Monday, October 27, 2014


We've all heard the proclamations from the CDC and other health organizations that Ebola cannot be casually transmitted through indirect contact. As someone who has studied the Ebola virus for more than 25 years now, I can safely tell you that is not entirely true. While it is not smallpox or the flu, which can be infectious at up to six feet, Ebola needs a more personal contact. However, a lot of what the CDC keeps blathering on about appears to be more along the lines of not wanting to start a panic, rather than inform people about the exact nature of the disease.

Signs are appearing in doctor's offices, dentist's practices and even the local pharmacies warning people about Ebola while also trying to tamp down fears. But misinformation is even worse than none at all. This was hanging up at a CVS:


But this what the CDC is telling airlines:

A CDC advisory entitled Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel reveals that the federal agency is concerned about airborne contamination.
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.” (emphasis mine).
The CDC is also directing airline cleaning personnel to, “not use compressed air, which might spread infectious material through the air.”
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.”
Researchers demonstrated that the virus could be transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact by placing the two animals in pens separated only by a wire barrier. After eight days, some of the monkeys were found to have symptoms of Ebola likely as a result of “inhaling large aerosol droplets produced from the respiratory tracts of the pigs.”
In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s official website states under a section entitled “mode of transmission,” that “airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated.”
The NBC cameraman once infected with Ebola got it by aerosol transmission when power washing a car, thus airborne. So why keep telling us it isn't?
This is from the CDC website itself:
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. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another.
A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, and toys, since the Ebola virus may live on surfaces for up to several hours.

And this from a study done in 1995 by the Army:

We also demonstrated aerosol transmission of Ebola virus at lower temperature and humidity than that normally present in sub-Saharan Africa. Ebola virus sensitivity to the high temperatures and humidity in the thatched, mud, and wattel huts shared by infected family members in southern Sudan and northern Zaire may have been a factor limiting aerosol transmission of Ebola virus in the African epidemics. Both elevated temperature and relative humidity (RH) have been shown to reduce the aerosol stability of viruses (Songer 1967). Our experiments were conducted at 240C [i.e. 75 degrees Fahrenheit] and < 40% RH, conditions which are known to favour the aerosol stability of at least two other African haemorrhagic fever viruses, Rift Valley fever and Lassa (Stephenson et a/. 1984; Anderson et a/. 1991). If the same holds true for filoviruses [Ebola is a type of filovirus], aerosol transmission is a greater threat in modern hospital or laboratory settings than it is in the natural climatic ranges of viruses.

This means that person to person transmission is much more likely in a hospital than anywhere else, and that seems to hold true due to secondary transmissions that happened in Texas Presbyterian which was woefully unprepared for these type of cases. Imagine what would happen in a mass outbreak.

NJ, NY, IL and others may have the right idea by confining people exposed to Ebola as self-quarantining has not worked so far by medical professionals who should really know better. Thomas Duncan's family had the same issues, refusing to stay inside, resulting in armed guards outside their residence. This is what NJ and NY have decided to do, letting shrill, harpy, Kaci Hickox go home for house arrest, which is what they should have done in the first place as she wasn't sick yet. However, her "lawsuit" against her arrest shows a sheer lack of knowledge about the power politicians have to detain you and, unfortunately for her, Chris Christie does have the right and the power to isolate potential threats to his state as dictated by law. Many have complained that this is deterring people from going to Ebola ravaged nations. I think that some are coming back with the disease is a far bigger issue and one that I have seen several people back out because of. A three week vacation at home doesn't sound as horrible as shitting myself for several straight weeks, as apparently that is one of the symptoms, continuous diarrhea with hot zone quality. Fun.
We need to be telling people you CAN get it from a bus, if you happen to be sitting next to some infectious individual, albeit however unlikely. I know a lot of you out there are sick of being lied to. Just tell us the truth and let us deal with it because if this does break out to a world wide epidemic because you were afraid the weaker of us can't handle it, half the world dies in six months. This is both a serious problem and massive over reactions, mostly by our ill-informed media outlets. The chances of Ebola becoming airborne are slim. But they are not zero and everytime you tell us something and then back track on it later, it makes trust that much harder in a world where that distrust is deadlier than any disease.

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