Ebola

The Dallas Ebola Outbreak Is About to Be Officially Over

In Africa, alas, the epidemic is still raging.

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Assuming there are no terrible surprises in the next 24 hours, the Dallas Ebola outbreak is officially coming to an end, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services:

the eBolo tie
Wikiemedia Commons

The last person being monitored in connection with the state's three diagnosed Ebola patients will be cleared from twice-daily monitoring by the end of the day Friday after reaching the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease.

No additional cases of the disease have been diagnosed in Texas.

A total of 177 people—a mix of health care workers, household contacts and community members—have been monitored over time because they had contact with at least one of the three Texas Ebola patients, specimens or medical waste. The last person being monitored Friday is a hospital worker who handled medical waste Oct. 17….

Texas also recently cleared the people who were being monitored in Texas because they were passengers on one of the Dallas-Cleveland flights that carried a Dallas health care worker before she was diagnosed with Ebola.

In less happy news, there is a new outbreak in a part of Sierra Leone where doctors thought the disease had been contained.

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  1. No, no, no. We need to keep him quarantined for longer – after all, we don’t know for 100% sure that Ebola has an incubation period of no longer than 21 days.

    1. Actually…

      21 is the 95% certainty mark that an infected individual will show symptoms.

      Of the 5% remaining, 95% will show symptoms within 42 days…

      Given the lack of data, we’ve been unable to track the progression for that 5% of 5% past 42 days.

  2. Good, does this mean the pants-shitters can stop shitting their pants now? Their cleaning bills must be extraordinary.

    1. Number of People Under “Active Monitoring” for Ebola in NYC Triples, City Officials Say

      The number of people under “active monitoring” for Ebola symptoms has increased from 117 on Monday to 357 people Wednesday, health officials said.

      The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York City within the past 21 days from the three Ebola-affected countries, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement.

      1. “The administration and most of his liberal media allies have decided to stop talking about Ebola, therefore the problem has officially been solved.”

        -Dipshits everywhere

      2. So I see that the answer to my question is “no”. Pants-shit away!

        1. You really need to learn to disguise “moderate concern” from “pants-shitting.”

          1. *distinguish

          2. The distinction is not relevant to you and your ilk, who are indeed pants-shitters.

    2. does this mean the pants-shitters can stop shitting their pants now?

      Apparently not.

      1. I’m starting to think they really like the feeling of shitting their pants.

        Like this.

  3. the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease

    I don’t get why people keep saying this. Even the WHO seems to contradict itself:

    The period of 42 days, with active case-finding in place, is twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola virus disease and is considered by WHO as sufficient to generate confidence in a declaration that an Ebola outbreak has ended.

    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.

    Doesn’t that second paragraph mean that 5% and 2% of infections aren’t caught within those times?

    1. Summary execution is the only hope!

      1. Haha, but you haven’t answered my question.

    2. Doesn’t that second paragraph mean that 5% and 2% of infections aren’t caught within those times?

      That’s exactly what it means. But you have to remember that we are multiplying probabilities here. There’s no guarantee that any of those people has Ebola. In fact, the odds are “small” because of the nature of Ebola’s transmission and because of protective procedures that have been followed. So the odds that one of them has Ebola now is “small” times 5%, which is “really small”.

      Finally, the point of monitoring/quarantine is not to protect infected people from the disease, but to protect the uninfected. So the odds that new cases will be sparked after the 21 day period is “really small” multiplied again by the odds that an infected person would spread the disease within our society, which is “small”. So the odds that stopping the monitoring at 21 days will cause another infection is “really small” times “small”, which is “really, really small”. In other words, it’s “possible”, but only in the sense that it is “possible” you might get hit by a drunk driver tomorrow.

  4. Also, Jesse, that alt-text is terrible. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. Besides, it’s obvious that picture deserves a phallic joke, anyway!

      1. Doesn’t everything deserve a phallic joke?

        Oh hey, I tried a new cider called Eaglemount. I had the ginger. Delicious; very dry and super gingery. But not cheap; $15 for 750ml.

        1. I’m not afraid to spend a little money on fine food/beverages. My favorite ice cream runs ~$12 for a pint; if I’m lucky I can find it on sale for $10.
          I’ll have to see if I can find that cider! I’m going to try JK Scrumpy’s Winterruption tonight.

        2. The only cider I like is made by a company called Dickens.

          1. And the thread has come full circle…

  5. So much for my post-apocalypse sojourn across the desolate Midwest in search of the Walkin’ Dude.

    1. Have you tried a Ouija board?

  6. I’m more than a little amused that they actually put this

    the Dallas Ebola outbreak is officially coming to an end,

    And this

    there is a new outbreak in a part of Sierra Leone where doctors thought the disease had been contained.

    In the same article.

    1. There was a Doctor in New York who thought it was contained. Now New York has to monitor 327 people after he ran down fifth avenue high-fiving people after getting out of his cab.

      1. And yet we have no new cases in NY, even after 2 weeks. It’s almost as if people aren’t contagious until well after they start having a fever…

  7. In Minnesota news:

    Forty-eight travelers who have returned to Minnesota from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa are being monitored by state health officials for 21 days to make sure they don’t have any signs of the deadly virus, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday. […]

    Wednesday’s report cited an additional 12 people who either returned recently and still are being contacted, or haven’t been located yet because of inadequate or incorrect contact information. [Emphasis added]

    Clearly everything is under control and there’s nothing to worry about.

    1. Oh no, some people who almost certainly won’t develop Ebola haven’t been located! TIME FOR PANTS-SHITTING

  8. Here’s a compromise for the area pants-shitters: prophylactic treatment of exposed individuals with blood from Ebola survivors.

    1. I think we should nuke them all from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

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