U.S. Preps For Ebola Outbreak: Cases May Exceed 100,000 By December: “The Numbers Are Really Scary”

Contributed by Mac Slavo of SHTF Plan Website

Though news on the Ebola virus has been muted since two American health care workers were admitted to U.S.-based facilities last month, the deadly contagion continues to spread. According to the World Health Organization more than 40% of all Ebola cases thus far have occurred in just the last three months, suggesting that the virus is continuing to build steam.

Physicist Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern University in Boston is one of several researchers trying to figure out how far Ebola may spread and how many people around the world could be affected. Based on his findings, there will be 10,000 cases by September of this year and it only gets worse from there.

ebola outbreak model 2 U.S. Preps For Ebola Outbreak: Cases May Exceed 100,000 By December: “The Numbers Are Really Scary”

(A model created by Alessandro Vespignani and his colleagues suggests that, at its current spread, Ebola may infect up to 10,000 people by September 24. Other models suggest up to 100,000 infected globally by December of this year. The shaded area is the variability range.)

Extrapolating existing trends, the number of the sick and dying mounts rapidly from the current toll—more than 3000 cases and 1500 deaths—to around 10,000 cases by September 24, and hundreds of thousands in the months after that. “The numbers are really scary,” he says—although he stresses that the model assumes control efforts aren’t stepped up. “We all hope to see this NOT happening,” Vespigani writes in an e-mail. … Vespignani is not the only one trying to predict how the unprecedented outbreak will progress. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the number of cases could ultimately exceed 20,000. And scientists across the world are scrambling to create computer models that accurately describe the spread of the deadly virus. Not all of them look quite as bleak as Vespignani’s. But the modelers all agree that current efforts to control the epidemic are not enough to stop the deadly pathogen in its tracks.“If the epidemic in Liberia were to continue in this way until the 1st of December, the cumulative number of cases would exceed 100,000,” predicts Althaus. Such long-term forecasts are error-prone, he acknowledges. … Vespignani has analyzed the likelihood that Ebola will spread to other countries. Using data on millions of air travelers and commuters, as well as mobility patterns based on data from censuses and mobile devices, he has built a model of the world, into which he can introduce Ebola and then run hundreds of thousands of simulations. In general, the chance of further spread beyond West Africa is small, Vespignani says, but the risk grows with the scale of the epidemic. Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among the countries most likely to have an introduced case, according to the model. Source: Science Mag and WHO via Investment Watch

Though researchers and officials hope that this is “not happening,” the fact is that Ebola spread has only increased since it was first identified earlier this year. And now it is spreading to densely populated African cities like Lagos, Nigeria.

The Centers for Disease Control and US-based hospitals maintain that the likelihood of Ebola spreading to the United States remains “extremely low,” but that hasn’t stopped them from preparing infection control protocols because of the extremely high fatality rates associated with those who contract the virus.

Hospitals throughout Southern California are preparing for potential Ebola cases, even as they seek to reassure patients and health care workers that the risk is very low. … Public health officials say with the right isolation and infection control procedures, all hospitals could safely handle a patient with Ebola without exposing staff or other patients. “We have the infrastructure anyway because we see these things on a daily basis. We see tuberculosis, influenza, potentially measles, and whooping cough,” said Dr. Zachary Rubin, medical director of clinical epidemiology and infection prevention at UCLA. “Even though Ebola is in the news, this is something we do day in and day out.” The CDC’s Ebola recommendations for hospitals include an array of measures such as private rooms for patients, protective coverings for staff, and limiting use of needles as much as possible to prevent transmission. … “In the context of overall diseases, the likelihood of Ebola even coming to the U.S. or to UCI Medical Center is so extremely low, we just don’t expect it to happen,” Gohil said. “However, the fatalities are so high and the possibility of travel in the global context is just enough that we have to prepare. One of the reasons you want to prepare is to reassure your staff and your patients that it’s perfectly handleable.” Public health officials say with the right isolation and infection control procedures, all hospitals could safely handle a patient with Ebola without exposing staff or other patients. Source: Los Angeles Register

Experts say the virus doesn’t spread like the flu or measles because it is not airborne. However, there are some indications that current strain of the Ebola virus may be mutating. Last month a warning issued by the CDC claimed that infectious Ebola materials could be spread through the air.

The advisory urges airline staff to provide surgical masks to potential Ebola victims in order “to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air by talking, sneezing, or coughing.”

The CDC is also directing airline cleaning personnel to, “not use compressed air, which might spread infectious material through the air.” (emphasis mine).

The CDC’s concern about the Ebola virus being spread via the air is understandable in light of a 2012 experiment conducted by Canadian scientists which proved that, “the ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species.”

At this time it is too early to tell if efforts by health officials in Africa, Europe and the USA will be effective in stopping the virus. All indications suggest it will continue to spread, just as it has for nearly a year.

The disease models, which are based on population density and mobility patterns, show that it is only a matter of time before an infection is identified in the United States.

In the event that a single person in the Western hemisphere acquires it, then chances are there will be more.

Hospitals in the United States may be preparing isolation protocols, but what about Mexico, where the southern border has been left completely exposed? With cramped quarters on trains and trucks carrying hundreds or thousands of migrants, and unsanitary conditions, it is quite possible that a single infected individual could pass the virus on to scores of others, who in turn would disperse to various cities as soon as they reached US-soil.

And that doesn’t even include the millions of travelers arriving and departing at US airports from coast to coast on a daily basis.

The CDC and US healthcare officials may think they can control it, but all such efforts around the world have failed thus far.

Moreover, should an Ebola outbreak occur in the United States, the panic it will cause may exceed what we saw during the H1N1 flu scare several years ago. Over 25% of American adults fear that the virus could spread to a family member or close friend because of its high fatality rate. This suggests that any indication of contagion on US shores will lead to a run on medical supplies once the virus becomes reality here at home.

The healthcare system could be overwhelmed and medical supplies could feel a serious crunch as panicked Americans race to acquire everything from WHO recommended N-100 masks to protective body suits.

The best prevention will start at home and being positioned with pandemic suppliesbefore such a crisis will be critical, as noted by The Prepper’s Blueprint author Tess Pennington. Some of the supplies she recommends can be purchased now – before the panic – at your local grocery, hardware store, or online.

Pennington recommends getting ready for not just infection prevention, but the overall effect it will have on businesses and government operations.

Having first hand knowledge of the government’s protocols before this type of emergency arises can help put you ahead of the game. Understanding that our lives will change drastically if the population is faced with a pandemic and being prepared for this can help you make better choices toward the well being of your family. Some changes could be:

  • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
  • Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
  • Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.

Among her instructions for creating a sick room, Tess recommends a basic supply list.

Basic Pandemic Preparedness Supply List

We can never be 100% certain of the outcome, especially when dealing with outliers like pandemics. But chances are that government emergency responders will be swamped, grocery stores will be empty, and the majority of people will have no idea what to do.

We can, however, prepare ourselves with basic supplies and the knowledge necessary to increase our ability to prevent contagion reaching those closest to us and staying safe should such an outbreak take hold.

my family survival

Comments

  1. This article is on the mark. One point about the computer models–they are only as good as the information fed into them. The WHO has admitted that current figures underestimate the outbreak. The fact is we don’t have accurate figures in terms of the number infected and the number of fatalities. If these figures are low-balled, as WHO says, then expect the statistical models to be low-balled as well.

    There are two things that concern me: (1) news has been scarce in the past two weeks, and (2) the virus is mutating. It is also disturbing that the CDC has actively mislead the public in saying the virus is not airborne.

  2. Heads Up: The CDC just released a new report–the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces for days. The flu virus remains viable for 2-8 hours.

    http://www.dailycollapsereport.com/health/ebola-virus-can-remain-viable-hard-surfaces-days-says-cdc/

    • Looks like that fomite transmission theory we talked about the other night is viable, and the tiny amount of virus needed to start an infection makes the situation even worse. Good to see you had the jump on the CDC, Bam Bam.

    • “CDC just released a new report – the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces for days.”

      Not quite.

      The 1 August CDC Infection Control guidance article stated,
      “Limited laboratory studies under favorable conditions indicate that Ebola virus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days.”

      The “limited laboratory studies” were done in 2010. The studies were looking at the effectiveness of ultraviolet radiation to decontaminate infected environments and were part of a series of studies conducted at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
      To quote the actual study, “Ebola, Lassa, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and Sindbis viruses were dried onto solid surfaces, incubated for various time periods under controlled conditions of temperature and relative humidity, and quantitatively eluted from surfaces, and viral titers in the recovered samples were determined. The viral inactivation kinetics that were obtained indicated that viral resistance to natural inactivation in the dark follows (in decreasing order of stability) alphavirus > Lassa virus > Ebola virus. The findings reported in this study on the natural decay in the dark should assist in understanding the biophysical properties of enveloped RNA viruses outside the host and in estimating the persistence of viruses in the environment during epidemics or after an accidental or intentional release.”

      So yes, the study found that under perfectly controlled laboratory conditions, IF (let me repeat that IF) the virus was kept in the dark, it could still be viable for a number of days.

      That may sound bad, but the CDC article quoted here continues, “In the only study to assess contamination of the patient care environment during an outbreak, virus was not detected in any of 33 samples collected from sites that were not visibly bloody.”
      Or to actually quote the study conducted at the Gulu Regional Hospital in Uganda, “Other than in samples grossly contaminated with blood, EBOV was not found by any method on environmental surfaces.”

      And to continue quoting that same CDC article, “There is no epidemiologic evidence of Ebola virus transmission via either the environment or fomites that could become contaminated during patient care (e.g., bed rails, door knobs, laundry).”

      I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t be aware of ebola and the devastation it is causing, but please, do your homework and don’t panic over limited frightening statements taken out of context. Viruses, including ebola, are dangerous and can have catastrophic effects, but base your precautions on reality not hype.

      • k. fields,

        How long does Ebola virus persist in indoor environments?

        Only one laboratory study, which was done under environmental conditions that favor virus persistence, has been reported. This study found that under these ideal conditions Ebola virus could remain active for up to six days.1 In a follow up study, Ebola virus was found, relative to other enveloped viruses, to be quite sensitive to inactivation by ultraviolet light and drying; yet sub-populations did persist in organic debris.

        http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/environmental-infection-control-in-hospitals.html

        • “How long does Ebola virus persist in indoor environments?”

          Yes, the Aberdeen studies showed that under perfect conditions if kept in the dark, the Ebola virus could remain viable for days but the amount was reduced to 37% after only 16 hours even then. One study by the Defence Science and Technology Lab, UK could not recover ANY Ebola virus from experimentally contaminated surfaces that were at room temperature.

          The only study of real world condition I have found was the one referenced in your linked CDC report that I quoted above. That study from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine took and analyzed samples from ebola patients at the Ugandan Gulu Regional Hospital testing urine, stool, vomit, semen, skin, breast milk, etc. and the bedside environment (light switches, floor, bed frame, bedside chair, etc.).

          Concerning the environment, they found,
          “Environmental specimens. Thirty-three environmental specimens were collected. None were culture positive, but 2 specimens (1 bloody glove and 1 bloody intravenous insertion site sampled as positive controls) were positive by RTPCR. Both specimens were visibly colored by blood (i.e., red or pink), whereas all 31 of the negative samples were clear.”

          So, I can’t answer your question of how long the Ebola virus could persist in an everyday indoor environment since I haven’t found a study that shows it survives at all outside of bodily fluids in the real world.

          • We are dealing with a new clad here and the sequencing shows changes to the surface proteins.

            • Yes, but the changes aren’t (so far as I’ve read) to the lipids making up the viral envelope which is Ebola’s Achilles’ heel in terms of sustainability outside a host. Now if the virus suddenly mutated to form a viral capsid instead of an envelope, that would indeed invalidate the tests mentioned. But that hasn’t happened so these test results still apply no matter the protein changes.

              And on a personal note BamBam, I hope the meeting with your teacher/adviser went well and provided you with some answers. You’re a good person and deserve some tranquility.

              • K. Fields,

                Thanks for the spiritual encouragement. Check out the link I added under Wolfman’s comment.

                • Yes, I’ve read Sabeti’s work. As I stated, it doesn’t change the test results discussed above that deal with Ebola’s inability to survive for long outside of bodily fluids.

                  • Scenario: Ebola victim with fever, cough, etc., comes to an ER, checks in at the ER desk, sits in chair in the ER for an hour or so(best case), wiping mouth and eyes with hands which are subsequently placed on various hard surfaces of the chair he/she uses. Not to mention on the pen, clipboard, or other surfaces necessary to fill out paperwork to get in the ER. If cone electronically, other surfaces would be compromised. The room is full, ebola patient is finally moved inside a room in ER, others take his/her place. Can ebola virus survive for an hour? That’s all it would take. Meanwhile, the people in the ER, the medical clerks, doctors, nurses, whoever works on this patient are all exposed. It’s not quite as simple as you are making out. Granted, I’ve used a worse case scenario, but that’s what one has to do when planning. Murphy’s Law.

                    • “Can ebola virus survive (on a hard surface in a normal environment) for an hour?”
                      As I said to MD, I don’t know – but the documented testing that has been done hasn’t shown that it processes that ability.

                    • Wolfman,

                      Ebola can survive for days on such surfaces. When Ebola comes to the U.S. hospitals will post someone outside to take the temperature of every person who enters. Anyone with a fever will be sent to a special unit.

                      A colleague is helping develop decontamination protocol for missionaries heading to West Africa to help with the outbreak. They have to take a three week course. Most of these folks are doctors and nurses. He mentioned something important–unless you are a surgeon, you’re not trained in sterilization procedures. He also said that the three week course can give professionals the book knowledge but he worries that if they don’t apply that knowledge on a day to day basis they will revert to previous behavior–e.g., when you spray down a suit with bleach, you’ve got to wait 10 seconds for the bleach to do its job. You can’t just take the suit off immediately.

                      He said Ebola is spreading in West Africa because (a) doctors and nurses don’t have proper PPEs, (b) they are not surgeons and so no experts in infection control, and (c) the heat and other environmental conditions are challenging.

                      He said that it was inevitable that Ebola would arrive in the U.S. But he had great confidence in the profession’s ability to handle an outbreak here. He said that given the resources here, the CDC will be able to quarantine any outbreak quickly enough to prevent significant spread.

                      The CDC already has teams in place, already trained, to handle this.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            When the sun goes down it gets DARK.

  3. And lets not forget the possibility of intentional introduction of the virus in a new area, such as the US, through bio-terrorism. You know “they” have thought of that as well.

  4. Bam Bam, you have been on top of this from the start, thanks for the guidance you’ve provided so far.
    Business owners and managers will shut themselves up in their offices and penalize anyone who doesn’t come in to work. Business will continue at our own peril.
    My question for you is this- I work in a school, since school started nary a mention of Ebola has been heard. I’ve talked to our nurse and will keep in close contact with her. Last year one of my students had MERS, her parents wouldn’t tell her and she continued to come to school most days. Yea that’s a whole different sickness but I expect the same crap to happen with this. Back to my question- I’m in a computer lab so will wiping down keyboards mice and counter tops do any good. I do it biweekly now, should I do this every evening?

    • The main thing is to get in the habit of not touching your face and washing your hands often. These are probably the most effective things you can do.

      Wiping down common surfaces is good. I keep hand sanitizer with me all the time. A lot of schools have put in hand sanitizer stations. See if you can get one put up outside the computer lab.

    • Wipe down the screens too. When someone sneezes, the particles hit the screens. Then someone later reaches up to adjust the screen, and voila! They picked up the virus.

      • Thanks Jeanne and Bam Bam,
        For the last couple years I have kept a hand sanitizer station in my room at my own expense. It’s one of those silver plastic industrial jobs, not just a bottle and the refills are expensive but worth it. The trouble is getting students to use it and I remind them constantly. What I can’t afford is Clorox wipes all the time. Do you think if I just kept a bucket and mixed a little bleach and water then wiped everything down at the end of every day would do it? With all due respect to everyone in the health care profession I feel like I’m on the front lines of this problem with no help.

        • Yes, a bleach solution would work fine. You might try to convince your employer to pay for the bleach wipes–bleach wipes reduce illness and thereby promote student attendance (hence learning). If not, a bottle of bleach is cheap enough.

          • Convince employer, haha you are funny even when you don’t mean to be. We are a poor public school system in the county. The city school systems have the revenues from sales taxes. If they put up a parking meter the city rushes out to annex the property and our property taxes (the other funding) is one of the lowest anywhere, except in the city. Don’t want to change this thread into a school funding topic but when people criticize schools they don’t know the entire situation and shouldn’t clump all of us in the same wasteful spending group. Still I manage to provide for a family of four with this one income, just not much left to spend on everyone else’s children. I did put a request for wipes on my syllabus this year and got a half dozen, out of eighty students. No PTA/pto either but they are all good ideas. I’m just sure that we will be slow to react and that’s too bad.

            • If you are some ways from an international airport or on the west coast, you should have advanced warning.

              • I’m in the good ole south where we pay multinational companies millions and promise decades of tax forgiveness if they’ll just move a few dozen jobs to us. Short term thinking is the number one reason our country is in the state it is.

  5. Great article, and timely as well. The story that is being seriously under-reported in this entire outbreak is the large number of medical staff who have become infected, and the large number of their deaths. These deaths and the fear of the disease have led to the total collapse of health-care systems in affected countries. Staff at clinics and hospitals are scared to show up for work, and hospitals can’t find staff to properly treat the sick. On top of that, medical personnel from other countries are refusing to come to W. Africa out of fear, which is seriously hampering control of the virus.

    Now we have the worst possible scenario in place. Ebola is moving into the large cities in Africa, the virus has mutated, and the health care systems have collapsed. The 100,000 figure is entirely reasonable in that many thousands now have the virus but haven’t been identified, the governments in question are under-reporting the numbers, and agencies like WHO are not reporting accurate numbers, either.

    When, not if, the virus gets to the US, our health care system is ill-equipped to handle an outbreak. ERs that are full of sick people, unsanitary conditions in most hospitals, and no experience at handling these types of tropical diseases will get many thousands exposed to the disease, including many staff at these hospitals. There are nowhere near the personnel needed to handle the problem, people won’t show up to work, and the system will fail. People will be afraid to come to the doctor’s offices or hospitals for fear of the virus, and they will die needlessly from easily treatable conditions. This situation could get bad really quick, the time to prepare is now.

  6. Bam Bam I have picked up N95 masks , but I’m looking at R95 masks as well. I guess my question is witch one is best?

    • I haven’t researched the various masks/respirators. Here’s a start.

      http://www.coopersafety.com/respiratortypes.aspx

    • I had the same question – I can find R95 masks in the cleaning supply aisle at Walmart, but can’t find N95 masks anywhere. Seems from BamBam’s link that the N series are not resistant to oil, but the R series masks are. Both are 95% efficient. Looking at the Amazon link I don’t think I can afford the N 100 masks right now, but I can afford the N95. I guess I’ll order some.

  7. Nurses at Liberia’s largest hospital have gone on strike, demanding higher wages and access to personal protection equipment.

  8. this is complete hogwash …100,000 cases no way thats happening. the reality of it is only 1500 ppl have died from this since febuary! its all hype, its more prenounced in africa because they think black majic is going to cure themselves , and they have crappy medical field and they say the white man is spreading this , bottom line is their a bunch of dummies… third world nonsence. ive been watching this pretty close im not very concerned this will be anything like the chicken littles are saying

    • I think you’ve swallowed the tall tales hook line and sinker. When a nurse trained in sterile procedure gets Ebola while sterilizing equipment, the virus has mutated. She was splashed with droplets. Had to be – logic dictates it. No way were those two American medical personnel careless or under protected, and they definitely were not engaging in magic. The doctors in Africa are not a bunch of dummies, and although they are under supplied over there, it is clear that normal cleanliness procedures are not protecting the medical workers and supporting care staff (the people that give baths and wipe bums). They are all showing a great deal of compassion to the sick in very trying circumstances. We really need to pay attention to what they are going through. It’s the Black Death all over again. Back in the dark and Middle Ages it was travel and trade that brought the Death and it will happen again the same way. Sorry for the rant. I really can’t stand the poo-pooing of the African customs. I don’t engage in magic either, but when my dad died in’89, and I finally got home to see him (waiting to be cremating at the crematorium, not in a nice pretty coffin either), my first reaction was to bend down and give his body a hug. I can see people touching a dead loved one. It happens.

      • well this is what ive heard as to why this is spreading so “badly” in africa reported by the media,and i wasnt referring to the doctors as dummies,the populace is what i was calling dumb because they still believe in back majic as savior, and think white ppl are speading this as well as the who..so sensative!

        • “well this is what ive heard as to why this is spreading so “badly” in africa reported by the media…”

          So, everything reported in the media is somehow accurate, is that what you’re saying? Because I don’t believe the media is accurately reporting this particular outbreak. Even WHO is saying the numbers they are giving out are badly under-reported. This virus has the potential to be the perfect storm of virulence, high mortality, and contagion. It has mutated, the DNA sequences prove it. More new cases were reported last week than in any week of the outbreak. There is quite a lot of evidence you’re ignoring, but if it doesn’t bother you, that’s ok, you don’t have to prepare, but that’s what I’m kinda here for, to prepare for the unexpected, unreported, unknown events that could and will happen. History proves it to be the case.

          • no the media is not always right ,and you know that, but to sit there and use stats YOU got from the media, but then blame me for reporting what ive heard from media is absolutely crazy thinking there wolfy..o i guess you know its mutated because you did the research huh ,omg some ppl on here are loony!!

            • The sequencing data I got was from Bam Bam, I’m pretty sure she researched it well as I know she is that type person. The figures the media is giving out is reported by WHO to be inaccurate. Yeah, I know, WHO gives out figures, then WHO reports these figures to be inaccurate. The media lowballs the figures so they won’t spook the sheeple. I would have thought you sophisticated enough to know these things, but apparently not. As for me, I read/research/study all sorts of media/knowledge sources/etc. before I make a statement. You would be well served to do the same rather than calling people names.

              • yeah i know your always right and in fact your sooo right your awesome ,a legend in your own mind ..only cause it goes against your conspiracy therories and the loathing you perpetuate in your little circle and sad fearful existance .. but hey at least your right …in your own mind that is wolfy

            • Troll Alert!

          • and o i forgot you preparing is buying a mask …absolutely comical!!! if this is the ONE your worried about you really think you prepping for anything other than civil unrest is really gonna help, wow . i value that you prep but wow !!!

      • and yeah no way they were careless huh,,well the cdc has done a really sloppy job of even securing dangerous diseases in their own vaults ,do some reading ,,and these doctors were working around the clock for weeks on end very easy to become sloppy when your over tired and under pressure,things arent so black and white in the world

      • “a nurse trained in sterile procedure” drinks coffee made by the affirmative action worker. Atlanta where the CDC is located had to spend $11million on urine detectors in MARTA elevators, because of how savage the natives are. The EPA had to hire someone to come in and tell employees not to poop in the hallways because no leader could think of a safe way to tell them.
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/25/epa-environmental-protection-agency-poop-defecation/11361899/

      • You need to keep in mind the differences between medical care in the affected area of Africa and other parts of the world. Many facilities there lack basic resources and they simply do things differently. For example, hospitals don’t provide food and laundry services for patients, family members are responsible for those. And they don’t have reclining chairs or other places for family members to sleep, so they often sleep in bed with the patient.
        Add to that the practice of reusing “disposable” needles and syringes simply because they have no choice due to lack of supply. Disposable syringes can’t be sterilized by customary heat methods. And the shortage of gloves means cross-contamination occurs.
        All this and other factors such as burial practices and general fear of anyone seen as authority (including health care workers) which has led to armed “liberation” of infected patients means that the ebola outbreak will only get worse in Africa and the death toll will continue to rise – but it also means that the virus won’t cause pandemic type problems in countries like the US.

        • K. Fields,

          This would explain how the virus spread initially. But it does not explain how U.S. doctors and WHO researcher became infected. They bring all the equipment they need.

          • BamBam,
            Those doctors and researchers do not have complete control of their environment – they were not working in BSL4 labs. They, no doubt, tried their best to maintain protocols but, obviously, there were failures.
            When a doctor dies while treating a lethal disease, it’s poor logic to immediately assume the disease has changed. Humans get tired, especially working in the conditions these folks are encountering, and, obviously, mistakes were made – either by them or those around them.

            • The mutations are listed in studies.

              • It’s not as if people in previous ebola outbreaks didn’t work long hours, get tired, suffer in the heat, and make mistakes. It is obvious to anyone with an open mind that something is different this time. The numbers of medical personnel affected by this outbreak should generate curiosity, not create more arrogance.

                • By all appearances, Ebola is mutating with great celerity and spreading from person to person with ease.

                • According to WHO, 120 health care worker have died of Ebola in the current outbreak (August 26 numbers). Yes, that is a lot but let’s look at a few possible reasons why so many have succumbed to the disease.
                  1. This area has never experienced an outbreak of Ebola. Healthcare workers are used to patients coming in with malaria and typhoid fever which have the same symptoms as early stage Ebola, so patients are initially treated without the use of protective gear. Think of your own local hospital – when you go in, do you see all the hospital employees wearing protective masks, gloves and full coveralls during your initial visit? It is only once a diagnosis of suspected Ebola is made that the strict protocols go into place and even then the area is woefully short of the necessary equipment – again, because they have never experienced an outbreak before.
                  2. Equipment shortages abound. I read of one 120 bed hospital with a staff of 17. Each morning the nursing staff were issued 5 syringes and needles to be used in the outpatient department, the prenatal clinic and the inpatient wards. Even before the outbreak, the equipment wasn’t properly sterilized between uses. Now imagine what happens when they are hit with an influx of new patients hosting a deadly disease they have never seen before.
                  3. This is the first time Ebola has spread to urban areas, which means a lot more people have been infected. The prior outbreaks occurred in rural areas and the medical systems weren’t so overwhelmed. WHO has reported that some areas have only 2 doctors per 100,000 people.
                  4. As the medical system overloads, they don’t have the option to bring in more staff – unlike the US, there aren’t a lot of RN’s seeking employment, or even trained EMT’s. Their only option is to work longer hours – and as everyone knows there comes a point where exhaustion leads to mistakes.
                  5. The environment is hot and humid and the protective gear makes it worse.
                  Read the following link:
                  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/03/latest-us-doc-get-ebola-skipped-protective-gear-100-degree-heat-says-colleague/

                  • There is a new cluster in Nigeria. I think we will get great understanding from this cluster since it’s happening in an industrial port city with a decent medical system. If this cluster spreads despite interventions that are up to Western standards, we are in trouble. The WHO has sent massive resources to curtail this outbreak–supplies, medical staff, contract tracing groups, burial groups and a mobile lap. And they know they are dealing with Ebola.

                    If the virus spreads despite these measures, we are in trouble, given the fact that Nigeria is the major player in terms of trade and transportation in West Africa.

      • Another American doctor has been infected–an obstetrician not working in the Ebola ward.

        • It strikes me as odd that people would come on a blog about prepping for disasters, both man-made and natural, and encourage people not to prep, or deny the possibility of a threat. It’s as if they seek to discourage people from prepping. I keep wondering what their motive might be.

          • Wolfman,

            Have you read this paper?

            http://www.nature.com/news/ebola-virus-mutating-rapidly-as-it-spreads-1.15777

            Researchers have observed 395 mutations in 78 patients in Sierra Leone in the first 24 days of the outbreak. Given that mutations that are observed are those that are environmentally advantageous, it is clear that Ebola is adapting to its human host. We may infer that Ebola is no longer an animal disease that infects humans now and then; Ebola is now a human disease. It may become endemic to West Africa. I expect the R0 factor to increase significantly. I think this is why WHO hasn’t released new case fatality rates in two weeks.

            We can also note that given the adaptation to its new host, previous studies on Ebola can say little about the current outbreak.

            • Again, let’s get the actual facts of the study straight.
              Your post makes it sound as though the virus had developed 395 mutations in the first 24 days of the current outbreak. It did not.
              What was found is that the genome of the current 2014 Sierra Leone outbreak is distinct from viral genomes tied to previous outbreaks and, as viruses are apt to do, Ebola is continuing to mutate as it spreads from person to person.
              But the statement that the changes are “environmentally advantageous” is overstepping the research by a lot. Even your own linked article stated “(the researchers stated) there is no sign that any of these mutations have contributed to the unprecedented size of the outbreak by changing the characteristics of the Ebola virus”

              This is a very important study in that it will help drug researchers to adapt their products to the changes that are occurring. Does it mean that all previous research is now useless? No. The makers of ZMapp have already checked the data and found the changes have no impacts on the antibodies that make up their drug. As for the GlaxoSmithKline product, I haven’t read any reports yet.

              • If they weren’t environmentally advantageous, they wouldn’t stick around long enough to be observed.

                What is lacking in the research, as the researchers suggest, is an understanding of how individual mutations impact humans.

                The more Ebola becomes adapted to humans, the less reliable previous studies have on understanding the current outbreak. I think we have reason to believe we are dealing with something very new.

                • Bam Bam, I did read the study you cited. In recent comments I expressed my concern about the virus continually cycling among human hosts over a long period of time. There are going to be more and more mutations, any one of which could cause more problems. The scientists I know(one a microbiologist, the other a medical researcher) have told me this is a very, very dangerous trend.

          • Indeed. Normally, there’s a dip in trolling trends when school starts, or the Kardashians do something interesting.

  9. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Cheesy… the world always needs a boogyman. Governments rule with the use of simple fear. “Complete hogwash” …. If 1500 Americans were dead in say Los Angeles or Chicago…. and 10% of them were health care personel…… “Complete Panic” are the two words I’m thinking.

    • that many or vastly more probably die from cancer every single day in america not to mention aids and drunk driving i dont see the mass hysteria,dont believe the hype they do it for ratings and fear yes you are correct ,shifting ppl focus your right

    • Chicago had over 500 murders last year, and none of them made the news like the liquor store robber,& bloods gang member killed 10 min later by a white cop in Ferguson. Perhaps you should name a different city. So far this year (as of 8-25)Chicago has 234, LA 164, Philly 160, NYC 185, Baltimore 140. Some of those cities actively try to lower or put off murders recorded to game their numbers.

  10. bob johnson says:

    can you say “Y2K”?
    Be prepared but don’t go nuts.
    Government Control thrives on panic and confusion. “Do whatever it takes, but save us” is responsible for a lot of what they have done “in our name” to keep us “safe”

    • One prepares physically so one doesn’t have to panic. One prepares mentally so that one is not subject to confusion. What a prepper does is the exact opposite of the “Do whatever it takes, but save us…” mentality. Prepping is the antithesis of government control.

  11. well said bob

  12. Dammmmmmmmm! This one is loaded with trollish behavior. Me A Culpa! I just watched a CDC press conference that, while not giving Numbers, pretty much agrees with the worst side of this subject. “Spiraling out of control”…. DOOM! PANIC! ARMO GED O NISTIC! Crappolla…… Panic over something you cannot control is a waste of blood pressure meds. It makes for really great arguments and stuff. Get your S – – t in order and sit back and connect the dots as they appear. Chill a little wine. Try sweet onion in the Salsa. Get the tyvek suits with the spandex waste band and sleves. Pick up a roll of Bio-Hazard tape at Home Depot! Somtin happens you can segue into action and never miss a Kitchen Nightmare re-run. Notin happens……. finish the salsa and chill another bottle of wine…. Vodka …. Pale Ale….. ?

    I’m hanging up on this Black-False-Red Herring-Bogeyman-Flag waving.

    Your ALL right…… Your all over reacting…. Lets talk it over when we have some Sh-t on the Fan!

    • TTT,

      The media reports are quite bad. But some of the scientific studies coming out are excellent. There are some facts that do merit our attention. The medical infrastructure in Liberia and Sierra Leone has collapsed. Over a million people are in quarantine. Deaths in these areas are not being reported. WHO admits figures are under reported. Ebola is adapting to its human host, increasing person to person transmission. This increases the Ro factor–the basic rate of reproduction. An R0 over 1 represents an outbreak that is not contained. An R0 over 2 is bad. I suspect the R0 of the current outbreak is between 3.5 and 4 (based on WHO comments about infection rates being as much as four times higher than reported). An R0 of 4 means that for every one person infected, that person will on average infect another four people. So we really could see exponential growth in the number of new cases.

  13. nick flandrey says:

    Love how the article kept emphasizing that they could easily handle “a” patient. No one asked the followup, can you handle 100?

    Anyone who has researched, participated in, or read about mass casualty drills knows that only a few serious patients at a time will completely overwhelm our medical system. We know from real life experience that bad bus crash will fill every available trauma bay in a MAJOR city.

    There simply isn’t any slack in the system.

    An article in one of the trade magazines I get talked about the “huge, state of the art” new hospital renovation in Chicago that in an emergency can convert a lobby into patient areas, and it had about 100 additional beds! And for them that was a MASSIVE increase. 100 BEDS! In a metro area with about 7 million people that is considered a huge increase in capability. Granted there are more in other facilities, but who will knowingly take ebola patients? Who would stay in a facility that had those patients if they could leave? The dislocation of people currently under care would be a huge issue for the medical system.

    Think about the last time you went to the ER or your local hospital for treatment. Did you see hundreds of beds just waiting for new patients? Did you see enough staff to maintain order with a few hundred scared, sick, desperate people, who all want to be treated RIGHT THIS F-IN’ MINUTE YOU MORON! WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT WHILE THIS OTHER DIRTBAG GETS HELP! GET ME SOME F-IN’ DRUGS RIGHT NOW OR I’LL START LIGHTIN’ THIS B**ch UP!

    I don’t know about you, but it makes me breath a little harder just thinking about it.

    Read the CDC.gov site about “business continuity” and “pandemic”. There is a lot of really good info there, that was developed with our money. The scenarios where people just stay home, and don’t do their jobs because of fear should be required reading. How long can our “just in time” world of distribution and manufacturing stay together if 8 of 10 people don’t show up for work? [just went looking for links, they've moved stuff around. There used to be a specific topic for business continuity that had lots of stuff in one place. Now it's harder to find. I'll post some later when I have time.]

    Also, anyone who downplays the seriousness of this with the argument that “it is a small number of cases” doesn’t understand how the math works. It ALWAYS starts with a small number. When it goes exponential, the number gets really big, really quick. For a rough idea, think about going from not being able to see a germ, to seeing a visible to the naked eye colony in only a couple of generations. Or think of it this way, it is small for a long time, but then the doubling makes it get large in only a couple of generations. (sorry that isn’t really helping is it?)

    Think of doubling the number of grains of rice on a table every hour. For many hours you have a few grains, then a handful, then 2 handfuls, then 4, then 8, then a bucket full, then 2 buckets, then the whole table is covered. It takes a while to get to 2 handfuls, but you get from a couple of handfuls to covering the table VERY quickly. And the next 2 doublings cover the floor of the room, then 2 rooms, then the house…..

    So the fact that it is “just a few” now should not be a comfort. If it breaks out, it won’t be long before it is “a lot.”

    I worry that no current government is ruthless enough to contain an urban outbreak. “Oh those poor people, trapped in that city/neighborhood/etc with no food or water, and all those infected people! We have to help them. We HAVE to let them out…..” Or, what if it was YOUR town? Are you prepared to bug in and stay isolated or would you activate YOUR bug out plan (and thus possibly spreading the disease) doing whatever it takes to get out of Dodge? We aren’t the only ones with BOBs and guns, and motivation to break a quarantine…

    Even as a thought experiment, this quickly gets uncomfortable for your average prepper. A major pandemic really is one of the times when martial law, FEMA camps, and all the stuff we normally dread becomes absolutely necessary to keep it all from burning down.

    Get your stuff in order, and pray you don’t need it, just like always……

    nick

  14. nick flandrey says:

    Man, you just can’t make this stuff up. Here is a link to the CDC’s mobile app– Solve the Outbreak.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mobile/applications/sto/index.html

    I haven’t played it but from the description it should be terrifying.

    “As soon as a new outbreak is suspected, you race to the scene to figure out what’s happening, why, how it started, and how it’s spread. Act fast and you can save a whole town, state, or even a country. Come up with the wrong answers and, well…you can always try again!

    (emphasis added.)

    nick

  15. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, here is a link. The info was developed for pandemic flu, but pandemic is pandemic. The differences are in rate of spread, numbers sick, and numbers seeking medical care.

    I think with a horrific disease like ebola, you could safely assume much higher percentages everywhere they are given in the materials. For example, it lists an assumption of 40% absenteeism. If 40% of the workforce is concerned enough about FLU to risk losing their job, think how much higher it will be for a disease like ebola.

    Rates of spread, info about how long the waves of infection take, etc will be different for ebola. But, this should be a useful baseline.

    http://www.flu.gov/planning-preparedness/business/cikrpandemicinfluenzaguide.pdf

    If something is wrong with the link, you can go to flu.gov click on the planning and preparedness section, and explore from there.

    It’s also somewhat interesting to me that they changed the URL from pandemicflu.gov to just flu.gov. Sounds so much less threatening….

    nick

  16. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, here is one on who would get vaccinated and when:

    http://www.flu.gov/images/reports/pi_vaccine_allocation_guidance.pdf

    “Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine ”

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that ebola would follow a similar guideline. Note that it is pretty much military, medical, cops, industry, and then everyone else. With pregnant women, infants and young kids added in the first waves. CERT volunteers at PODS (Points of Distribution) will probably be in the first wave. (since that is something I know was practiced in Houston, I’ll use it as an example.) Just something to consider….

    nick

  17. nick flandrey says:

    Regarding respirators, here’s something from OSHA, I’ll quote so I don’t get moderated for links, since it’s short.

    Protect Yourself
    Pandemic Flu
    Respiratory Protection

    Although influenza viruses are thought to be transmitted primarily by droplets through the air and contact with contaminated surfaces, it is possible that transmission could also occur by small particulates. Because of this, during a pandemic use a NIOSH-certified respirator for work involving close contact with people who are or may be ill with the pandemic virus. N95 respirators provide the minimum level of protection needed. A surgical mask is not a respirator.
    Who needs to wear a respirator?

    “Very High Exposure Risk” Workers with high potential exposure to known or suspected sources of pandemic virus during specific medical or laboratory procedures – for example, cough induction procedures, bronchoscopy, some dental procedures, invasive specimen collection, or manipulating lab cultures. These workers may need supplied-air or powered air-purifying respirators.

    “High Exposure Risk” Workers with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected pandemic sources – for example, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff who enter patients’ rooms; and emergency responders transporting sick patients.

    Other Workers whose work may not normally put them at Very High or High Exposure Risk but who, during a pandemic, are performing high-risk tasks such as isolating and quarantining people who are ill.

    [emphasis added- note that this seems to be how ebola is being transmitted, based on previously linked and posted guidance to air crews from CDC.]

    nick

  18. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, one more, given the recent comments about respirators and type. This from OSHA:

    Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic

    https://www.osha.gov/Publications/influenza_pandemic.html#maintain_operations

    Read the whole thing, it has lots of info packed into it, but here is the paragraph on respirator types:

    “Classifying Particulate Respirators and Particulate Filters

    An N95 respirator is one of nine types of particulate respirators. Respirator filters that remove at least 95 percent of airborne particles during “worst case” testing using the “most-penetrating” size of particle are given a 95 rating. Those that filter out at least 99 percent of the particles under the same conditions receive a 99 rating, and those that filter at least 99.97 percent (essentially 100 percent) receive a 100 rating.

    In addition, filters in this family are given a designation of N, R, or P to convey their ability to function in the presence of oils that are found in some work environments.

    “N” if they are Not resistant to oil. (e.g., N95, N99, N100)

    “R” if they are somewhat Resistant to oil. (e.g., R95, R99, R100)

    “P” if they are strongly resistant (i.e., oil Proof). (e.g., P95, P99, P100)

    This rating is important in work settings where oils may be present because some industrial oils can degrade the filter performance to the point that it does not filter adequately. Thus, the three filter efficiencies combined with the three oil designations lead to nine types of particulate respirator filter materials. It should be noted that any of the various types of filters listed here would be acceptable for protection against pandemic influenza in workplaces that do not contain oils, particularly if the N95 filter type was unavailable due to shortages.

    [emphasis added- looks like any of the higher types can be used in the lower environment, and probably due to higher cost might be available when the more common ones aren't. Don't count on it though.]

    nick

  19. Here’s an article that just destroys the current media coverage of Ebola.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/31/1325646/-Ebola-Hemorrhagic-Fever-World-Map-Update-Transmission-by-Sweat-and-Dogs-Getting-at-Urban-Corpses

    The author makes an important observation–the R0 rate in Nigeria appears at this early stage to be 8.0. Anything over 2.0 is highly contagious. All this talk in the media about how Ebola is not airborne is nonsense. The Bubonic Plague was not airborne but it caused a deadly pandemic.

    • Oops – I should have read on down here before I bothered to post that last comment.
      Once you start quoting bloggers from the Daily Kos as reliable sources of information on the Ebola outbreak, it’s time for me to bow out of the discussion.
      Take care.

      • He makes some excellent points and backs up his comments with research. This looks like an Ad Hominem fallacy. Do you contest any of the points the author has made or do you just poo-poo the blog.

        • Obviously I contest a number of points made by this author as many are simply speculations that are not backed by any actual research nor by actual scientists who have studied the virus in the past and are continuing to study it now.

          To look at a few examples:

          The author states, “The current adaptation of the Zaire ebolavirus passes human-to-human with sweat.” But he seems to be making that claim simply because sweat is technically a body fluid. Where is the supporting documentation that proves this adaption of the virus passes human-to-human differently than other strains? He goes on to list the technical body fluids then states, “Any and all of this will take you out from the current strain of Ebola virus.” And the documentation?
          By continually using the phrases “current strain” or “current adaptation”, the author attempts to present the image that all prior studies and clinical testing no longer apply – yet offers no proof to back up that claim.

          Then he continues with a section about dogs digging up and eating corpses, referencing a 2005 article and goes on to state, “Then they get to pee and defecate and spread saliva over their neighborhoods.” to create the impression that humans have become infected with Ebola from dog pee, poop and saliva. Yet, once again, there is no documentation on which to base such an assumption.

          The piece is simply anecdotal as was his prior blog on the subject. Both are attempting to create an “impression” by sensationalizing a clinically unsupported hypothesis.

          I believe there is a real need for discussion on topics that relate to all of our preparation plans, but those discussions should be based on factual data first, with speculation as an addendum. Throwing out scare headlines, “The CDC just released a new report–the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces for days.” “Researchers have observed 395 mutations in 78 patients in Sierra Leone in the first 24 days of the outbreak.” “the R0 rate in Nigeria appears at this early stage to be 8.0.” is a poor way to inform people much less give them the actual information they need to form their own risk matrix.

          Your linking the Daily Kos story was simply the last straw. It showed me there was to be no attempt at actual discussion, simply continued sensationalism.

  20. Get your N95 masks or whichever rated mask you want. Make sure you have plenty of vitamin C and colloidal silver. The silver solution will sanitize most everything the virus touches, and the C will help boost your own immune system. Then pray for Jesus to come quickly.

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