Sunday, August 10, 2014

Frightening Facts About Ebola

There are a few frightening facts about this epidemic of Ebola virus:

 It can stay alive and infectious out side of the body. Why is this frightening? A patient with Ebola vomits, urinates, coughs into his hands and touches an object like a doorknob, that object is now infectious and can cause illness in the next person to touch it

The virus is contained in all body fluids including saliva. Does that mean a sneeze, a cough, kiss can transmit the virus?

It has a mortality rate anywhere from 50-90%

It is incubating and replicating in one of the poorest regions on earth where the most rudimently medical supplies, including doctors and nurses are in such short supply as to be almost non-existant leading to unchecked spread of the disease.

The incubation period is anywhere from 2-22 days meaning that someone already infected can show up at an airport looking healthy. He's allowed to fly Beijing. 5 days later the guy  starts to feel sick and makes his way to the hospital coming into contact with dozens of people along the way infecting many of them who will go on to infect many more

My own personal concerns:

That this is a new strain of Ebola that has undergone antigenic shift and has mutated in a way that has made it much more contagious than it ever was

That the infection rate is much higher than actual figure due to family members of those sickened  trying to avoid the stigmata and the rigors of quarantine by hiding their dead and dying.

That since the virus is found in the saliva it can be spread by coughing and sneezing and thus be close to being an airborne illness

This is a very frightening time right now. I don't care what the government says about being ready to battle the virus if it lands on our shores. Our emergency rooms are severely crowded as it is, there are very few intensive care beds in this country ( approximately 150,000) of which about 80% are occupied on any given day by severely I'll and injured people already and with 330 million guns in this country go ahead and try to quarantine towns, villages and cities.
 I pray the US never has to deal with anything like an Ebola epidemic. We are terribly unprepared, largely apathetic and, to a great extent, ignorant. Let's just hope it never happens here.