Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:10 am
What are your thoughts on the fact that two US healthcare workers who contracted the horrific Ebola virus while bravely caring for Liberians suffering from the disease that has a mortality rate from 60% to 90%, have been flown to the US for treatment, and, let's face it, study.

Are you concerned about a possible outbreak in the US? Do you trust the safety protocols at Emory where the two have been brought?

Does it make sense to take precautions to keep travelers who have been in West Africa from entering the US, only to bring two in ourselves?
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Type: Question • Score: 48 • Views: 34,245 • Replies: 882

 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:12 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Emory? Oh, I guess I trust them at least as much as CDC which keeps discovering vials of smallpox here and there.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:19 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
No, I don't trust the safety protocols. I'm mixed now on all the questions. I do get that it is not transmitted by other than the seeping fluids.

I'm surprised there weren't articles about the danger of bringing people here, up until just about now.

My first thought was, stupid. Haven't changed my mind yet.
I also get that this could work out, for betterment of mankind or something.
I have an old background in microbiology, but I don't keep up.
I admit to being freaked, or at least somewhat freaked re all this.

I also take this as promotional for Emory, plus money making, and they are apparently very good.
But I'm a non truster on all this.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:43 am
The Washington Post published an article today titled: Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.

In it, Amesh Adalja, a member of the public health committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America was quoted as saying:

Quote:
“There is zero danger to the U.S. public from these [two] cases or the Ebola outbreak in general.”


This, of course, is a flat-out lie. The risk may be minimal, it may be negligible, but it is not "zero."

The incubation period is between 2 and 21 days and during that period the individual is not contagious but is symptom free so he or she could easily travel anywhere in the country without drawing attention. The really horrific symptoms like bleeding from the eyes don't appear until the end stages of the disease, and the initial symptoms are similar to those of a hundred other viral infections and are not going to cause a doctor to immediately think EBOLA!

It has been shown in the lab that the disease can be contracted by inhaling very small droplets of airborne bodily fluids, and there are documented cases of primates contracting Ebola from swine without direct contact, the theory being that droplets of fluid from the swine went airborne and contacted the primates' skin. For these reasons the virus has been classified a Category A biological weapon:

Quote:
Category A

The U.S. public health system and primary healthcare providers must be prepared to address various biological agents, including pathogens that are rarely seen in the United States. High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person; result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact; might cause public panic and social disruption; and require special action for public health preparedness.

Agents/Diseases
Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
Plague (Yersinia pestis)
Smallpox (variola major)
Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])


The WHO classifies the virus as a Risk Group 4 pathogen:

Quote:
"High individual and community risk. A pathogen that usually causes serious human or animal disease and that can be readily transmitted from one individual to another, directly or indirectly. Effective treatment and preventive measures are not usually available."


The highest level of Biosafety protocols (4) is required in the handling of the virus:

Quote:
"This level is required for work with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents which cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available"


The author Lenny Bernstein writes:

Quote:
The CDC is among the medical authorities that acknowledge that hospitals must do a better job of controlling infection.


Doctor Adalja agreed, but still maintains the risk is zero.

The infected healthcare workers in Liberia were or should have been wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they still contracted the disease. The video reports of the facilites in Liberia where these poor people are being treated show healthcare providers dressed, head to toe, in Haz-Mat suits. They look like scenes from the film "Andromeda Strain." Still, something went wrong and the two US heathcare providers contracted the disease.

Quote:
“The first line of defense is a doctor or triage nurse asking every patient who shows up with a fever whether he or she has recently traveled to West Africa, which the CDC has reminded them to do.”


Does anyone really thing that from this day forward, every nurse or doctor in America is going to ask a patient with a fever if they have recently traveled to West Africa? Ebola is not the only horrible disease that is found in Africa. When was the last time you visited your doctor with a fever and were asked if you’d been to Africa recently?

The author writes, "It is extremely unlikely that anyone other than healthcare workers will come into contact with an infected person’s blood, vomit or feces" and yet there are outbreaks of e-coli infections in this country, on a seemingly regular basis, and how to you think the produce that the infected ate was contaminated?

In all likelihood, there will not be an Ebola outbreak here due to these two infected healthcare workers, but the possibility of any such outbreak is clearly not “zero.” I can understand the desire to provide these two unfortunate people the best treatment available, but we are kidding ourselves if we don’t also think that bio-hazard researchers are salivating over the chance to study Ebola patients in their hospital/laboratories. This is the chance of a life-time for scientists who don’t want to travel to Africa and study the virus in less than state-of-the-art facilities; with a much greater chance of them sustaining the disease themselves.

There is no guarantee that these two patients will survive under US treatment and there was no guarantee that they would have died if they remained in Liberia, however I am willing to accept that the risk is too small to not try and save these two people, but I’m sorry if I don’t have complete faith in what I am told by the CDC or individual researchers, or in the infallibility of safety protocols. I don’t appreciate being lied to or smug comments like Adalja’s that if I still want to worry about something I should worry about bird flu.

He and the other researchers involved should worry about what will happen if they are proven wrong. If there is an outbreak of this horrible disease here in the US, they are likely to be hung on lampposts.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 01:00 am
That was you commenting on the commenter, I take it, correct me if wrong.

I'm not a happy camper on all this.

Speaking from ignorance while reading, I understand that the key thing people need is fluids.

Not clear if this is drama on purpose, as maybe water isn't so good there for healing americans.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 07:25 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Come on now! There are so many other things to be afraid of that are more likely than an Ebola outbreak in the US.

My personal favorites include the imminent Robot Uprising and Giant Meteor Strike. I used to like the Zombie Apocalypse, but it has been a little overdone.

Then there is the Yellowstone Caldera... the psuedo-scientific hype surrounding this is truly mind-bogglingly scary.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 07:42 am
@ossobuco,
Have a heart Osso. If you got seriously sick while working overseas, you wouldn't want to be brought back for treatment in the US? These people want to get the best care possible and probably also want to be close to their families. I would certainly want to be back in the US even if the disease were ultimately fatal.

They went overseas to do good work, and to help people. These people are heroes. They deserve this no matter how many Americans might suffer from irrational fear.


oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:06 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
What are your thoughts on the fact that two US healthcare workers who contracted the horrific Ebola virus while bravely caring for Liberians suffering from the disease that has a mortality rate from 60% to 90%, have been flown to the US for treatment, and, let's face it, study.

Mainly my thoughts are hopes that they survive their ordeal.

What would we have to study? I think we already understand the disease.


Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Are you concerned about a possible outbreak in the US? Do you trust the safety protocols at Emory where the two have been brought?

Not concerned (yes I realize there is a low risk). I trust that they have their safety protocols in order.


Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Does it make sense to take precautions to keep travelers who have been in West Africa from entering the US, only to bring two in ourselves?

Not the same thing in my view.

These two people will be under intensive safety protocols. Regular travelers would be freely intermingling with the general populace.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:37 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

That was you commenting on the commenter, I take it, correct me if wrong.


I'm not sure what you mean here.

I began the thread with questions concerning how members feel about this matter and then posted my own opinion. I'm not sure who "the commenter" to whom you are referring might be.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:38 pm
@maxdancona,
So you are of the school who find concern about this virus to be ludicrous.

Duly noted.
QueenCandy23
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:42 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I don't believe it in the first place. It's just another fear tactic that will push some new political agenda. Remember this, fear is profitable. A fearful population can be made to do things. Knowledge counteracts fear.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:50 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Then there is the Yellowstone Caldera... the psuedo-scientific hype surrounding this is truly mind-bogglingly scary.

Pseudo?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:56 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Weren't you quoting from the Washington Post before Osso posted?

That was how I took it.

If not, who/what was in the quotes?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 12:59 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If you got seriously sick while working overseas, you wouldn't want to be brought back for treatment in the US? These people want to get the best care possible


hehe

I deal daily with people demanding to be taken out of the US and moved to Canada and/or some European countries so they can get better treatment.

All a matter of perspective eh.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 01:02 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
When was the last time you visited your doctor with a fever and were asked if you’d been to Africa recently?


is this not already standard practice? it has been here for about 25 - 30 years.

If you show up at a doc's office or a clinic with a fever/nausea/diarrhea etc, one of the first intake questions is about recent travel.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 01:22 pm
@maxdancona,
I do have a heart, and am mostly for the helper doctors coming back here, but I've some reasons to be somewhat scared that ebola will bloom to life here, though likely not thriving because of its actual nature as a virus in patients. That fear of mine re ebola blooming includes the ever popular human error component in hospital settings.

It may show up anyway, with or without our hospital/hospitals taking on the task of helping.

Oh, and I have doctor friends who volunteered overseas (africa), so I understand the strong will to help, and would surely want those doctor friends to be saved (as well as the patient populations in those countries).. so I do understand having a heart. I also don't like rampant fear that is silly, and remember being upset at the WHO people some years ago for fear mongering.

So, in summary, I have mixed feelings, some of the feelings involve being a tad fearful re virus spread.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 01:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I'd have to look back to figure what I was specifically thinking, likely that something you said was responsive to a point in the article. That was so yesterday..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 01:31 pm
Oh, and at some point yesterday I saw a headline that there is some new treatment. I haven't read up on that yet, but it would be good if it worked. I also read that it'll take at least a year to get a vaccine worked up.


edit - I just looked at the tags. Hah. I'm not conservative.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 02:09 pm
@ehBeth,
No, but it is one of the first questions asked of donors by blood banks.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 02:20 pm
There is some risk in every scenario. But I would rather see the US actively involved in learning how to contain this and studying it under western medical conditions rather than just letting it run amok in the third world countries and hoping it doesn't evolve into something much worse.

It's already bad enough but at least it's not air-born yet. Previous outbreaks of this were so rapidly lethal that the virus effectively extinguished itself before large outbreaks could occur. Now it has evolved into something with a longer duration lethality which allows it to spread much further. Good for the virus, but not good for us.

In its present form it is unlikely to break out and spread easily in an affluent western environment. But if it mutates again the game could change. Transmission risk is low right now, so it's better to take some risk to study it and be prepared than to just stand by and hope for the best.

Just my opinion.
 

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