Stuck on Ebola Stupid

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Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.24.08 AMFunny how more people will die today from gun violence and mistakes than have thus died due to Ebola here in the US.  Maybe people with guns should be quarentined the way they quarantine those with Ebola.

What happens when there is a medical conference and researchers who are on the front lines, fighting Ebola are banned from attending? Isn’t that just more than a little stupid, rather like a Blues Brothers style chase through half a dozen states, trying to keep up with a nurse who put her life on the line, fighting the disease? If she’s not showing symptoms of the disease, she’s not contagious, but that hasn’t stopped Chris Christie and Rush Limbaugh from making fools of themselves.  Now, it looks like Bobby Jindal has joined the list to rush to the top of stupid is as stupid does.

How STUPID is this?

“…The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is telling researchers who’ve recently traveled to Ebola-affected parts of West Africa that they can’t come to the society’s annual meeting. That wasn’t the medical group’s idea. The convention opens this weekend at the New Orleans Sheraton, but the specialists with the most current experience with Ebola in the field aren’t expected to be there.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals just ruled that anyone who’s been in Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea in the past three weeks “should NOT travel to New Orleans to attend the conference.” (That big “NOT” is in the original letter.)

“While the state of Louisiana’s policies are outside of the scientific understanding of Ebola transmission — and acknowledged by the state health officials’ own admission — we recognize that the state has determined its policy in this matter,” the society said in a statement. “ASTMH does not agree with the policy as outlined by the Louisiana DHH.”…”

Maybe it’s time for people who have a few brains in their heads to just walk away from stuck on stupid states with stuck on stupid governors and spend their hard earned dollars elsewhere.   According to Dr. Piero Ollinar, who is working on clinical tests to fight Ebola, the patchwork of preventing researchers from communicating, or traveling to an area can hinder their fight for a cure.  Yep, stupid is as stupid does.

Come on people, we’re learning that the disease is at its most contagious when it is concentrated in body fluids.  Kaci Hickox is NOT contagious.  Even if she were, the disease would be caught so early, not only would, the way it now appears, she make a full recovery, but with proper precautions, no one near her would come down with the disease.  Just look at the people exposed to Thomas Duncan in Dallas.  The only ones who have contracted the disease were two health care nurses who were caring for him, as his disease progressed.  Evidently he was not infected enough, nor contagious enough to infect those he came in contact with – earlier.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine:

New England Journal of Medicine
New England Journal of Medicine

Let’s be honest here, we’re learning more and more about this disease, and it is fascinating.  Evidently, one does not come down with it unless exposed to a whole lot of virus.  It’s a weird disease, and yes, it could mutate and become airborne, but it’s not showing signs of doing so.  We’re also learning, here, that, when properly treated with modern medicine, it can be cured.  Once the person has it has been cured, their blood becomes the basis to treat the next person with the disease.  These hard-line quarantines are not necessary – now.  I don’t mind admitting I took a hard-line view at first. But, it is quite obvious people contract the disease when they are exposed to a large concentration of the virus.

…A pressing question in the present outbreak is how the currently circulating Zaire ebolavirus might be changing. Its rapid spread hints that there could be something different about this strain — possibly that it has become easier to pass from one person to another. “We have to start investigating whether the 2014 strain behaves like previous outbreak strains, or whether it could potentially be more transmissible,” says Kristian Andersen, a virologist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Andersen is careful to note that there are no data to suggest this yet. Although a handful of researchers have raised fears that the virus might mutate into an airborne form, most think it is unlikely that the virus could change so dramatically in such a short time. Genetic analyses have shown that this strain of Zaire ebolavirus has mutated hundreds of times since it diverged from an ancestral virus about ten years ago8 (see Nature http://doi.org/vsd; 2014), but no one yet knows whether any of these mutations have altered important properties of the virus. Instead, its unprecedented spread is thought to be due to the fact that it emerged in an area of Africa where people were unfamiliar with the virus and how to control it, allowing it to escape to urban centres. Researchers are now carrying out more-detailed studies of the virus to better understand its origins and characteristics…”

According to some medical experts, the way medical personnel are being treated, or threatened, by abjectly stupid elected public officials grandstanding for re-election, is now starting to cause numerous problems in the fight on the front lines of the disease.  When doctors, researchers and nurses are more afraid of what will happen to them  – when they arrive home, than they are of the disease, something is terribly wrong here.  When they return home they will be subjected to ignorant and draconian rules that will cause them to lose upward of three weeks of salary, work, and family time.  Yes – I think precautions should be taken.  But, there needs to be some reason and logic in the treatment of those treating the disease.

“…The fight over Ebola quarantines in the United States is already discouraging doctors, nurses and other health workers from signing up to go to Africa and battle the outbreak where help is needed most. Would-be volunteers are worried about losing three additional weeks of work when they return to the United States, about still-evolving isolation rules and about being holed up in an unfamiliar place, aid organizations say.

They also worry about mistreatment generated by the public fear of Ebola, the organizations say. “We have seen a big deterrence,” said Margaret Aguirre, head of global initiatives for International Medical Corps, which has about 20 Americans working in the outbreak countries. “People are worried. They don’t want to sign up.”…”

Nature
Nature

Makes you wonder about things.  A person is far more at risk from legally owned guns than they will ever be from something like Ebola, but nothing is being done about guns.  Unfortunately, the way the idiots in this country are responding is just typical.  We’re dealing with a nation of increasingly ignorant, and uneducated individuals, superstitious, spoon fed political lies by a far right machine which is trying to create an almost feudal society of the ultra wealthy, and worker surfs who will live on nothing, and go about their little lives, doing what they are told.  This battle in the battle against a fascinating disease, and a fascinating group of diseases  – filoviruses – is beautiful, front-line science.  BUT – science, reason and logic are becoming the real enemy here.  Just look at what happened this week when Pope Francis once again opened his mouth, and spewed forth just that – logic and reason.  Far right Christian religious zealots are now daring to say that anyone who doesn’t accept the ignorance of Creationism cannot be a Christian.  Pope Francis, who believes exactly what I do, is not, they say, a Christian.  I guess, if he’s on the slippery downhill slide to hell, so am I.

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