Patterico's Pontifications

10/29/2014

CDC Now Clearly Admits Ebola Can Spread Through Sneezes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

I was going to make this an update to Dana’s Ebola post about the defiant nurse, but it’s important enough to deserve its own post, I think. The New York Post reports that the CDC has quietly changed its guidelines to specify that Ebola can spread through the air via droplets from a sneeze:

Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.
“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through “droplets.”

“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person,” the poster states.
Nass slammed the contradiction.

“The CDC said it doesn’t spread at all by air, then Friday they came out with this poster,” she said. “They admit that these particles or droplets may land on objects such as doorknobs and that Ebola can be transmitted that way.”

Here is the poster, which I have saved in .pdf form in case they try to delete it. Here are a couple of screenshots from it:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 7.38.07 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 7.37.35 AM

It’s not clear to me that this is a change, as claimed by the expert, as I think that the CDC has previously said that Ebola can be transmitted through sneezing on someone. But this poster illustrates that what most people would call an “airborne” transmission (a sneeze) is something CDC defines as “droplet spread” — allowing them to continue to maintain that it does not travel through the air.

This is a rather . . . esoteric distinction for people who are repeatedly told Ebola does not spread through the air. After all, a sneeze travels through the air. Rather far, actually. According to MIT, in fact, sneezes can travel up to 20 feet in the air.

A novel study by MIT researchers shows that coughs and sneezes have associated gas clouds that keep their potentially infectious droplets aloft over much greater distances than previously realized. . . . Smaller droplets (less than 50 µm diameter) can remain suspended in the cloud long enough for the cough to reach heights where ventilation systems can be contaminated (4–6 m).

Also, remember Dr. Craig Spencer? He’s the fella who the New York Times editorial board said was not symptomatic while gallivanting about the city, when the New York Times news pages said he was. Anyway, turns out he initially lied and claimed he had self-quarantined:

The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.

Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

Spencer finally ’fessed up when a cop “got on the phone and had to relay questions to him through the Health Department,” a source said.

He’s reportedly in serious condition.

I can’t see why people are making such a big deal out of the government repeatedly and systematically understating the possible risks of transmission of a deadly disease.

69 Responses to “CDC Now Clearly Admits Ebola Can Spread Through Sneezes”

  1. Obama is on it. He’s quarantined the military.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  2. I seem to recall when the Ebola stuff first started I mentioned that persons could transmit it by a cough, a sneeze or clearing their throat and I was derided as some kind of hysteric nut job. Any disease can and is transmitted by mucus which includes all of the above. I stand vindicated.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  3. From my reading into some of the medical articles, the distinction between “airborne” and “droplets” that the med heads use is that a “droplet” is a small drop of water/snot containing the virus that is expelled in a cough or sneeze; the range that these droplets are expelled was thought to be relatively short, 3 feet to two meters depending on who you read — until MIT came along and rained on that parade.

    By definition the virus does not become “airborne” unless the droplet evaporates, leaving the virus clinging to some dry floating (in air) particle that can be wafted much greater distances. Allegedly this does not happen with the Ebola virus.

    Thus while perhaps being technically correct, only by disregarding the common meaning of “airborne” can the CDC can then try to claim with a straight face that the virus is “airborne.”

    MIT is not the only agency noting the possibility that droplets and Ebola virus may travel farther distances than conventional medical wisdom says:
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/commentary-health-workers-need-optimal-respiratory-protection-ebola

    The authors argue that the research on what is expelled how far from sneezes and coughs is outdated, and that there is evidence that Ebola virus can be transmitted distances greater than previously thought without direct contact of bodily fluids. They recommend that the health care workers up the level of respiratory protection from simple masks and possibly ill-fitting N95 respirators to something more robust. When Breitbart highlighted this study, the site where this argument was published (“CIDRAP”) was quick to claim Breitbart made false statements about the possibility of Ebola traveling through air, but they do so by noting the authors’ article was talking only about healthcare settings. However, this does not answer the question raised by the Brietbart article, to wit: what are the implications of the authors’ arguments for an Ebola infected person traveling in the public domain? Can they sneeze and infect people at distance greater than 3 feet?

    Seems possible…

    Eric (50b404)

  4. Darn speedy fingers. My para 3 above should read:

    ‘Thus while perhaps being technically correct, only by disregarding the common meaning of “airborne” can the CDC can then try to claim with a straight face that the virus is NOT “airborne.” ‘

    Eric (50b404)

  5. Obama spouts medical nonsense, the CDC declares it science. In spite of the fact the doctors know it is untrue. That is how far the CDC has sunk. Next: a declaration by the CDC that Global Warming is contagious.

    Pat (b816c3)

  6. Greetings:

    And somewhere, not far away, Typhoid Mary’s body lies a-spinning in her grave.

    And it’s a rare word indeed that we hear from the “HIV/AIDS” lobby that did so much to help reduce our Public Health system to this politicized level.

    11B40 (844d04)

  7. I think this is a prime example of a fundamental inability to communicate coherently and have any level of trust or confidence in anything. All of human interaction based on competing agendas and selfishness.

    I still say that after all of the hubbub what we thought we knew about Ebola 6 months ago is still valid if people would take the time to think and reason together.

    It is not as contagious as chicken pox and many other things. Simply being in the same room, same plane, same bus as someone who has it is not likely going to spread it. There is certainly no reason to suspect that bringing a patient into the US under proper measures like Brantley poses any risk to the population. While lab studies and such can tell us the outer limits of what may be possible, experience shows that even a highly symptomatic person on an airplane without any precautions is not likely to spread it to others (the fellow who flew into Lagos), and even extended household contact like Duncan’s family/friends does not necessarily mean one can get it.
    One should not expect some massive epidemic in the US.

    That said, it is a terrible and commonly fatal disease, and “an abundance of caution” is appropriate and as close as possible to elimination of risk of transmission is necessary.

    You put these together and it should be clear that significant precautions about international travel and some level of isolation of returning health care workers are perfectly reasonable and wise. And both extremes of allowing people to do what they want and putting people in solitary confinement in a plastic tent are foolish starting places.

    In the meantime, we can decide to allow worldwide disruption in travel, business, and the risk of West Africa scale of disasters erupting in other areas of crowding and poor sanitation around the world, or get serious about helping to contain and manage the source of the outbreak.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  8. Again, Thomas Duncan, who was in a severely contagious state, infected 2 (out of 76) hospital personnel who worked on him. He infected none of the people sharing an apartment with him. He infected none of the scores of people he came into contact with casually.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  9. “germs”

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  10. the Strain is like a guidebook for these people,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  11. I’m so glad that I only have 3 or 4 international flights before year-end.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  12. From the otherwise politically-sanitized Wikipedia article on AIDS Patient Zero:

    Dugas is featured prominently in Randy Shilts’s book And the Band Played On, which documents the outbreak of the AIDS pandemic in the United States. Shilts portrays Gaëtan Dugas as having almost sociopathic behavior by allegedly intentionally infecting, or at least recklessly endangering, others with the virus. Dugas is described as being a charming, handsome sexual athlete who, according to his own estimation, averaged hundreds of sex partners a year. He claimed to have had over 2,500 sexual partners across North America since becoming sexually active in 1972.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  13. It’s been 16 days since Amber Vinson flew on that plane. Infections attributable to that plane flight = 0. Again, the median incubation period is about 7 days. I think roughly 10% of infections have incubation periods longer than 16 days.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  14. From the otherwise politically-sanitized Wikipedia article on AIDS Patient Zero:

    What’s that got to do with the matter under discussion. Craig Spencer has not sodomized anyone.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  15. Typhoid Mary’s body lies a-spinning in her grave.

    She had to be forcibly confined because she refused to cease working as a household cook and took measures to evade the authorities. She was triggering storms of disease in just about every place she worked.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  16. caveat lector, on Nass:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2000927/posts?q=1&;page=101

    narciso (ee1f88)

  17. You all seem to be conflating fact and truth.

    Remember, the truth will set you free and, apparently, make you sick.

    Another lesson we are learning, this one from the likes of Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Dr. Craig Spencer and, most recently, nurse Kaci Hickox, is that medical professionals cannot be trusted to behave ethically in matters of public health. And to think there are those who feared ISIS, al Qaeda, and our nation’s other avowed enemies would be the source of an Ebola attack.

    ThOR (130453)

  18. as for the Institute of Public Accuracy, it’s as legit as ‘the Human Fund’

    narciso (ee1f88)

  19. “If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

    Jesus Christ, Meryl Nass is a complete loony tune. Please don’t source stuff like this.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  20. Craig Spencer has not sodomized anyone.

    How do you know?

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  21. 3 foot rule extended to 10 feet… Debbie Poodleman Shultz hardest hit.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. and just think… this administration has it’s finger close to The Button.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. R.I.P. Marcia Strassman, played Mrs. Kotter on Welcome Back, Kotter

    Icy (eb78d6)

  24. Ahem. Lemme fix that for ya:

    I can’t see why people are making such a big deal out of the government repeatedly and systematically understating, for the most politically craven of purposes, the possible risks of transmission of a deadly disease.

    Life in Obama’s America.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  25. “If you like your sputum, you can keep yourself out of quarantine . . . or something.”

    Icy (eb78d6)

  26. yes, but she’s a loon, Nick Kristof has never apologized for, following in slandering Hatfill.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  27. For some reason, Art Deco, you seem to be using every means to avoid quarantining or even considering a quarantine for persons exposed to Ebola. Why is that? Thomas Sowell once said: “the dumbest thing a person can do is allow people to make decisions for which they themselves are not held responsible”.

    Do you expect me to believe you have no problem being in a room with an Ebola patient? Would you screw an aids patient with a condom? I would do neither and I doubt you would either.

    19.“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass

    You believe that for some reason the idea of microorganisms being present in a cough or sneeze is untrue because you think the person who said it is a “complete loony tune”, carlitos? Okay, prove her wrong. Go find an Ebola patient and let him sneeze on you.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  28. For some reason, Art Deco, you seem to be using every means to avoid quarantining or even considering a quarantine for persons exposed to Ebola.

    Not my object at all. I’m suggesting you could all be more laconic in assessing this; the danger from some random individual sneezing on a bus might be non-zero, but it’s unimportant. I think nurse whatsherface should stay home for a few weeks and it astounds me she’s been this willful; tallying the costs and benefits of her returning to work ‘ere the three weeks is up says stay home. Her lost labor is likely not that valuable to her employer and has to be balanced by the effect on the clinic’s business and other businesses in the area if she’s out and about (aside from the small chance of her actually infecting someone).

    That Dr. Spencer lied to law enforcement does not surprise me. Physicians are commonly not straight with their patients (and to be fair there are occasions when medical information would likely be received in such a way as to leave the patient worse off).

    Read Glenn Reynolds. The medical and public health apparat (of which nurse whatsherface is a part) are setting a dreadful example and also not offering cogent reasons for their preferences.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  29. How do you know?

    I’ll be charitable and assume he does not mistreat his fiancee in that manner.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  30. Thank you for the cogent explanation, Art Deco. I apologize for misunderstanding your intention. It just seemed for a time when anyone raised a question about an Ebola patient (or person under observation) circulating in public you seemed to object.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  31. Art, I’m glad that you consider someone with ebola sneezing on YOU on a bus is unimportant. And, when viewing this problem from an elite penthouse, with access to private and controlled transportation, one death in 330 million is probably “unimportant”. In fact, these people would consider a million deaths just another statistic. Just as they regard a 60% dropout rate in inner-city, minority-dominated public schools. It’s just another statistic that can be exploited to get more funding for the system that failed these children in the first place.

    I have a different view, being down at ground level with grand kids. If someone with ebola sneezes on them, I will have a real problem with anyone who considers that “unimportant”.

    It is wise to understand the risk posed by relatively unlikely events when considering the fate of modestly sized groups of people. The “same birthday” problem is an example. With a group of 23 people selected randomly, it is likely that two or more will share the same birthday (month and day). If you are only concerned about yourself, then these combinatorial effects can be ignored.

    It is also the case, that every person who becomes infected with ebola in the U. S. will cause all of us, thru our taxes and insurance premiums, to spend a huge amount of money both on the the treatment of this individual, and on the related costs associated with decontaminating their abode, decontaminating and temporarily closing any clinics they may have been treated in using normal precautions, tracking down all contacts, and placing under quarantine all those contact. So the cost of placing one person in a tight quarantine is a minute portion of the cost of having that person wandering around should they contract ebola.

    Good luck to you.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  32. And if you happen to be on public school property and someone sneezes on you, avoid the customary “God Bless!” You are likely to be escorted to the exit and expelled.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  33. Well Said, bobathome.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  34. I’ll be charitable and assume he does not mistreat his fiancee in that manner.

    Art,

    The point was that thinking yourself above petty concerns about contagion has led to widespread misery in the past.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  35. Eric (50b404) — 10/29/2014 @ 8:22 am

    ‘Thus while perhaps being technically correct, only by disregarding the common meaning of “airborne” can the CDC can then try to claim with a straight face that the virus is NOT “airborne.”

    They’ve been making that distinction between “airborne” aand “aerosols” for some time. The media just didn’t pick it up, by and large.

    New York Times, Friday, October 3, 2014:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/understanding-the-risks-of-ebola-and-what-direct-contact-means.html

    The virus does not spread through the air, as measles and chickenpox do… Ebola does not cause respiratory problems, but a cough from a sick patient could infect someone close enough to be sprayed with droplets of mucus or saliva. Droplets can generally fly about three feet, so people dealing with anyone who may be ill are told to stand at least three feet away, preferably six. Being within three feet of a patient for a prolonged time, without wearing protective gear, is considered direct contact, Dr. Frieden said.

    MIT though says it is at least possible for it to be caught by someone standing more than 3 or 6 feet away. But anyway, I guess, the idea is, it’s a numbers game, like selling insurance door to door.

    They may have been using words that way for some time. Their own jargon. NewsMax had this whole dist8inction clear October 14:

    http://www.newsmax.com/US/Ebola-droplets-Africa-air/2014/10/14/id/600727/

    Doctors mean something different from the public when they talk about a disease being airborne. To them, it means that the disease-causing germs are so small they can live dry, floating in the air for extended periods, thus capable of traveling from person to person at a distance. When inhaled, airborne germs make their way deep into the lungs.

    Chickenpox, measles and tuberculosis are airborne diseases. Droplets of mucus and other secretions from the nose, mouth and respiratory tract transmit other diseases, including influenza and smallpox.

    When someone coughs, sneezes or, in the case of Ebola, vomits, he releases a spray of secretions into the air. This makes the infection droplet-borne. Some hospital procedures, like placing a breathing tube down a patient’s air passage to help him breathe, may do the same thing.

    Droplet-borne germs can travel in these secretions to infect someone a few feet away, often through the eyes, nose or mouth. This may not seem like an important difference, but it has a big impact on how easily a germ spreads. Airborne diseases are far more transmittable than droplet-borne ones.

    Here’s something from the Washintgon Post, republished Monday, October 20, 2014:

    http://www.standard.net/Health/2014/10/20/Researchers-try-to-quell-Ebola-fears.html

    There is some evidence from animal studies that the virus can be spread over short distances, perhaps a few feet, through small droplet aerosols — such as would be produced by a sneeze. But such droplets are different from small particle aerosols that can float through an air duct. Moreover, the Ebola virus does not have an affinity for the cells deep in the lungs.

    “If a virus were to acquire the ability to go airborne, it would change the landscape dramatically,” Jahrling said. But he said the likelihood of that is “remote squared.”

    This summer Kinzer, the CDC epidemiologist, told members of the Guinea media, “Ebola’s not transmitted by the air. Fear and ignorance are transmitted by the air.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  36. But then, you knew that and are being intentionally obtuse.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  37. I’m flying to Philadelphia tomorrow. My boss, perhaps the biggest hypochondriac I’ve ever met, told me to be careful on the airplane with Ebola. I told him not to worry: I’m flying first class, and the Ebola patients are relegated to coach.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  38. BTW< I see the Italians are not very keen on having the Ebola Legion quarantined in Italy. And I had thought there were allies Obama had not pissed off yet, but I was wrong.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  39. Two weeks ago somebody told me to wash my hands (more often)

    …….

    The kind of washing that would protect against this is what doctors and nurses do before surgery.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  40. Good post, Patrick. I linked to it over at Chicagoboyz . I’ve been worried about this since last summer. Tom Clancy wrote about this in two novels and he was so prescient that I worry about anything he wrote about.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  41. Meanwhile:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/business/officials-question-the-rising-costs-of-generic-drugs.html?_r=0

    The price that hospitals and pharmacies pay for a bottle of 500 tablets of doxycycline, a decades-old antibiotic, rose to $1,849 in April, from $20 in October 2013. The price they pay for a bottle of pravastatin, a drug to lower cholesterol, rose to $196 from $27 in that same time. The price of a pill of digoxin, a centuries-old medicine that is irreplaceable for some cardiac patients, rose to $1.10 this summer from 11 cents in 2012.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/health/some-generic-drug-prices-are-soaring.html?_r=0

    What the cardiologist did not know then was that the price of generic digoxin was rapidly rising. The three companies selling the drug in the United States had increased the price they charge pharmacies, at least nearly doubling it since late last year, according to EvaluatePharma, a London-based consulting firm.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  42. Here is the CDC Ebola FAQ from a week ago.

    What are body fluids?
    Ebola has been detected in blood and many body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.

    Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?
    Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

    What does “direct contact” mean?
    Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

    How long does Ebola live outside the body?
    Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops, can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  43. Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease.

    I am not willing to bet my life nor the lives of my loved ones on this. Is anybody?

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  44. The WHO has just published their latest update of the ebola (EVD) case and death counts. Their summary of the situation in the three worst hit countries is as follows:

    EVD transmission remains persistent and widespread in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. All administrative districts in Liberia and Sierra Leone have now reported at least one confirmed or probable case of EVD since the outbreak began. Cases of EVD transmission remain lowest in Guinea, but case numbers are still very high in absolute terms. Transmission remains intense in the capital cities of the three most affected countries. Cases and deaths continue to be under-reported in the outbreak.

    My fear that they would play with the confirmed count has not been born out. The number of confirmed cases in Liberia has grown from 965 to 2515 between Liberia’s 18 October report and the latest report dated 25 Oct. 2014. I presume that this is due to the work of the four military laboratores we set up there in early October. These labs may have been able to determine that some of the deaths attributed to EVD were mistaken, the cumulative number of deaths has decreased from 2705 to 2413 over the same one week period. WHO’s view of the Liberia data is:

    Liberia continues to report few confirmed cases. Laboratory data on recent confirmed cases may provide scope for deeper analysis not currently provided by the incidence data. The capacity to capture a true picture of the situation in Liberia remains hamstrung by underreporting of cases.

    Again, my hunch is that we won’t really know what’s going on in Liberia for another month or so as the data on confirmed cases accumulates. But I rather doubt that it has peaked.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  45. bobathome @44 (and others interested)

    Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2014 page A5:

    Liberian Slum Takes Ebola Treatment Into Its Own Hands

    Near the end:

    Mr. Mambu has tracked Ebola deaths in the community and says that although the numbers have gone down in recent weeks, bodies are still being carried away every day.

    Wall Street Journal Business World column by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. Oct. 29, 2014, page A17:

    Why No Ebola Travel Ban? Politics

    Last two paragraphs:

    In a fascinating interview at the Atlantic.com about Ebola, bioweapons and pathogen expert Steven Hatfill talks about the political misuse of scientific spokesmen to “come up with a plausible explanation to explain a higher-up directive.”

    The next puzzle is whether the terrifying extrapolations put out by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization for West African infection rates fall into this category. These see a million or more cases by mid-January, though others see evidence the transmission rate has already started to drop.

    By the way, Steven Hatfill was the wrongly suspected anthrax killer. (It was really done by Dr Bruce Ivins, most likely in an attempt to increase funding for anthrax research, and it succeeded. What I am not sure of is if he had a connection to any company, or was just hjoping to benefiot from the spillover)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. i believe i posted this on another thread, but this is the original source document, not an artivle thereto: when it comes to how far sneezes & coughs carry, ima trust MIT way more than the CDC.

    redc1c4 (589173)

  47. Before ebola, all my troubles seemed so far away
    Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
    oh, I believe in ebola

    Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be
    All my blood is oozing out of me
    Oh, ebola came suddenly.

    Oh crap, why do I have to go?
    I don’t know, there’s something wrong
    Oh no, was that just a kidney
    I flushed down the bowl.

    Before ebola life was an easy game to play
    Now I need a place to hide away
    Oh, I believe in ebola.

    Oh no, Why do I have to go?
    I don’t know, there’s something wrong
    My eyes are bleeding and
    I’m barfing a ten foot spray.

    Before ebola life was an easy game to play
    Now I need a place to hide away
    Oh, I believe in ebola…

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. “This will pinch a little bit”

    “You may feel some discomfort”

    “Your prognosis is non optimal”

    “Ebola is not spread through the air”

    Sound familiar?

    All statements of medical fact which through jargon distort the truth.

    jakee308 (d409c2)

  49. As someone who has been reading over this closely, there is a big difference between airborne diseases like influenza or TB and a droplet-based spread like Ebola. Airborne diseases need a negative-pressure isolation room and respirators, not just surgical masks. An airborne disease is transmitted via normal breathing, and the precautions look like what you use for hazmat work or asbestos cleanup.

    Droplet precautions require coverage of the mucous membranes, and do not need an airtight seal. For example, a faceshield, surgical mask, double gloves (triple if you have a cut), and waterproof coveralls are protective against droplets containing Ebola, but would only mildly inconvenience TB or influenza. The biggest issue with Ebola is that it is incredibly infectious. Exposure to only 10 Ebola virus particles (each of which is so tiny that bacteria look gigantic next to them) can cause disease. That is several orders of magnitude worse than normal viruses, so you need absolute adherence to precautions, use maximum-strength disinfectant designed for overkill, etc.

    You want defense in depth, redundant precautions, and an abundance of caution. Naturally, we have not gotten that from the government, and it is not just an inherent failing of government – they have controlled outbreaks before. This is reckless negligence and a complete failure of leadership.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  50. I have suggested all Ebola Care Workers get in a tanning salon for 5 minutes after seeing patients along with dropping all clothes into chlorine baths.

    Rodney King's Spirit (8b9b5a)

  51. Louis Pasteur would run when anyone sneezed or coughed. People thought he was crazy, or at least being unnecessarily alarmed, till his germ theory of disease was proved correct.

    Prior to general acceptance, one of his detractors, Professor Pierre Pachet said, Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.

    And, the same sort of ignorant arrogance is still with us today. Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, on HIV, 1988 “That virus is a pussycat.”

    Barack Obama and the idiots at CDC are willing to gamble with the possibility of unleashing Ebola in the US in order to minimize Democrat mid-term election losses. Two years ago they covered up the terrorist attack on Benghazi for the same reasons. These people put their own interests ahead of the health and well-being of the nation. They have proved themselves unfit for office.

    ropelight (72b3a0)

  52. I can’t see why people are making such a big deal out of the government repeatedly and systematically understating the possible risks of transmission of a deadly disease.

    Because social justice warriors like Craig Spencer and Kaci Hickox believe that the US is a privileged and oppressive nation, and they know better how to fight The Man and make it a fair place.
    The GF of Dr. Spencer has expressed her white guilt about being in a country where they can afford to actually cure the doctor; however, it didn’t stop her from agreeing to his care. So, they don’t want to die from the disease to ensure global fairness, but they’re okay with someone else doing it.

    They’re basically spoiled brats. I notice the religious volunteers are all quarantining themselves willingly.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  53. They said all along that it spreads through bodily fluids. Is this big expose the fact nose droplets and snot are bodily fluids?

    bob (22ac29)

  54. bobathome (5ccbd8) — 10/29/2014 @ 2:22 pm

    Again, my hunch is that we won’t really know what’s going on in Liberia for another month or so as the data on confirmed cases accumulates. But I rather doubt that it has peaked.

    I think it has peaked in Liberia, but not in Sierre Leone or Guinea.

    Front page New York Times, Wednesday, October 29, 2014:

    In Liberia, a Good or Very Bad Sign: Empty Hospital Beds

    SUAKOKO, Liberia — For days this month, the ambulances from the Ebola treatment unit here went out in search of patients, only to return with just one or two suspected cases. And many times, those people ended up testing negative for the disease.

    “Where are the patients?” an aid worker wondered aloud as colleagues puzzled over the empty beds at the International Medical Corps treatment unit here in Bong County, Liberia, which opened in mid-September….

    ….The empty beds in Liberia come in the context of an intense public health campaign to educate the nation about the dangers of the disease and ways of combating it — from posters and billboards to messages broadcast when residents make phone calls…

    …“We can see it subsiding bit by bit,” the Rev. Omalley M. Segbee told his congregation at Sunday services at Grace Baptist Church in the town of Gbarnga. “This means you are on our side, oh Lord.”

    But because Liberians celebrated early once before — believing the virus had been eradicated in the spring, only to see it rage back with greater force in the summer — there is a near universal hesitance to call the outbreak under control. Liberia’s neighbors, Sierra Leone and Guinea, have been experiencing a troubling surge of cases in recent weeks.

    Itt is still showing up in places. the record is, when it first strikes people cannot be persuaded to go to the clinics. After a death,they can. Unless it changes again, this is a real decline.

    This is not the end. And of course it can’t really be over until it’s over in Guinea and Sierre Leone, too. It could get restarted.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014 New York Times, page A22:

    Ebola Slowing in Liberia, W.H.O. Says, but International Support Is Still Necessary

    … The health authorities in Liberia are reporting lower numbers of new infections; treatment centers in the capital, Monrovia, that once turned away victims now have unoccupied beds; and the number of burials of Ebola victims has started to drop, Dr. Bruce Aylward, the W.H.O. assistant director-general, told reporters in Geneva.

    “Do we feel confident that the response is now getting an upper hand on the virus? Yes, we are seeing a slowing of the rate of new cases very definitely” in Liberia, said Dr. Aylward, who is in charge of the operational response to the epidemic. …

    The better news from Liberia comes only two weeks after the W.H.O. warned the epidemic could produce 10,000 new cases every week by December. Dr. Aylward did not discard that assessment, but said it would be reviewed.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  55. At an ebola clinic in Liberia, mid-October:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/world/africa/ebola-liberia-west-africa-epidemic.html

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  56. Sierre Leone, first week of August:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/world/africa/dont-touch-the-walls-ebola-fears-infect-hospital.html

    People were avoidng the ebola hospital, seeing it as a death trap.

    I don’t think there is still any testing for ebola antibodies. they seem to be avoiding using recovered people to handle sick ones.

    The chief doctor in Sierre Leone didn’t get ZMapp. I suspect because you have people arguing Africans shouldn’t get “experimental” treatment becaus ethat would be making them guinea pigs.

    Nobody seems to be trying to get any idea about subclinical cases.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  57. Sammy, your confidence may be comforting to those who wish to believe that all is well. I’m going to wait until we get some good data from Liberia. The reporters, who can select anecdotes at will, and their health care sources may have agendas that aren’t necessarily aligned with securing the U. S.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  58. 59. bobathome (5ccbd8) — 10/30/2014 @ 12:34 pm

    Sammy, your confidence may be comforting to those who wish to believe that all is well.

    All is not well in Liberia. Ebola is on the way down, but not over, and the rate of decline will probably slow. Putting a complete end to the epidemic is a whole other story.

    The same thing is probably not happening in Sierre Leone and Guinea. They haven’t had the aame kind of educational campaign, distribution of chlorinated water and gloves – and if not gloves, advice what to do, like putting hands in plastic bags,

    This is also a very vulnerable situation.

    I’m going to wait until we get some good data from Liberia. The reporters, who can select anecdotes at will, and their health care sources

    I think there already exists data. Or rather, all that data taht exists is consistent with a rather rapid decline in Liberia. It’s probably been falling for the whole month of October and even before.

    may have agendas that aren’t necessarily aligned with securing the U. S.

    That is a different issue (when can people exposed top ebola travel)

    The agenda of the WHO is to say that the epidemic will get worse, but not so fast that a massive infusion of money won’t help.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  59. BARACK OBOLA and his LIBTARD henchmonkeys want the whole COUNTRY to get EBOLA!! It’s their PLAN to allow the MOOOOOOOZLIMS to take over and INSTITUTE sharia LAW!!!! No more AMERICA! No more FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!! No more BASEBALL APPLE PIE AND CHEVROLET!! NO more good old fashioned Wisconsin FISH BOILS! only SHARIA and burquas and MUZZORAMA.

    Gus (6af3a8)

  60. Gus, I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  61. So, WHO says it’s all going swimmingly, but hey America, keep sending us money!

    Patricia (5fc097)

  62. carlitos – Gus writes for Slate where you can find his regular columns.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  63. I think there already exists data. Or rather, all that data taht exists is consistent with a rather rapid decline in Liberia. It’s probably been falling for the whole month of October and even before. [Sammy #60]

    Let’s look at the WHO data just to see what Liberia reported between Oct. 3 and Oct. 25:

    Oct. 3: Cases of EVD: 3834 (Confirmed: 931.)
    Oct. 25: Cases of EVD: 6535 (Confirmed: 2515.)

    I have provided links to the WHO website for these reports, but take a look: (www.WHO.int) and click on situation reports.

    I think we can all agree that we have a right to our own opinion. But you seem to think that facts don’t matter when you feel strongly about something. This is troubling. This is the “data” that Obola is hopefully using to forge our policy in this crisis. As I’ve mentioned above, the data is not consistent, and that is why I think we need to give it a month.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  64. Whoops!

    Oct. 3: Cases of EVD: 3834 (Confirmed: 931.) nb: data from 30 Sept. Liberian report in 3 Oct. WHO situation report.

    Oct. 25: Cases of EVD: 6535 (Confirmed: 2515.) nb: data from 29 Oct. situation report

    Really! I’m not making this stuff up!

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  65. daleyrocks, please consider this long-belated applause for the Beatles parody. Just caught that.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  66. The Economist November 1 to 7th issue. Page 49:

    21629481-some-rare-good-news-ebola-epidemic-glimmer-hope

    The number of new cases in Liberia, which has been hardest hit, appears to be falling. The data are unreliable since many cases go unreported, not least because families are afraid of hospitals. But the trend seems real, says Dr Aylward, citing a levelling-off of lab-confirmed cases and a decline in burials. The Red Cross collected 117 bodies in the last full week of October in and around Monrovia, compared with a peak of 315 a week.

    The last full week probably means Monday October, 20 through Sunday October 26.

    The broader epidemic is far from over. The overall number of infections has risen to 13,703, from 9,936 a week ago—though this is largely due to the late reporting of old cases. Almost 5,000 people have died.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  67. This is a link you can click on:

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21629481-some-rare-good-news-ebola-epidemic-glimmer-hope

    It’s just becoming untenable to say that ebola has not peaked in Liberia.

    It may still be going up in putlying areas that were not affected before. Samatha Power said it seemed to be relsated to where the clinics where – although that may be a tautology – the clionics may be being put where theer are known to be cases.

    Another thing – declining cases in Liberia used in an anti-Obama argument: (this column ran Friday in the New York Post)

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/30/hollywood-horrors-our-fantasy-foreign-policy/

    The heroic McCord has a soft spot for Africa, as we learned in last week’s episode: When innocents are slaughtered after a coup in the fictional Republic of West Africa, she manages to manipulate all of Washington, including the oh-so-principled president, to get America involved — even though we have no interests there.

    In true “lead from behind” fashion, we send over a couple of aging transport planes to help the good guys, and thus convince France, the African Union and the United Nations to intervene.

    Here’s reality: The United States hasn’t done much to stop massacres in sub-Saharan Africa for years. We’re yet to hear even a peep about helping Burkina Faso, which is now experiencing a scenario like the fictional one seen on the show.

    In the Obama years, only France has done its bit, getting involved militarily in Mali and the Central African Republic.

    We’re doing nothing much to #BringBackOurGirls, and even our efforts to help against Ebola came too late — new cases in West Africa peaked weeks ago. (Kudos, though, to UN Ambassador Samantha Power for this week’s courageous but largely symbolic trip there.)

    Now actually the situaiton in Burkina Fgaso doesn’t seem to anything invoplving massacres, although maybe I missed it. What we just witnesses was the overthrow of a long serving ruler who wanted another term. he styarted out probably as something of a ommunist, later became pro-Quaddafi and pro-Charles Taylor and used to win what were regardfed as fair elections thew Putin way – bad alternative candidates. He is not an original source, but he must have read soime things.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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