ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 02:25 pm
@rosborne979,
I do agree with that, rosborne (but holding breath). I did read something about it occasionally being airborne. Wish I had a photographic memory - or then again, maybe I don't..
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 04:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

So you are of the school who find concern about this virus to be ludicrous.

Duly noted.


No Finn.

I find concern that treating people with this virus will cause an outbreak in the US to be ludicrous. This virus is obviously a huge danger in open society, particularly in poor countries that lack resources. The danger is that there are a critical number of people with the disease who aren't getting cared for properly.

A small number who are in US getting treated under supervision with managed contact is an insignificant threat. In a developed country with good public health resources, the threat is even lower.

There is no reason that Americans who contract the disease while helping others shouldn't be allowed to come home.

Irrational fear can be heartless.



Miller
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 05:18 pm
The plane carrying the two Americans to Emery University hospital, made a stop in Massachusetts prior to setting off to Georgia. I haven't heard the reason for the stop.

As far as safety is concerned, recall the recent contamination at the CDC due to improper work habits. These mistakes can happen any where and at any time.

My conclusion, based on my scientific background and academic career is you're never 100% safe when handling deadly pathogens. No one can predict what minor error may occur and lead to very serious consequences.

Stress under most conditions can lead to numerous unintended errors.

Our two Americans deserve the best medical care our country, the USA has to offer them.

God be with them and may God be with the healthcare team taking care of them.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 06:01 pm
@Miller,
For a change, I'm thumbing up Miller. (Hi, Miller)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 06:11 pm
Moving along, back when I was picking a major, I had just read Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. Far as I've noticed, that's not a well regarded book. I liked it then, haven't read it since. To story spoil, the contamination was via cigarette.

I waltzed into bacteriology/microbiology as my major, then called running for classes. A half century has gone by, but contamination happens even now. Just look at hospital difficulties.

I am settled in that we will respond, try to respond, and am hopeful.
I still have fear, see rosborne's more explaining post re viruses transitioning - they do do that. And my own dig re human behavior flaws.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 06:28 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
As far as safety is concerned, recall the recent contamination at the CDC due to improper work habits. These mistakes can happen any where and at any time.

My conclusion, based on my scientific background and academic career is you're never 100% safe when handling deadly pathogens. No one can predict what minor error may occur and lead to very serious consequences.


Ok Miller, you have a scientific background and academic career. Tell me what the rational fear is? If there is a mistake, the people in the clinic could contract the disease. If there is a disaster (highly unlikely) maybe a dozen of their close relations could contract the disease. With our modern public health system focused on this outbreak, it would be easy to follow the obvious plan of identify, isolate and treat.

Is there anything worse than that that is any more likely than a the Yellowstone Caldera turning into a super-volcano in the near future (or a robot uprising)?

There are a dozen people each year who die of champagne cork accidents in the US ... and yet, for some irrational reason people are more afraid of ebola virus than they are of champagne corks (not to mention the 30,000 people who die in car crashes each year).
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 06:38 pm
@maxdancona,
To me, max, you tend to belligerently assess what you disagree with.
I get that.

In the case of ebola, I think you are thinking politically with some info from news dust to back you up.

I admit my virology classes were long ago, but I am doubting you have sat through any more recent of them.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 06:54 pm
@maxdancona,
Rosborne already told you, viruses morph.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 11:50 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Mainly my thoughts are hopes that they survive their ordeal.


As do I, who wouldn't? Even those of us who have hearts ten times smaller then the enormous muscle that pounds in max's chest, wish them well.

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


Well, you're wrong there. Living, breathing patients infected with the virus are significantly different than lab rats, and American infectious disease experts have not had the opportunity to study the disease in progress with the best technology in the world. This is not to suggest that the two healthcare workers weren't brought here with the intention of trying to save their lives. I don't question that at all. I just know that researchers live to do research, and that conducting research on a human "specimen" is vastly superior to doing so with a mammalian analog, like a rat. I'm almost certain that the research will not interfere with the treatment of these two individuals, but they will be attended by more than the doctors charged with saving their lives.

In any case, health officials themselves are suggesting that caring for the two patients here in the US may provide beneficial information for dealing with outbreaks of the disease whether here or in Africa and that clearly implies research will be done.

If I am correct about osso's professional background she should be able to provide an insider's view of medical research operations, and as roger noted, the CDC doesn't have a sterling record of following its own safety procedures.

CDC Safety Lapsesl

These "lapses" should concern everyone. We tend to have the very trusting belief that the CDC is 100% tight when it comes to safety procedures.

"These guys know better than anyone else how dangerous this stuff is, and they have triple redundant safety checks in place."

Outbreaks of deadly viruses caused by CDC safety lapses are thought to be the stuff of disaster movies and post-apocalyptic novels like The Stand. They could never happen in real life. Like max, there are a host of people who find any concern in this area to be ludicrous. Often it is a reflexive response to what they perceive to be criticism of the government they so adore, for others it is simply a desire to be seen as oh-so rational and unafraid while the less sanguine and informed scurry about like a disturbed nest of ants.

As with the underwear bomber and the fellow with the car bomb in Times Square, we have been lucky as opposed to perfectly secure, when it comes to bio-hazards.

The Hot Zone by Robert Preston was published in 1995 and is a terrifying true story about our first encounter on US soil with ebola. The book is clear that luck played a big part in avoiding a full scale outbreak.

As previously indicated we have recently learned of shoddy practices at the CDC, and there is no reason to believe private labs or any more ironclad with their safety procedures, and the recent revelations were not the first:

Biohazard lab supervision an issue says US investigation

**** happens and it happens even when safety precautions are followed. There hasn't been a major bio-hazard...yet, but again, this is as much to do with luck as precautions. That the consequences of accident can be catastrophic may assure that stringent safety precautions are put in place but not that they will always be followed or always work. Most people would agree that three areas subject to catastrophic accidents and consequently an intense focus on safety are nuclear energy, air travel and space travel.

We all know that there have been a multitude of aviation accidents since the beginning of commercial passenger flights despite a strict safety regime. Statistically, aviation remains the safest form of travel. The odds of your dying in a plane are about 1 in 8000 (It's 1 in 400 in a car and 1 in 750 walking), but obviously the risk is not "zero." It's worth noting as well that more than 50% of all aviation accidents are attributed to pilot error, not mechanical failure. People improperly handling pathogens, not old and broken down equipment is what caused the recent CDC scandal.

Similarly, nuclear power is the safest form of energy production. Most of us have heard of Fukishima and Chernobyl but there have been close to 30 nuclear accidents worldwide. Thus far the human toll has been relatively low (although there are projections that at least 4,000 people will eventually die due to radiation exposure resulting from the Chernobyl disaster) while property damage totals are in the billions of dollars. Again, the risk while relatively low is not "zero."

Of the three, safety precautions are probably the most intense in space travel, but it remains a very hazardous operation and there have been in total 13 incidents in which there were fatalities. The risk of space flight is obviously not "zero."

Like bio-hazards nuclear energy and air travel generate more fear in the public than is supported by accident statistics, in large measure due to the potential for truly catastrophic outcomes. Our risk of being eaten by a shark while swimming in the ocean is monumentally less than our dying in our car while driving to the beach, but one invokes terror while the other is taken in stride. We're just not very good, as individuals, with dispassionate risk assessment.

However, as I have repeatedly noted, low risk is not no risk despite what experts like Doctor Adalja foolishly suggest, and the potentially catastrophic results of these "low risk" endeavors that lead to strict safety protocols means that it's not enough for the protocols to be in place, they have to be followed, and religiously. Listening to the head of the CDC tell us that his organization “...missed a critical pattern,” and the pattern is an insufficient culture of safety,” should trouble us deeply.

Millions of people will never die in a plane crash or even a nuclear powerplant accident, and while it's also unlikely that an ebola outbreak would result in such a high number of fatalities, we all know about mutated viruses and there are plenty of bugs that can cause a devastating world wide plague.

I don't think the risk is high enough not to have brought these two healthcare workers here, but it could be. The silly notion that we somehow have to open our hearts to them despite there being a risk is absurd. There is a level of risk which would require us to harden our hearts and leave Americans to die somewhere. It's not in this case, but if the worse happens and there is an accident due to an insufficient culture of safety the calculus of having a big heart will be grim. So, no, don't leave them in Africa, but also don't be flip about the risk and make damned sure its as low as you say it is.

Source

Source

Source

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 11:52 pm
@ehBeth,
I was but I still don't understand the comment. I'm sure osso will clear it up for my muddled mind.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2014 11:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Not a big deal
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 07:16 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I llike to find out about the zoonotic cycles that these viri take. In the case of the several strains of Ebola its quite complex and seems (in my mind) to take a "green jungle pathway". There are three specific zoonotic hosts in the Ebola cycle that must be accommodated. These are
1Fruit bats(sylvan bats)
2duiker antelopes(little guys that live in the jungles primarily)
3african great apes(flatland and mountain greenpaths and jungles)

Then, and only then, can the disease pathway include transmittal to humans by transmittal of body fluids from an infected terminal host (the monkey?). Apparently the primary zoonotic hosts must be frequently "refreshed" in the transmission cycle or the virus loses some component (its just an RNA slice with a unique capsule) In effect its almost a more complex prion that needs all three hosts in the run to its infectious stage.

SO, I think, while the statistical occurences of a breakout of this disease in US is small (maybe itd take off near a zoo where the animals are allowed to bunch up), the potential for infection, as Finn said , cannot be zero . BUT is it manageable as a risk we should take to treat our own and maybe come up with something that could interrupt the cycle?
Im willing to give my thumbs up to the CDC.

Quote:
Then there is the Yellowstone Caldera... the psuedo-scientific hype surrounding this is truly mind-bogglingly scary.
you mean like the American Geophysical Union? and the American Geological Institute?, and the United States Geological Survey?. yeh, theyre all a bunch a plonkers.
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farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 08:27 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Hazards





The Yellowstone Plateau in the northern Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho is centered on a youthful, active volcanic system with subterranean magma (molten rock), boiling, pressurized waters, and a variety of active faults with significant earthquake hazard. Within the next few decades, large and moderate earthquakes and hydrothermal explosions are certain to occur. Volcanic eruptions are less likely, but are ultimately inevitable in this active volcanic region.

Over the past 2.1 million years Yellowstone volcano has had three immense explosive volcanic eruptions that blanketed parts of the North American continent with ash and debris. Each of these eruptions created sizable calderas: basins formed by collapse of the ground after evacuation of subsurface magma reservoirs. The Yellowstone Caldera, which comprises nearly one-third of the land area in the park, formed 0.64 million years ago and was followed by dozens of less explosive but large lava flows, the last of which erupted 70,000 years ago. Basin and Range extension of the western U.S. has created a series of regional faults that are responsible for large and devastating earthquakes in the Yellowstone region along the Teton and Hebgen Lake Faults; most recently a devastating Ms 7.5 earthquake in 1959 killed 28 people. Yellowstone’s famous geothermal waters create fabulous hot springs and geysers but occasionally explode catastrophically to create hydrothermal explosion craters found throughout the park


A frequency of "Caldera forming event" is a statistical projection based upon 2 previous such events. The frequency of which is about 2 per million years. The article you posted doesn't dny the fact that its gonna happen, they just, for the purpose of a news release, don't want to sound like chicken little.

Don't worry, itll happen .I think you are trying to pooh pooh TV shows as "real science" and theyre mostly there for entertainment . Entertainment needs some blood pulsing excitement. However, the tv crap doesn't mean its untrue as you seem to want to assert.
Please don't gimme the "cmon farmerman" stuff, if you don't know what youre talking about just say that you don't "Believe" the story, don't try to dismiss the science because youre basically unarmed (looking at Google clips is like owning a library card, its internally conflicting and your head will explode . SO. Someone can send you the evidence and then you can analyze severity/frequency data and then you can decide whether you want to buy property to start a family in Wyoming.

This is not a "declining energy" caldera, quite the contrary. We can hope for more , stress releasing ruptive activities, instead of 100K spaces between them. Our last eruption there was in the late 1950's and then a few minor increases in regional dip .
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 09:22 am
@farmerman,
I hadn't known that about the "refreshing" - that's a relief, presuming it stays that way.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 10:43 am
@maxdancona,
youre point seemed to state that the entire caldera volcano was bullshit. Now youre modifying your stance. OK Ill let it pass. Gday.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 12:23 pm
@maxdancona,
Why not give up on the damn champagne corks.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 12:47 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.

It does give me pause but just barely. I'm in the brave workers and US citizens should be treated here camp. Of course, people can get careless but usually they get careless after they get comfortable and I doubt anyone here is comfortable around this virus. I do wonder if they have tried the really powerful anti-virals they have out now in the field in Africa. I'm sure they will be used here.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  4  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2014 01:29 pm
I think we are going to learn a lot about Ebola that will benefit future outbreaks. Without these doctors being willing to risk their lives and take the experimental serum, we would see no progress in treating or preventing Ebola.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/04/health/experimental-ebola-serum/

Quote:
(CNN) -- Three vials containing an experimental drug stored at subzero temperatures were flown into Liberia last week in a last-ditch effort to save two American missionary workers who had contracted Ebola, according to a source familiar with details of the treatment.
The drug appears to have worked, sources say. Dr. Kent Brantly's and Nancy Writebol's conditions significantly improved after receiving the medication, sources say. Brantly was able to walk into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after being evacuated to the United States last week, and Writebol is expected to arrive in Atlanta on Tuesday.

...

A representative from the National Institutes of Health contacted Samaritan's Purse in Liberia and offered the experimental treatment, known as ZMapp, for the two patients, according to the source.

The drug was developed by the biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., which is based in San Diego. The patients were told that this treatment had never been tried before in a human being but had shown promise in small experiments with monkeys.
According to company documents, four monkeys infected with Ebola survived after being given the therapy within 24 hours after infection. Two of four other monkeys that started therapy within 48 hours after infection also survived. One monkey that was not treated died within five days of exposure to the virus.

...

The medicine is a three-mouse monoclonal antibody, meaning that mice were exposed to fragments of the Ebola virus and then the antibodies generated within the mice's blood were harvested to create the medicine. It works by preventing the virus from entering and infecting new cells.


The article does not say where the animal testing was done on the monkeys and mice. If it was done in the US, Ebola has already been here in a controlled environment and is being used on animals to develop these treatments.

 

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