Tag Archives | Ebola virus

You Are Not Nearly Scared Enough About Ebola

2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak situation map.jpg

2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak situation map by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via Wikimedia Commons.

“Experimental drugs and airport screenings will do nothing to stop this plague. If Ebola hits Lagos, we’re in real trouble,” says Laurie Garrett at Foreign Policy:

Attention, World: You just don’t get it.

You think there are magic bullets in some rich country’s freezers that will instantly stop the relentless spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa? You think airport security guards in Los Angeles can look a traveler in the eyes and see infection, blocking that jet passenger’s entry into La-la-land? You believe novelist Dan Brown’s utterly absurd description of a World Health Organization that has a private C5-A military transport jet and disease SWAT team that can swoop into outbreaks, saving the world from contagion?

Wake up, fools. What’s going on in West Africa now isn’t Brown’s silly Inferno scenario — it’s Steven Soderbergh’s movie Contagion, though without a modicum of its high-tech capacity.

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USA Today Whips Up Fear of Ebola In United States

With a headline that Ebola is “only a plane ride away” from the United States, the lowest common denominator newspaper USA Today sounds increasingly like a British tabloid:

The growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves as a grim reminder that deadly viruses are only a plane ride away from the USA, health experts say.

The outbreak is the largest and deadliest on record, with more than 670 deaths and more than 1,200 infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fatality rates for Ebola have been as high as 90% in past outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus — which has an incubation period of a few days to three weeks — could easily travel to the USA through infected travelers, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

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Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

Photo Credit: Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine

Via the BBC:

Public health officials in Uganda are battling an outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus. There have been 14 confirmed deaths at the time of this writing:

Officials say most are linked to one family, who may have contracted the virus while attending a funeral.

Another suspected infection, at Kampala’s Mulago hospital, is also being investigated by doctors, says the BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital.

Ebola is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. A form of hemorrhagic fever,  Ebola can incubate for up to three weeks before symptoms emerge, which begin with fever, rashes and head and body aches followed by bloody vomit and almost always death.  There’s no cure, and 90 percent of those infected die within two weeks of the onset of symptoms.

While an international outbreak is always a possibility in the age of global travel, most Ebola outbreaks end very quickly.… Read the rest

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