End of times?

The situation with Ebola appears to be far short of the conditions such that retreating to your remote hidden bunker are warranted. Ebola is currently only transmitted by direct contact with infected body fluids. This makes it fairly easy to contain if you have good hygiene procedures when dealing with infected people. Currently what makes it so scary is its 60 to 90 percent fatality rate that runs it’s course in a few days.

The U.S. is probably more vigilant about the disease being brought into the country that you might think it is. A little over a month ago some friends of ours came back from East Africa where there hadn’t been any known cases. Their teenaged son got sick on the plane. Vomiting, fever, etc. The entire plane was quarantined for a couple hours. No one but the kid and mom were allowed off the plane until he went on an ambulance ride and was thoroughly checked out at a hospital. It didn’t turn out to be anything contagious and all is well but it should give you a clue as to how serious the potential for infectious diseases being brought into the country are being treated.

The big concern I have for Ebola is the potential for mutation into something airborne. The more people that currently have it the greater opportunity for such a mutation. If such a mutation does occur then it could be an end of times scenario. Does your deep woods bunker have the resources to keep you and yours alive for several months while 50% or more of the of the worlds population dies off? Probably not. I certainly don’t have anything like that available to me. And when you come out of hiding what is the world going to be like? It will be a much different place and as bad as I see our current situation I don’t see such a scenario being any better.

This potential, aside from the humanitarian aspect, is reason enough for people not directly affected to assist in containing the epidemic.

Update: I should know better than to trust “the most transparent administration in history”. The CDC says something completely different from the Public Health Agency of Canada:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated.

H/T to Rolf in the comments who gave me a link that lead to the quote above. He has other links to the studies concluding air transmission does occur in primates.

17 thoughts on “End of times?

  1. Just think of all the “temporary” executive emergency measures the Golfer-in-Chief might impose if one of those ebola cases crosses our well-secured southern border. I’d bet that closing the border *isn’t* one of them.
    BTW – When a person coughs, uncovered, there are tiny airborne particles of saliva. There have been cases of ebola and similar hemorrhagic fevers being transmitted in which that is the only know/possible vector, and it ebola only needs 20 virus particles to infect.
    A few basic facts from some research I did recently: symptoms show up two days to three weeks after exposure, usually 4-6 days; contagion starts before symptoms occur, and last for about two weeks after the disease runs its course. Death usually occurs in the second week after symptoms show, typically from massive blood loss. Just through you’d like to know.
    Business opportunity – you know someone that sells lentils 50# and 100# at a time…

  2. joe:

    very worrisome, indeed.

    no one knows just how the ebola virus will act on populations other than african. resistance to the virus, for instance, might be higher in non-african populations, or it could be even more virulent. (hard to imagine.)

    given the realities of modern air travel and the like, and the way flu “travels” in modern populations, we could be in for a hell of a ride before this thing gets figured out.

    john jay

  3. Don’t let “non-airborne” fool you. It is effectively airborne. Since its virility is so high, it takes less than 100 virii to infect someone. (We don’t know how many less because we can’t measure that small a dose.) Given the coughing and sneezing in the symptoms, a patient is launching millions of virii in spittle into the air every time they cough.

    Is it drifting in the wind? No. But don’t think that you need visible fluids on you to contract it. Walking into a room where someone has recently coughed is likely enough. That is why it is destroying Africa’s medical ranks. Doctors are far, far disproportionately being infected, and as they lose their meager medical resources, it will only get worse there.

  4. You actually believe something said by the CDC run by this admin? You probably also believe all those crashed hard drives were just coincidences as well. If somebody in this thug admin told me it was daytime, I’d go out side to check for myself.
    And Phelps has a good point. Add to that dried feces and vomit on airplane passnger cabin surfaces and let the games begin.

  5. My concern is that it doesn’t take an actual epidemic to cause a widespread breakdown. Fear of an epidemic could be enough. Imagine what would happen if half the workforce stayed home out of fear for a couple days. Now image if it happened for a couple weeks.

    The mechanisms that make modern western life possible, break down rapidly if they’re not maintained.

  6. While primarily a contact pathogen it is certainly possible for the virus to be transferred via respiratory inhalation. An infected person who is coughing can easily eject the virus into the air to be inhaled by other people…..it’s called aerosolization. All that has to happen is for the virus to get from person A to person B alive and intact. A coughing person with hemoptysis on a transcontinental flight could EASILY infect 50% or more of the passengers in a confined plane. A subway or other such venue would spread the virus effectively also if a carrier was coughing up infected material. ANYWHERE where the UV from sunshine is absent is a place where the virus can survive long enough in the atmosphere to infect others. While it is not as easily transmitted via the respiratory tract as a flu virus….at least not yet….it certainly CAN be transmitted that way. And it doesn’t take too many people to spread it far and wide.

  7. From ZeroHedge comes the question: if it isn’t airborne, how has it managed to kill 170 medical workers, who are wearing full protective gear?
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-12/one-question-about-ebola-nobody-can-seem-answer
    It claims there are a lot of unreported cases, and the official number may be just 25% to 50% of the actual number of cases.
    Sad, but there are only three ways, traditionally, to deal with a population / environment mismatch: famine, war, and pestilence. None are pretty, all are effective at reducing the population.

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