a right of America citizenship.

      They can return as soon as they clear quarantine. How hard is that?

  13. Well, this is about as enlightened and rational as a deep-dish thread.

  14. So this is old news, now, but the nurse who flew on the plane to (or was it from?) Cleveland: was she a secret terrorist? Did anyone but me think of the movie Twelve Monkeys?

    1. Hopefully she isn’t a Muslim….

  15. “Ebola isn’t the Spanish Flu. It’s killed over 4,000 people so far (that we know of), and will kill more before it’s done. But those deaths have mostly been in impoverished countries without modern medical care or resources.”

    The protocols they’re using to protect healthcare workers from Ebola aren’t working. If the protocols aren’t working, then the vector assumptions behind them are also in question. Why wouldn’t we question the vector assumptions if the protocols are failing miserably?

    And we shouldn’t be marking Ebola against diseases like the Spanish Flu. We should be looking at the empirical data marking Ebola against other bodily fluid borne diseases (with the same vector) like HIV and hepatitis.

    According to the CDC, there hasn’t been a confirmed case of an HIV patient infecting a healthcare worker since 1999. We’ve had a million HIV patients! Transmission of hepatitis (which is much more virulent than HIV) from patients to healthcare workers, likewise, is extremely rare. We’ve had millions of hepatitis patients in the United States!

    We’ve had one Ebola patient, with Ebola having the same transmission vector–and that patient infected at least two healthcare workers. …despite the fact that the healthcare workers in question knew that their patients had Ebola, which often doesn’t happen with HIV and hepatitis patients.

    1. We should be looking at the empirical data marking Ebola against other bodily fluid borne diseases (with the same vector)

      At this point, that is very much an open question.

      1. I’d like to understand the line between what’s considered airborne and what isn’t.

        If the virus can survive in sweat, can it survive in exhaled water vapor?

        If it can survive outside of water vapor, is that what makes it airborne? If it floats around in water vapor in the air–is that not considered airborne?

        So long as it’s contagious based on something you breathe in, does it matter whether they consider that technically airborne?

        We went through a similar process with HIV. It wasn’t clear, initially, for instance, that the HIV virus couldn’t be spread by mosquitoes.

        Wish I still had access to an infection control nurse.

        1. From what I’ve read, if you sneeze and a tiny droplet lands on someone six feet away, that’s considered “droplet transmission” and not “airborne” according to medical types. I think non-experts would consider that “airborne,” though.

          For a virus to be “airborne” according to them, it has to be able to float in the air, e.g. through a ventilation system.

          1. I wonder how long it survives on a surface.

            1. What about touching a common surface?
              Ebola can survive for only a few hours on dry surfaces like doorknobs and countertops. When it dries, it dies. It can be killed with household bleach or alcohol-based hand sanitizers. In body fluids, like blood, the virus can survive several days at room temperature. In semen, it can survive for several months.

              1. From our helpful friends at the Public Health Agency of Canada:

                Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low temperatures (4?C) Footnote 52 Footnote 61. One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote 61. In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for several hours under ambient conditions (between 20 and 25C and 30?40% relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours), but is less stable than some other viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa)

                Considering the ridiculous viral titers an end-stage patient possesses, and how much goop their shedding, the above isn’t all that comforting, is it?

    2. The protocols they’re using to protect healthcare workers from Ebola aren’t working. If the protocols aren’t working, then the vector assumptions behind them are also in question. Why wouldn’t we question the vector assumptions if the protocols are failing miserably?

      I actually don’t think the protocols have failed. It’s just that Presby isn’t applying the ones they really need, which are the protocols true BSL-4-ready hospitals like Emory, Nebraska’s, or the Slammer at Detrick (if they haven’t closed it, I forget) You need more than what those nurses at Presby were using. You need antechambers to gown up, you need buddies to decontaminate you, you need positive pressure respirators at the end: a whole lot of shit that nobody except a few places in the U.S. are set up for.

      Why did they pick Presby? I wondered why they didn’t take him to Parkland, when I first heard about it. Go look at a map of where this guy’s apartment was. It’s down the street, ish, from Presby. They figured isolate him ASAP, and we’ll figure out later. After all, we have an emergency plan for this, right? And the previous paragraph is why Nurse #2 is going to Emory, and not staying in Dallas.

      1. I’m trying to use this to judge how Ebola is going to function in the wild here in the U.S.

        If medical professionals need all that equipment to protect themselves, what chance does your average mom have taking care of a sick child?

        You don’t need that stuff to protect people from hepatitis or HIV. …and if we need all that equipment to protect healthcare workers, then why do they keep telling us about how it’s about bodily fluids? …like it’s supposed to be reassuring.

    3. According to news reports they weren’t following the protocols for days and the staff aren’t trained in them.

      The guy should have been put on a special airplane and flown to wherever kent Bradley was treated.

    4. According to news reports they weren’t following the protocols for days and the staff aren’t trained in them.

      The guy should have been put on a special airplane and flown to wherever kent Bradley was treated.

      1. What you’re telling me is that the standard protocols they use to protect healthcare workers from HIV and hepatitis were insufficient.

        And you keep telling me that as if it’s supposed to be reassuring.

        There isn’t anything reassuring about the fact that the protocols healthcare workers use every day on every patient to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis–that have been so wildly successful in protecting healthcare workers for more than a decade–are insufficient to protect people from Ebola.

        It’s like Obama looking straight into the camera and saying, “Let me be clear: everything we’ve used to protect ourselves from HIV and hepatitis over the years has completely failed us, everybody–so there’s nothing to worry about!”

        I can’t get behind that.

        1. Yeah, Ebola is HIGHLY infectious. Not airborne, but even a tiny amount of exposure and you can get it.

          The PPE they are talking about is more like a hazmat suit. Complete body covering.

          1. I mean, look, up see the picture. Do they wear that for HIV and hepatitis?

          2. You keep saying it isn’t airborne.

            …like you’re absolutely sure of that, and if data came in contradicting that, you’d discard it–since you already know it isn’t airborne.

            That’s not how the science thingy works.

            Science is a consensus. When new data comes in contradicting the consensus, the consensus has to change.

            These infections are new data, and the data is contradicting the consensus in a couple of ways.

            1. No it doesn’t. All of the people who have gotten infected are people who would have had physical contact with the dead guy’s bodily fluids.

              There hasn’t been one case of someone getting the disease that couldn’t have gotten it through direct physical contact.

              1. Whatever physical contact was required to get it–if that’s what was required–it was a lot less than it takes to transfer hep or HIV, wasn’t it.

                You wouldn’t find it reassuring if they have to wear those suits, would you?

                You’re not going to wear one of those space suits around, are you?

  16. Being afraid of things like earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, epidemics, that’s all perfectly rational. Panicking if you’re not properly prepared is rational. If there’s a hurricane coming, and you don’t have water, food, a generator? You need to run out and get that stuff quick. If there’s an epidemic that makes our protocols fail–even when implemented by professionals in a hospital setting–then there are certain things we should be doing–real quick. People should be canceling travel to West Africa. We should stop issuing visas to people from West Africa. People should be canceling air travel, cruises, safaris, etc., etc.

    Anybody who’s sure of the assumptions (including the vector assumptions) despite the protocols failing miserably is being irrational.

    1. It’s people like you who are going to turn this shit into Mad Max.

      I’m more worried about what people panicking about Ebola are going to do than I am about Ebola.

      1. I’m all for panicking.

        IF by “panicking” you mean doing common sense things to protect us that aren’t being done.

        “People should be canceling travel to West Africa. We should stop issuing visas to people from West Africa. People should be canceling air travel, cruises, safaris, etc., etc.”

        It’s not like I’m calling for FEMA camps.

        1. Yeah, but you’re also spreading the speculation that it could be airborne, which is not helpful.
          We don’t want people to be afraid to get on an airplane, or go out their front door.

          1. I’m not sure we don’t want people avoiding airplanes for the time being.

            We certainly shouldn’t lie to them to keep them doing something that might help spread the disease.

            I’m not getting on an airplane right now.

            1. And THAT’s why the stock market is crashing.

              1. Ebola has been a factor over the last week, but today was about inventories.

                The airlines have been hard hit by the Ebola scare. I think that’s rational behavior.

                Incidentally, if you avoid Iraq as a journalist, right now, ’cause you don’t want ISIS to cut your head off? That’s pretty rational, too.

                I think WHO is expecting some 10,000 new cases a month in East Africa over the next few months. And there are plenty of flights between Nairobi and London daily. Avoiding unnecessary risk in the face of uncertainty is not inherently irrational. Doing things that minimize the risk of spreading the disease (like avoiding flying) isn’t irrational either.

                Seems kinda invisible handish to me.

                1. Got that stat mixed up again:

                  It’s West Africa, and it isn’t 10,000 new cases a month over the next few months–it’s 10,000 new cases a week.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10…..frica.html

                  They keep saying that East Africa is at high risk.

  17. Look people, I know all you preppers are just dying to use use your bunkers and your stockpiles of ammo, but it’s going to be a long time before the masses of bloody-vomit spewing Ebola patents invade your mountain compound at this rate.

    Relax. Go watch some Walking Dead. The new season just started.

  18. C’mon people, Obama’s got this – he wants to bring SWAT teams to hospitals.

    So Walking Dead really is where this is headed.

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