Ebola

Maine Ruling Is a Rebuke to Governors' Ebola Fear Mongering

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Portland Press Herald video

Last Thursday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage bragged about his "robust authority" to keep Kaci Hickox from leaving her home in Fort Kent. The next day, a judge said that authority is not up to the task, since Hickox, a nurse who returned to the United States on October 24 after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, is not sick or contagious and therefore does not currently pose a threat to the general public.

"The State has not met its burden at this time to prove by clear and convincing evidence that limiting Respondent's movements to the degree requested is 'necessary to protect other individuals from the dangers of infection,'" wrote Maine District Court Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere. "According to the information presented to the court, Respondent currently does not show any symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not infectious." Rather than forcible isolation, LaVerdiere ordered "direct active monitoring" aimed at detecting the onset of symptoms should Hickox become ill. He noted that Hickox was already cooperating with such monitoring.

Although Hickox does not pose a public health threat, LaVerdiere said she should be aware that other people might mistakenly think she does. "The Court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola," he wrote. "The Court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational." The people acting based on this irrational fear, of course, include LePage, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose 21-day quarantine policies for asymptomatic health care workers returning from Africa are medically unjustified but perhaps politically astute in light of the widespread fears noted by LaVerdiere. To me, LePage, who is up for re-election tomorrow, comes across as a bully and a demagogue when he insists that Hickox be confined for no good reason, even while portraying her as unreasonable. But polling suggests that most people agree with LePage's "abundance of caution," which attaches zero weight to liberty.

"As Governor," LePage said in a statement after LaVerdiere's decision, "I have done everything I can to protect the health and safety of Mainers. The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling and I believe it is unfortunate. However, the State will abide by law." Campaigning on Friday, LePage criticized Hickox while stoking the irrational fears mentioned by LaVerdiere. "We don't know what we don't know about Ebola," LePage said. "I don't trust her. And I don't trust that we know enough about this disease to be so callous."

Yet as LaVerdiere noted, the state's own testimony showed that LePage's insistence on a quarantine was unjustified. In an affidavit, Sheila Pinette, director of Maine's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, observed that "Ebola Virus Disease is spread through direct contact with the blood, sweat, vomit, feces and other body fluids of a symptomatic person." She also noted that "individuals infected with Ebola Virus Disease who are not showing symptoms are not yet infectious." And as The New England Journal of Medicine notes, "fever precedes the contagious stage."

By successfully resisting LePage's unreasonable demands, Hickox may help undermine similar policies in other states. Judges weighing coercive public health interventions generally are supposed to require "clear and convincing evidence" that the target poses a threat and that it cannot be addressed by less restrictive measures. LaVerdiere's order shows that a judge who takes those tests seriously cannot approve the panicky overreaction endorsed by LePage, Christie, and Cuomo.

NEXT: WATCH: Town Bans Body Odor; Cops Decide Who Smells Illegal (Nanny of the Month 10-'14)

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  1. Who better to opine on whether there is a potential medical danger than a lawyer?

    1. This isn’t about establishing whether there is a medical danger. It’s about balancing the well-documented medical danger against individual liberty. That’s where the judge comes in.

  2. Hickox, a nurse who returned to the United States on October 24 after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, is not sick or contagious and therefore does not currently pose a threat to the general public.

    So, I guess we’ve got a “one bite” rule for epidemiology now? Nobody shoud do nuthin’ until you’ve infected someone?

    And tell me, why is it that we get all wrapped around the axle for this one publicity hound nurse, when we have actually been no-shitting quarantining people with less exposure than she had?

    Eight individuals in northeast Ohio were under quarantine Thursday as health officials broadened the group of people being notified that they may have had contact with a Texas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola after visiting the area.

    I guess those are just little people, who didn’t make a fuss and who cares if they did, right? Rather than an actual CDC government operative and NGO quango. You know, a real person, who matters. Not some prole trying to keep their business above water.

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/16/8…..e-visited/

    1. Just because an infected person can be asymptomatic up to 21 days, and the onset of symptoms, and therefore contagiousness, can be very rapid while they happen to be out and about, is no reason for all you ignorant proles to be concerned. Just because Top Men already said there wouldn’t be an outbreak in the US doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust their judgment.

  3. But polling suggests that most people agree with LePage’s “abundance of caution,” which attaches zero weight to liberty.

    Pants-shitting is currently the rage, and of course, pants-shitting takes precedence over liberty, as we can clearly see.

    1. polling suggests that most people agree with LePage’s “abundance of caution,”

      Perhaps because they keep seeing people in full hazmat suits responding to Ebola?

      1. So, here’s my question for you, RC: if nothing becomes of this nurse, if she doesn’t have Ebola, will you admit that your pants-shitting was for naught? If she does end up having it, I will freely admit I was wrong. Will you? Will you admit that you went for fear over liberty?

        Because you–and many others here–have been shitting your pants for weeks now and nothing has happened.

        1. I don’t really support mandatory quarantines, but honestly this whole thing is retarded she is obviously doing this to spurn the politicians in hopes she gets locked up so she can sue for a civil rights violation. Every appearance and interview looks staged/scripted. She is trying to rile people up on purpose.

        2. if she doesn’t have Ebola, will you admit that your pants-shitting was for naught?

          No, because you miss the point of a quarantine.

          Quarantines are to get ahead of the transmission cycle. That means you have to quarantine people who aren’t transmissible, yet, but could be.

          You are managing risk, not managing disease.

          Plus, I’m really proposing a pretty soft quarantine here: basically, letting people live at home for three weeks and self-monitor and report. Not exactly demanding that they be thrown in rape cages.

          1. Quarantines are to get ahead of the transmission cycle. That means you have to quarantine people who aren’t transmissible, yet, but could be.

            ^This. No cages, just stay home for three weeks. Given that the epidemic is still out of control in Africa, this seems prudent given the risks and expense involved otherwise.

          2. Why not just let them self-monitor and report? Why force them to stay home? 40 years of studying Ebola and 10 months of studying this particular strain indicate you are not contagious until after you start showing symptoms. There’s a thick line between managing risk and following the precautionary principle. You’re on the wrong side of that line.

            1. Why not just let them self-monitor and report? Why force them to stay home?

              10 months of studying this particular strain indicate you are not contagious until after you start showing symptoms.

              Well, mostly – some patients are pretty asymptomatic. Plus, there’s the way the initial onset often looks just like flu, which makes it easy to rationalize/miss the diagnosis.

              Right now, we have a decent working screen at hospitals based on travel to West Africa or close contact with someone who has. If we lose that screen because this breaks out to a third level of exposure (think those folks in the bridal shop), then we are well and truly hosed. Home restriction is our best way of keeping it from breaking out to a third level of exposure.

              Its not the precautionary principle. Its a tried and true method of beating Ebola.

              1. Plus, there’s the way the initial onset often looks just like flu, which makes it easy to rationalize/miss the diagnosis.

                If someone is already on an ebola watch list no one is going to think “Oh that fever must just be the flu. Go ahead and take that cross-country flight.” I’m still advocating for official education and monitoring, just not for quarantine.

                1. If someone is already on an ebola watch list no one is going to think “Oh that fever must just be the flu. Go ahead and take that cross-country flight.”

                  You realize that Nurse 2 did exactly that, right?

            2. Why not just let them self-monitor and report?

              You mean like the NY doctor, who went out despite feeling bad (“exhibiting symptoms”) and then lied to the police about his movements?

              1. He was feeling “sluggish” the day before he self-reported. So what? The symptom they look for is fever. He self reported the moment he noticed his fever. I never saw any report that he lied to police, so I’ll ask for a citation on that one.

                1. 1 in 8 Ebola patients don’t get a fever.

                  Ebola doctor ‘lied’ about NYC travels

        3. Even if she ends up having Ebola I won’t admit I was wrong. I won’t admit I was wrong until she transmits the disease while being asymptomatic, or refuses to report to quarantine after becoming symptomatic.

          1. Good thing you aren’t running show in Nigeria, then, or they wouldn’t Ebola-free right now.

            1. Good thing you aren’t running show in Nigeria, then, or they wouldn’t Ebola-free right now.

              Are you saying that Nigeria’s response is the only response that could have possibly worked?

              Are you saying that the healthcare system in Nigeria is identical to that in the US?

              Just because one thing works, that doesn’t mean it is the only possible solution. You know, Nigeria could have stopped the disease even sooner if it had immediately executed the infected and all of their 1st order contacts. If Nigeria had followed this policy, would you be advocating it here?

              1. Nigeria applied the tried and true method, and it worked.

                I’m not real excited about experimenting with new methods for a disease like Ebola.

          2. Even if she ends up having Ebola I won’t admit I was wrong. I won’t admit I was wrong until she transmits the disease while being asymptomatic

            That doesn’t make any sense. You’d be much better off making an argument that because the likelihood of asymptomatic infection is low, that EVEN if she transmits the disease while being asymptomatic, that you still wouldn’t suggest a quarantine.

            At least with the latter argument, you’d be making an argument about risk management vs loss of liberty.

            Now you’re just coming off as some grumpy old-timer who simply doesn’t believe in asymptomatic transmission, and won’t believe it until you see it.

        4. As much as she’s tried to make it into a People Are Being Mean To Me story, it’s really not all about this one stupid nurse. This should be obvious.

        5. I think one minor point you’re missing here, Epi is that the purpose of the crash helmet is to avoid injury in the event of a crash. We don’ttoss crash helmet in the back seat during the race (because we’re afraid to be accused of pants-shitting), and then if we see an accident coming on, flail into the back seat and try to affix it to our heads.

          It seems reasonable to me, that Doctors Without Borders would have its own quarantine policy for front-line workers who’ve been swimming in Ebola lake.

          There is AMPLE epidemiological evidence that people can be asymptomatic infectious carriers.

          The problem with this case is the Governor got personally involved and then turned the issue political– which unfortunately, has confused the fuck out of a lot of people.

  4. “Fear-Mongering”

    Is that what the Army is doing to returning soldiers? Mongering the crap out of them?

    1. Reason apparently doesn’t have the guts to try to tackle this question head-on, or address it at all for that matter.

      1. The soldiers have a less strong case since joining the military includes an agreement to do things you don’t want to do just because someone in charge tells you to do them. Additionally, they will be paid a previously agreed rate for their time in quarantine.

        Hickox, on the other hand, never entered a contract to obey the Governor of Maine without question.

        1. All you’re doing is parroting the Obama dodge, which is intended to try to dismiss the question without providing a logical or scientific rationale for it.

          1. They shouldn’t be quarantining the soldiers, and Hagel is engaged in the same kind of political hysteria that LePage is.

            However, while both cases are bad policy, LePage’s quarantine is also illegal while Hagel’s isn’t. So the reason people are focusing on the Hickox situation is because it’s a worse violation of liberty.

            1. “hysteria”

              There is no hysteria here. This is a fairly reasonable approach to controlling a communicable disease.

              1. This is a fairly reasonable approach to controlling a communicable disease.

                I think self-monitoring and reporting is a more reasonable approach to controlling this particular communicable disease. For one thing, people are more likely to come forward about possible exposure if they know it won’t mean a 3 week prison sentence.

        2. This is kind of how I feel, many of the people your talking about quarantine may live paycheck to paycheck, who is going to pay their bills while they are laid up for up to a month at a time?

          1. I would have no objection to paying them while they are stuck at home.

            1. And after all this time, it turns out the key to getting libertarians to support expansive social welfare is just to trick them into thinking poor people might have an infectious disease.

              1. Yes, because paying people to do nothing is exactly the same as reimbursing people for doing something that benefits the public at large.

    2. My understanding is that the decision was made by a regular army officer without input from the medical staff. So you’re basically using one act of pants-shitting hysteria (SWIDT?) to justify more of same.

      1. Wrong. The decision was made by Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel.

        1. Who, I’m sure, didn’t let any other considerations besides medical risk drive his decision.

          1. Don’t you think the administration, the CDC, Hickox, and Sullum have “other considerations besides medical risk”?

      2. Is there some rule that says that anyone who disagrees with your prefered course of action must be accused of ‘hysteria” or pants shitting?

        You argue like a social justice warrior.

        1. That was the point I was trying to make about the “Fear Mongering” headline.

        2. What, are you new here?

          Racism is constantly used when people don’t agree on open borders or bombing terrorists…

    3. What the Army is doing is irrelevant because the Army doesn’t have to consider the individual liberty of its soldiers in this case. The Army could choose to quarantine its soldiers over an outbreak of the giggles if it wanted to and those soldiers would have no reason to complain. I’ll bet the Army is following this policy solely to avoid getting bad PR.

      1. Bullshit. Having contradictory sets of rules and protocols apply to different groups of people without giving any rational explanation as to why is worse PR and far more confusing to people than having one cohesive, sensible policy would be.

        1. It just shows your lack of knowledge about the military. There is a reason different rules apply to active duty and civilians. Is the military being overly cautious? Yes. Is it a potential big deal to have a significant outbreak of Ebola in a military camp? Yes. An Ebola outbreak in the civilian sector would certainly be tragic but they aren’t manning aircraft carriers, artillery stations, and missile silos.

  5. Hickox, a nurse

    It is now known that she is a 2012 graduate of the CDC’s EIS (Epidemic Intelligence Service) program, and thus a CDC “intelligence officer” (their term). She’s not just “a nurse.” She’s promoting the CDC and administration line on quarantines, and has a lawyer with White House connections. Add it up, folks.

    Although Hickox does not pose a public health threat

    And we know this, how? Her 21 days aren’t up, and even that period is no guarantee. The WHO says:

    WHO is alarmed by media reports of suspected Ebola cases imported into new countries that are said, by government officials or ministries of health, to be discarded as “negative” within hours after the suspected case enters the country.

    Such rapid determination of infection status is impossible, casting grave doubts on some of the official information that is being communicated to the public and the media.

    1. Screw that, Papaya, there is no such thing as reasonable caution, it’s all just irrational pants-shitting.

      1. That is one of the popular Ebola straw men. Another is “Travel restrictions?? We can’t shut down the entire world’s transportation system!!” And: “What do you mean, ‘Ebola-infected countries?’ The US now has two cases, so we must count as one, also!”

    2. It is now known that she is a 2012 graduate of the CDC’s EIS (Epidemic Intelligence Service) program, and thus a CDC “intelligence officer” (their term). She’s not just “a nurse.” She’s promoting the CDC and administration line on quarantines, and has a lawyer with White House connections. Add it up, folks.

      Suppose, for sake of argument, this is all true. So what? Are you arguing it’s okay to violate the civil rights of someone because they’re a political operative for a politician you don’t like?

      1. He has no idea. He’s into conspiracy porn.

      2. Are you arguing it’s okay to violate the civil rights of someone because they’re a political operative for a politician you don’t like?

        No, but I think it’s foolish to assume “Oh, she’s just a nurse who is defending her civil rights.” There’s more going on here, and contrary to Cytotoxic, it’s not “conspiracy porn” to note people’s employers and connections.

  6. To repeat:

    Apparently, we have been quarantining people in this country since the mini-outbreak began in TX.

    But now its a big honkin’ controversy. Why now? Why not when the poor schmucks who worked in that bridal shop that Nurse 2 visited were quarantined?

    And, BTW, I hope they sue the fuck out of that nurse. She cost them a lot of money, and should pay.

    1. I think because people are starting to realize if they come anywhere near someone who gets quarantined that they may themselves get quarantined.

      IOW, it was fine when it was just a few immigrants and healthcare workers but when it might actually apply to regular Americans, and lots of them, we’re starting to get pushback.

      This is going to be very interesting…

    2. But now its a big honkin’ controversy. Why now?

      Because Hickox is a CDC/administration mouthpiece, and they have decided to make a big deal of it for some reason(s).

  7. Anyone who follows me knows that I am unlikely to agree with much that comes out of any government operative’s mouth, but this sounds like common sense to me:

    “We don’t know what we don’t know about Ebola,” LePage said. “I don’t trust her. And I don’t trust that we know enough about this disease to be so callous.”

    Claiming that we know all we need to know about Ebola, and that therefor this nurse poses no threat to the public, is the height of arrogance. Humility, and its cousin caution, seem the prudent thing at this point.

    Full-on lockdown? Nah. Home restrictions and self-monitoring would be my vote, but if you breach those (as these so-called compassionate healthcare workers seem prone to do), then we should talk about a lockdown for anyone who can’t keep to themselves for three entire weeks.

    1. Claiming that we know all we need to know about Ebola, and that therefore this nurse poses no threat to the public, is the height of arrogance.

      This is an opinion shared by Steven Hatfill and a number of other experts. The CDC and Sullum and others would have us believe “the science is settled,” but it’s not.

      1. Anyone who has been following the shifting guidelines from the CDC would laugh out loud at the idea that the science of Ebola is settled.

        1. I think the actual science of this is fairly settled. The CDC doesn’t deal in pure science, it deals with science policy as informed by politics. I loved how they retconned some statements so as not to contradict POTUS.

          1. I think the actual science of this is fairly settled.

            There is a raging debate right now about droplet transmissibility of this strain.

            Not airborne, but droplets like from sneezing and coughing.

            This is not a minor issue, and it is far from settled.

            1. Tonio is right; this virus is well studied. There is some debate about droplet transmissibility of Ebola but I’m not sure if I’d call it raging. In any event, aerosols are at most a minor contributor to Ebola transmission.

              1. A “minor contributor” to something that kills 70% of the infected isn’t all that “minor.”

  8. Same link:

    Recent studies conducted in West Africa have demonstrated that 95% of confirmed cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days; 98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval. WHO is therefore confident that detection of no new cases, with active surveillance in place, throughout this 42-day period means that an Ebola outbreak is indeed over.

    [Oddly, the WHO page also says that 21 days is “twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola,” which I can’t square with the 95%-98% figures.]

    1. 95% confidence is 2 sigma. It could be the mean time to onset of symptoms is 11 days with a standard deviation of 5 days.

      1. Shhh. He’s hunting for wabbits.

      2. Stormy, please explain “2 sigma” here. It sounds to me like “95% of confirmed cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days” means 5% have a longer incubation period, and “98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval” means that 2% have an incubation period longer than 42 days. Is that not what they are saying?

        If one in 20 do not manifest in 21 days, and one in 50 don’t manifest in 42 days, that seems significant, no? There are tens of thousands of infections in West Africa, and hundreds of West Africans and healthcare workers are flying out of the region all the time, so it seems to me that even the 21 day quarantine is not some over-the-top suggestion, because of that 5%.

  9. Sullum also says:

    individuals infected with Ebola Virus Disease who are not showing symptoms are not yet infectious

    As far as we know. As long as the strain does not mutate. And we know that about one in eight infected don’t run a fever. And the moment she does exhibit symptoms, wherever she is, they’ll be able to immediately bring out the moon suits to protect everyone, right?

    The point of quarantine is not to isolate people who exhibit symptoms, it’s to isolate people who might exhibit symptoms. And given the hundreds of health care workers who have been infected with Ebola, Hickox is more than a random candidate for infection.

    If people really are concerned about “hysteria,” they might want to support a few moderate efforts to tamp down that hysteria, instead of thumbing their noses at it. As for liberty, I consider it a violation of the NAP to infect people with a deadly disease.

    1. Yes, it is a violation of the NAP to actually infect someone. But it’s interesting how many here who support the rights of others to do potentially dangerous things, like bearing arms, are all too quick to adopt the Precautionary Principle for this instance. I call these people “my rights libertarians.”

      Also, I’m completely skeptical of granting the government that much power. Imagine how easy it would be to quarantine large groups of people on the flimsy excuse that they may have come in contact with someone who came in contact…

      1. If coming into contact with someone merely “bearing arms” carried a 70% risk of death, some extra precaution might be warranted there as well.

        I’m all for limited government power, or I wouldn’t hang around this place. But among those limited powers is defending the country from external threats, and contagious diseases count.

        Yes, quarantines can go too far, but that’s all the more reason for some early precautions: no visas the residents of Liberia etc., and quarantines for returning healthcare workers. We want to avoid Dallas situation of importing Ebola and then having to quarantine (to some degree) all of his contacts and the contacts of the nurses who got it from him.

        1. Ah…but the hysterics such as hoplophobes don’t deal well with numbers and hard data. If it saves even one life…

          I don’t know what the right answer is here. I know that there have been some serious fuckups, most particularly at Texas Health Presbyterian. And the danger of overreacting is just as grave as the danger of underreacting. And one of the goals of government is to prevent mass panic.

          1. Yes, there have been serious fuckups. And the nature of the disease is such that it would not take many fuckups to create a major problem in the US, with just a handful of cases (at an expense of $500,000 each).

        2. I’m all for limited government power

          You have demonstrated time and again just the opposite.

      2. Another way diseases are not like arms: arms are only a risk to those near them. You can’t “catch” a bullet wound from someone who’s been shot, and then pass it on to others.

        1. Yes, of course it’s not a perfect analogy, but the best real-world one I could conjure which deals with rights vs perceived risk.

    2. As far as we know. As long as the strain does not mutate.

      The modus operandi of the Ebola virus means mutations can’t change its symptoms then transmissibility patter without becoming non-pathological and likely non-contagious. Then again, I’m trying to talk science to a guy that insists he has proof that the CDC is using the nurse as a mouthpiece and that EDV-68 is the fault of damn dirty foreigners.

      And we know that about one in eight infected don’t run a fever.

      CITATION?

      1. The modus operandi of the Ebola virus means mutations can’t change its symptoms then transmissibility patter without becoming non-pathological and likely non-contagious.

        Oh, I dunno about that:

        The Ebola virus circulating in West Africa is already different from previous strains.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..pread.html

        1. I read the entire article. I don’t think you did. There is no specific change in the article mentioned-but there are a lot of experts who don’t believe that will happen cited in the article. The editor chose to emphasize the scariest part of the story in the headline and you got suckered in. As long as you learn from this, it’s okay.

          Ebola’s basic strategy is to replicate like a mofo right of the bat and outrun the adaptive immune system. The host is usually clapped and done by the time neutralizing antibodies are made, and even if they aren’t the resulting tissue damage from all that replication leads to the bleeding and shedding of virus in bodily fluids-hence the spreading. A hypothetical Ebola strain with a slower replication and therefore longer non-symptomatic stage after infection would get nowhere because the host’s adaptive immune response would just kill it. The virus probably wouldn’t even get to the point where it can be shed from the host, so it’s a dead end. For all we know, this may have happened before and was never reported because of the lack of symptoms!

          1. I did read the whole thing.

            My point was that this thing has already mutated (as viruses are wont to do), and the current most-severe-ever outbreak seems to be linked to those changes.

            In that context, making a categorical statement that it can’t mutate without becoming non-pathological/non-contagious seems unsupportable.

            1. this thing has already mutated

              That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Mutations can be irrelevant and there due to chance. I saw no proof that any of these mutations made a difference to the Ebola virus’s pathology. In the last job I worked with, there was a neighbouring lab that wanted to map *every* little nucleotide change in the sample of virus they analyzed so they could make their little evolutionary trees. What a waste of time and effort. The apparent ‘trends’ they see could be due to a random bottleneck or migration event. Increased fitness is just one possibility. The vast vast number of mutations are neutral.

              1. I suspect we are closer in agreement on this one than you think.

                I was just pushing back on your categorical statement. Your last post seems more measured.

                But, again, the notion that we know everything we need to know to make public health policy is not, IMO, defensible. My approach is based on taking our lack of knowledge into account.

      2. And we know that about one in eight infected don’t run a fever.

        Seems legit:

        The largest study of the current outbreak found that in nearly 13% of “confirmed and probable” cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and elsewhere, those infected did not have fevers.

        The study, sponsored by the World Health Organization and published online late last month by the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 3,343 confirmed and 667 probable cases of Ebola.

        http://www.washingtonsblog.com…..fever.html

        1. Interesting, but Papaya as usually didn’t read the article critically. We can’t can’t conclude that fever isn’t in the patients but that it wasn’t *detected* in the patients and it seemed that measuring temperatures in the armpit did not always work. Since we have a grand total of one (1) person in America that is the focus of all this attention, I doubt any fever she has is going to missed.

          1. We can’t can’t conclude that fever isn’t in the patients but that it wasn’t *detected* in the patients

            That seems like an odd assumption. You are saying that in the four studies I referenced below, the doctors/researchers all simply missed the fevers of the patients?

      3. EDV-68 is the fault of damn dirty foreigners.

        You have to admit, the coincidence of a previously unknown strain showing up in this country after we imported thousands of people from an area where it is known bears some investigation.

        Too early to draw any conclusions one way or the other, wouldn’t you say?

        1. It is too early to make the ridiculous claims that PapayaSF is making without serious backing. The onus is on him to find that evidence, though I doubt he’s going to let such obvious points get in the way of his xenophobia.

          The latest EDV-68 outbreak is causing bizarre polio-like symptoms in some cases. Is this recorded in the places the dirty foreigners are coming from?

          1. Couldn’t say. I just saw an early report pointing out the sudden increase in this strain right after we opened the borders to teenagers from Central America (which is unquestionably true), together with the observation that its much more prevalent there than here.

            Its a coincidence at this point, but one that needs some investigatin’.

            I’m not current on the science, but I am very skeptical that our government agencies are capable of running an honest investigation that might contradict the Narrative.

          2. The latest EDV-68 outbreak is causing bizarre polio-like symptoms in some cases. Is this recorded in the places the dirty foreigners are coming from?

            Cripes, Cyto, you’ve never heard of a disease that causes one set of symptoms in one population, but when introduced into a different population, causes different and more severe symptoms?

    3. individuals infected with Ebola Virus Disease who are not showing symptoms are not yet infectious

      Sullum is wrong here.

      Sullum could have easily said this and been 100% correct based on the latest science:

      Although there is evidence of asymptomatic carriers, the very low levels of virus detected in these individuals suggest they do not pose a significant source of transmission [25, 26].

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC2870608/

      We can have a debate about what the CHANCES of her infecting people are if she’s an asymptomatic carrier. But I really, really wish people would stop saying “she’s asymptomatic, therefore she’s hunnert percent clean!”

      1. Thank you, Paul. The same thing bothers me.

  10. Again I’m first to point out that Ebola appears to be Room 101 for a suprisingly large number of the commenters here.

    1. Because asking people to stay at home and check in for three whole weeks is no different than putting them in death camps.

    2. Deadly contagious diseases are something of a special case, one that libertarians can have trouble applying their ideology to. I’m afraid that too many of them, had they been around then, would have objected to quarantines during the Black Death. “But Venetians, nobody on those ships has exhibited symptoms yet! It’s wrong to restrict their liberty by forcing them to stay on their ships for 40 days simply because some of us are pants-shitting hysterics about the Black Death!”

      1. And that plague example isn’t perfect, either. Venetians of the period had poorly formed (putting it politely) notions of individual liberty, and didn’t understand diseases in the same sense we do – pre germ-theory.

        1. I don’t think notions of liberty have much effect on plagues.

      2. “Deadly contagious diseases are something of a special case, one that libertarians can have trouble applying their ideology to.”

        Those libertarians lack context. They see quarantine as hysterical and barbaric, without noting that the real-world alternatives to quarantine are much less measured and civilized.

        Quarantine is not about punishing the potentially infected – it’s about protecting them. Because when faced with threat and denied a credible alternative, humans will instinctively fall back on the most efficient way to stop a plague from spreading. Hint: It doesn’t involve watching TV at home for three weeks.

        1. Because when faced with threat and denied a credible alternative, humans will instinctively fall back on the most efficient way to stop a plague from spreading. Hint: It doesn’t involve watching TV at home for three weeks.

          +1 martial law.

      3. The difference is that quarantine might actually make sense in the context of Black Plague before antibiotics. It does not make sense in the context of Ebola.

        1. It does not make sense in the context of Ebola.

          It does when you understand that current screens are based on direct contact with people who have been to West Africa.

          If Ebola breaks out of this limited set, then hospitals will have to treat every flu patient as a potential Ebola patient, and this will crush their ability to function.

          Current tests aren’t super-effective, and we don’t have a treatment for it that can really scale or is reliably effective.

          We can manage a micro-outbreak in this country. What we can’t manage is anything bigger.

          A quarantine of some sort (like a soft home-bound quarantine) is the best way to keep it from going from something we can manage, to something we can’t.

          We may get away with it with the current crop. But if we keep importing more and letting people with direct contact wander the streets, sooner or later its likely to break out.

          1. We can manage a micro-outbreak in this country. What we can’t manage is anything bigger.

            We are NEVER going to have anything bigger than a micro-outbreak, so the issue is moot.

            1. For a scientist, you seem remarkably fond of making absolute statements about a disease that has consistently surprised and outrun everyone, so far.

              Except the Nigerians. Who controlled it with quarantine measures.

              1. Yeah, those racist and xenophobic Nigerians.

  11. Following the election, they will probably raid her house. Unless this govenor is one of a rare breed that does not get butt hurt when his authoritah! Is challenged

    1. Ann Coulter says “We’ll tell you how dangerous Ebola is after the election.” I suspect she may be right.

      1. Can you get ebola drowning a libertarian?

      2. If you ever find yourself typing the phrase “I suspect Ann Coulter may be right”, that is a stong hint you out to go rethink the issue, because you may have commited a serious error somewhere along your thought process.

        1. Now Storms, even a blind pig finds the occasional acorn.

        2. You’re assuming PapayaSF and other yokeltarians have a ‘thought process’.

          1. Cyto, one of the really annoying things about you is that you don’t just disagree with what people may say, but you feel the need to insult them in sweeping terms. I probably agree with you most of the time around here, even when you are attacked by the majority (e.g. Israel). And yet the moment there’s a topic we disagree on, I don’t have a “thought process.” Please calm down and try to be civil.

      3. I agree with Papaya on this point. Any mass quarantines before the election would have been seen as suppressing voter turnout.

  12. blood, sweat, vomit, feces

    Title of the Red Hot Chili Peppers next album?

    1. Either that or the worst Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band ever.

  13. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed . . . somewhere between 20 and 40 million people.

    Ebola is chickenshit.

    1. You are free to go hang out in Liberia then. You can help treat some of the 10’s of thousands of people who have this “chickenshit” disease.

    2. One problem with a lot of the analogies re Ebola is that the dangers it’s compared don’t kill 70% of the infected, or aren’t contagious at all (“But car accidents kill more people!”).

      Heck, you could say Ebola is chickenshit in Liberia because only .05% (or whatever) of the population has died of it. Malaria kills far more, so why worry about Ebola?

  14. Fear mongering would be killing this woman, burning her body and her home, and then threatening to do the same to anyone she came close to..

    Asking her to stay home for 3 weeks is caution.

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