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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the mask-and-gloves dept.

Medicine 170

symbolset writes in with the latest about an ebola outbreak spreading across West Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The current epidemic trend of EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia remains serious, with 67 new cases and 19 deaths reported July 15-17, 2014. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The EVD outbreak in Guinea continues to show a declining trend, with no new cases reported during this period. Critical analyses and review of the current outbreak response is being undertaken to inform the process of developing prioritized national operational plans. Effective implementation of the prioritized plans will be vital in reversing the current trend of EVD outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Think of it as evolution in action (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521215)

People who kiss and hug and wash dead, infected, highly contagious corpses without any protection are bread out of the gene-pool.

It's a good thing.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (1, Funny)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 2 months ago | (#47521249)

A shame evolution can't do anything about your vocabulary.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 months ago | (#47521407)

I, for one, am in favour of removing bread from the human gene pool.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (0)

Rashdot (845549) | about 2 months ago | (#47521477)

It's a good thing.

So you think it would be a good thing if only the most cold hearted autistic people would survive? There's a brand new state in parts of Syria and Iraq where you will feel right at home.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522517)

What makes you think autistic people are "cold hearted"? Lack of capability to respond to or express emotional I/O doesn't mean that your are incapable of *feeling* as such.

You seem to be confusing autistic people with sociopaths and psychopaths. You should be ashamed of your ignorance.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521499)

I knead to know why you think that.

Re:Think of it as evolution in action (3, Funny)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47521927)

Speaking of bread in the gene pool, let's all hope that your hot dog never finds a hot dog bun.

Let's just hope... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521231)

That some religious nutjob out there hasn't been taking samples, or deliberately exposing themselves to it

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521259)

"That some religious nutjob out there hasn't been taking samples, or deliberately exposing themselves to it"

You mean some terrorist, religious nutjob.

I always wondered, why they didn't just take t-shirts and rub them on infected cow snouts from regions where foot-and-mouth-disease is still rampant, put them in plastic bags send them to their cousins in the Middle-West, where they'd can rub the snouts of some real American cows with it.
Just to create havoc on the meat industry, I bet some Vegans would be glad to help.:-)

Poor terrorist's bio-weapon.

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521543)

That would spike the prices of beef worldwide, thereby hurting the dirt poor religious nutjobs that said terrorist sympathizes with.

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522281)

You think terrorists sympathise with their poorer brethren? They are merely a means to an end for the terrorists, providing strength in numbers for their cause.

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521575)

You mean some terrorist, religious nutjob.

You may think that...

I always wondered, why they didn't just take t-shirts and rub them on infected cow snouts from regions where foot-and-mouth-disease is still rampant, put them in plastic bags send them to their cousins in the Middle-West, where they'd can rub the snouts of some real American cows with it. Just to create havoc on the meat industry,

It isn't the sort of 'grandstanding' event they normally go in for..sad to say something like Foot and Mouth just isn't 'scary' to the general public in large metropolitan areas, however, Ebola is (rightly so in it's own right, but thanks mainly to Hollywood. However, alas, no, Dustbin Hoffman wont be along to save the day in the event of a real outbreak).

I bet some Vegans would be glad to help.:-)

Ah, I did say just religious nutjob in the original post?

Vegans do treat the whole thing as a religion rather than a dietary choice, their ramblings, and the antics of PETA remind me strongly of some of the crap that the more outré religious cults that have cropped up over the millennia have|had|still gotten|get up to.

The reason I didn't mention terrorist in the first post was that it was a bit superfluous as we know who we're talking about here, but there are probably other groups out there who would like to use something like ebola as $deity's instrument of divine wrath|punishment agin $target_group_of_unbelievers.

All it takes is one nutjob who believes he's doing $deity's work and will receive his eternal rewards for doing so to become deliberately infected and get to $target_population_center, and we're currently not short of a few of these momsers in the general area of the current outbreaks..4 million followers of the $evil_deity_de_jour (aka potential suspects) in one country alone.
All it takes is a handful of them to be, as they say, radicalised..

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47521861)

all it takes is for one of said nutjobs to smear Ebola on the tips of the BUK missiles that radical sheikhs are undoubtedly buying for them as we speak, and the next mystery plane crash becomes an ideal distribution site for the disease. This would include the NTSB teams that are routinely dispatched from Washington to help investigate.

This morning's breaking news is that a mystery plane crash just occurred in West Africa.

Re:Let's just hope... (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about 2 months ago | (#47522239)

yes because burning isn't a disinfectant or anything. ebola ain't super contagious.

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522465)

In humans at least, ebola isn't especially contagious because it kills the host so quickly that its spread is limited by how many people can be infected before the host dies. Viruses like that don't evolve as quickly and don't generally become more contagious unless they drop some of their lethality. However I don't seem to remember virologists / immunologists and the like ever finding the vector for spread to humans. There is always some vector - whether it be mosquitoes, flies, monkeys, something. It may be non-lethal in the vector species allowing it to develop better human to human contagiousness. Also, in regards to the plane scenario described - there are parts of a "shot down" plane that don't burn; some of it is just subject to impact. A virus could certainly make it through intact.

Re:Let's just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522915)

That is what changed here. This strain is not 90% deadly but about 60%. Giving this strain an edge in spreading itself.

Re:Let's just hope... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 months ago | (#47522979)

how ironic, considering it is certain religious practices that have been contributing to the spread of this disease.

Coming to a plane journey (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521237)

Coming to a plane journey near you, has that chap near you coughing just clearing his throat or is he seriously ill ?
Is he sweating from the heat or fever ?

Re:Coming to a plane journey (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521531)

An illness with such a high mortality rate is self limiting. It could very well die out quicker in areas with no health care than in areas with health care.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47521603)

It also doesn't transmit very easily. So far there are no known cases of it being transmitted in a plane or airport, despite several known Ebola cases having flown on planes. In each case everyone who had flown with them was monitored, but nobody developed the illness.

It helps that it doesn't travel by air or aerosols.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47522423)

Actually, it does transmit fairly easily.
From the WHO:
"Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. "

Re:Coming to a plane journey (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522963)

Wow. I thought my airplane travel was rough. Do you really routinely have "direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids" while flying?

Re:Coming to a plane journey (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 months ago | (#47522985)

no, we don't fondle infected corpses or strangers over here. over there, different story....

Re:Coming to a plane journey (4, Informative)

Shortguy881 (2883333) | about 2 months ago | (#47522693)

Actually Ebola can be transmitted through the air. During the initial discovery and research into the Ebola, there were two major groups involved: the CDC and USAMRIID (CDC's military counterpart).

The CDC's lead researcher of Ebola did a lot of onsite visits in Africa with patients and never contracted the virus, so the CDC's stance is that it is not an air born illness. The team from USAMRIID conducted tests on Ebola in a closed environment with an uninfected control group. The control group was in the same room as the infected group but separated by cages on either side of the room so there was no physical contact between groups. The entire control group got infected, so if you ask USAMRIID, its air born.

The result isn't surprising do to the nature of Ebola. The virus destroys all tissues including lung tissue. Any virus that is exposed to the air in the lungs has the chance of being air born.

Research in 2012 also confirmed this with cross species air born contamination in a controlled environment.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (2)

Shortguy881 (2883333) | about 2 months ago | (#47522701)

I should note the test/control group was monkeys.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 months ago | (#47522755)

Wasn't that the incident where they pressure washed the cages of the deceased animals thus flinging infected fluids all over the area?

Re:Coming to a plane journey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521607)

So, in UDOTS we're good. Right? I mean, if you're on the right list and all.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#47521913)

"An illness with such a high mortality rate is self limiting. It could very well die out quicker in areas with no health care than in areas with health care."

That worked out really well with bubonic plague.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522503)

The black plague had a much lower mortality rate than ebola does. The plague also had a very good vector in the fleas on rodents. It wasn't spread as much by human to human transmission as it was by flea bite. Also, the statement that viruses with a very high mortality rate tend to be self limiting is indeed true - although the slower the time from infection to death the faster the spread. Ebola kills very quickly and that limits the spread significantly. It will need to develop to be less quickly lethal in order to spread better.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47522437)

The problem is that people move around... a lot. Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days so that gives an infected person lots of symptom free time to travel to visit his neighboring village or go to the city or get on a plane to visit relatives anywhere in the world.

Re:Coming to a plane journey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522421)

I'd be more worried about the plane being shot down nowadays.

Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521269)

and Antibiotics1 and 2

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (5, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 months ago | (#47521363)

It's a virus, so has pretty good antibiotic resistance.

To follow on from the other comment.
You're faced with people who you've never seen, look quite different than you, and turn up in suits that cover their entire body.
This happens shortly after, or even before the community notices an issue - as they are surveying populations nearby.
Then people start dying, and these people who don't speak your language want to take the bodies of your loved ones, and desecrate them.

Add to this that education in these places is basically non-existant in many cases.
It's no wonder that people can come to the conclusion that the health workers are causing the disease.

Especially given the centuries long history of exploitation. Fake vaccination programs by the CIA to fine OBL haven't helped either.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521371)

"You're faced with people who you've never seen, look quite different than you, and turn up in suits that cover their entire body.
This happens shortly after, or even before the community notices an issue - as they are surveying populations nearby.
Then people start dying, and these people who don't speak your language want to take the bodies of your loved ones, and desecrate them.
Add to this that education in these places is basically non-existant in many cases.
It's no wonder that people can come to the conclusion that the health workers are causing the disease."

So we _should_ think of it as evolution in action.
Places with bad education get depopulated.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47521387)

So we _should_ think of it as evolution in action.
Places with bad education get depopulated.

It would be true absent politics. Some useless people can band together and legislate some useful people out of existence. Then when hardship comes, they'll miss them since know fuck-all.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1)

jdwoods (89242) | about 2 months ago | (#47521427)

Legislation (at least of the government sort) is not actually required. Some useful people self-eliminate. See the movie Idiocracy [imdb.com]

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (0)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 months ago | (#47521649)

Unfortunately the schools ahd hospitals were destroyed by the rebels in the recent civil way. The rebels were a bunch of drug-crazed gangsters using child soldiers to.steal the gold and diamond mines.(The entire mines, not just the produce).

It was American money that funded the rebels, and the Europeans that insisted the government "negotiate" with the rebels as if they were a legitimate democratic opposition. This is the equivalent of asking the Italian government to negotiate with the Mafia. Only worse: The rebels knew they would go to hell for crimes against humanity if caught, so they were prepared to go to any extreme to avoid being caught - chopping random limbs off men women and children without mercy in drug-fueled rampages was only a part of it.

Yes its a f*ckup - but they were forced into this mess by outsiders. It take a lot to recover from that.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521739)

Not sure you know how evolution works.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47521613)

The way you describe it actually sounds a lot like an X-Files episode.

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521701)

Where do you think the X-Files got it from in the first place?

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522449)

Did you realize that your comment is answering a Plague Inc. reference?

Re:Does it have Cold resistance level 2 (1)

weszz (710261) | about 2 months ago | (#47522579)

Pandemic reference anyone?

In the game you can get antibiotics resistance to your deadly virus, cold or heat resistance etc...

Pretty sure that is where this one was going...

Could be worse... (2)

loimprevisto (910035) | about 2 months ago | (#47521275)

At least it's not Anthrax-Leprosy-Mu!

FNORD!

Re:Could be worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521465)

Might get worse , the Hajj is in a month or so. They have banned visas from Liberia and Guinea but the boarders are porous so.... plus there is MERS and other diseases that are emerging.

The Hajj pilgrimage is increasingly accessible due to a more mobile global population. Large gatherings like this may be an increasing risk now or in the future.

Utopia, Janus,

Re:Could be worse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521533)

The boarders? People who rent temporarily? And they're porous?

Re:Could be worse... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47521911)

They get porous boarders in Chicago all the time. You're not safe unless you're an owner and no closer than Schaumburg.

Boarders.. (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 months ago | (#47521957)

Maybe he means the people who board the planes

It is near (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521295)

Disease outbreak...check
Pre-WW3 conflicts...check
Justin bieber...check

Ok im ready for Earth obliteration... time to reset society...

Re:It is near (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47521673)

Correct. Just waiting for someone to press the big red button [i-am-bored.com] and end it all.

EVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521297)

really is a stupid pointless acronym

Re:EVD (1)

jdwoods (89242) | about 2 months ago | (#47521341)

Created by someone with a TLA addiction.

Re:EVD (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521703)

It's exactly as many syllables as "ebola" but carries more information, what's not to like?

Re:EVD (1)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 2 months ago | (#47521805)

Or a whole lot less, considering how many other TLA's there are for EVD. It takes to the third page of google for there to be a page on ebola when searching for EVD. But if you say Ebola everyone knows what you are talking about.

Now I can understand wanting to abbreviate "ebola hemorrhagic fever", which is way more descriptive.

Re:EVD (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521871)

It's a technical term, so in its actual context it's very clear. As for lay accounts, they will generally explain what it means.

Re:EVD (1)

murkwood7 (807159) | about 2 months ago | (#47522051)

Is an External Ventricular Drainage a device or procedure in the treatment of Ebola?

World War Z (0)

jdwoods (89242) | about 2 months ago | (#47521335)

Virii mutate, and do so rapidly (which is why every year there is a new crop of flu virii to fight). If Ebola mutates to add something like an uncontrollable murderous rage in a non-trivial percentage of the infected then we have the potential for World War Z. This is a scenario that rivals the old cold war for scary.

Re:World War Z (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521369)

Sounds good to me. I don't want to die a painful hideous diseased death, but it would be worth it, to know the whole world was was blinking out of existence along with me.

Re:World War Z (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521375)

Except people who get viruses die when they are shot. You don't even have to shoot them in the head. And real people don't cooperate in a herd like manner to climb walls even when they're NOT infected with some disease.

And real viruses have incubation periods long enough that you don't have scenarios where if Brad Pitt doesn't lop your arm off 5 seconds after your hand is bitten you instantly turn into a bloodthirsty rage zombie with a 100% infection rate when you bite someone else.

Could an ebola outbreak be bad? Sure, but don't just make shit up.

Re:World War Z (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 2 months ago | (#47521419)

The nice thing about ebola is it's not airborne, you need to actually touch someone's fluids to get ebola. So, it's completely avoidable, as opposed to airborne pathogens.

Re:World War Z (1)

mlush (620447) | about 2 months ago | (#47521449)

Not completly avoidable, you could touch something that someone with ebola has touched, your only seven(ish) handshakes away from a victim, lets hope it stays that way.

Re:World War Z (1)

will_die (586523) | about 2 months ago | (#47521497)

Not the case. Reston virus, an ebola strain was airborne, and research labs from various countries, include USA and Canada have shown that ariborne ebola can be found.
However there are no reports that this strain is airborne, or at least the governments of the world are not letting that information out in fear of all the problems that would bring........

Re:World War Z (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 2 months ago | (#47523021)

It was also not infectious to people. And some even think the airborne aspect as suspect given the locales and condition of those same locales, shit flinging moneys can transfer things through air but that isn't normally called airborne. ;)
Given the extremely few virus particles needed that mechanism could even explain the transfer between rooms, infected particulate can transfer surprisingly far.

Note that this assumes the information of the air circulation system being unfiltered and that doors between rooms were kept open to try to cool the complex down are correct. That assumption could be wrong.

Re:World War Z (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47522457)

Can't really avoid it since you can get it from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. Think of an airplane seat or a public shop or any public place. You can wall yourself up at home but what happens when you run out of food?

Re:World War Z (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 2 months ago | (#47522505)

Right. Just like bubonic plague isn't airborne--- until it mutates into pneumonic plague.

Ebola is a rapidly changing virus. Rather like the flu in that respects. That its initial symptoms are indistinguishable from the flu yet the victim is already contagious is a nasty touch.

Re:World War Z (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#47521951)

What's a "virii?" The plural of virus is viruses. [linuxmafia.com] Even if it took the latin form (and it certainly doesn't), it would be viri, not virii.

Re:World War Z (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 2 months ago | (#47522631)

The Virii were an ancient Roman noble family,
One of their descendents still roams free... [wired.com]

Re:World War Z (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 months ago | (#47523051)

So many of them would be Viriii ?

Re:World War Z (2)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 months ago | (#47523001)

Viri, the plural of vir (man), means 'men'.

Effective communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521353)

Who was the sad f*ck who decided to make up a confusing three letter acronym [acronymfinder.com] for Ebola?

Re:Effective communication (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 months ago | (#47521443)

Probably someone who lives near the river Ebola who was tired of the stigma of being associated with a hideous disease. Not that I support the said TLA, but just guessing.

Re:Effective communication (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47521667)

Who was the sad f*ck who decided to make up a confusing three letter acronym for Ebola?

But "ebola" has three syllables and "EVD" only has three.

Re:Effective communication (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521715)

There are five viruses that cause EVD, only one of which is actually called "ebola".

Re:Effective communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522613)

it was Jake, from state farm.

He not only sounds hideous, but he's a real a**hole.

Scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521357)

OK, it's a nasty disease, and the victims are worthy of sympathy.

But in terms of significance in the global population, syphilis kills and cripples more people annually in the developing world than the over-hyped Ebola ever has since it's discovery. As Bugs Bunny might well ask, :"What's all the hubbub, bub?"

Re:Scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521415)

syphilis kills and cripples more people annually [...] "What's all the hubbub, bub?"

compare slow progressing sexually treatable disease
with ~80% mortality fast bleed-out disaster?
get back in the womb, critter
your brain is not fully developed yet

Re:Sexually treatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521455)

Who's brain isn't developed? lmao

Re:Sexually treatable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521561)

Someone who can't tell who's from whose?

Re:Scale? (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 months ago | (#47521481)

Seems to be working just fine...

Syphilis does better, as a disease, than Ebola for the same reasons you win at Pandemic-type games - the slow progression, the low-profile.

Ebola doesn't spread nearly as much, because it's non-airborne and rapidly fatal to a large number of people who contract it. This is why it stays confined to the butt-end of civilization.

Syphilis does more harm overall because it has numbers in it's favour.

People tend to focus more on Ebola because of the high mortaility rate. It has a couple of pretty horrible "What if?"s - principally, what if it goes airborne? I'm not sure a virus with such a high mortaility rate that's been around so long would actually ever go airborne though - from an evolutionary perspective it's a terrible combination.

A virus with high mortaility and rapid spread will rapidly kill all susceptible individuals within it's catchment area, so it's likely that such things have never really gotten off the evolutionary drawing board. The last thing that came close was the Spanish Flu, which was a more fatal mutation of a fairly innocuous airborne pathogen, rather than a more mobile mutation of something unpleasantly fatal like Ebola.

Of course, the above is true of a pre-air-travel world, because rapid spread would kill off everything in the travel radius - because the travel radius was dictated by walking pace, or driving pace... or the speed of ocean liners. In this day and age, it would be much easier for such a thing to have a serious impact.

Re:Scale? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521693)

Sorry, as a religious evolutionist, you fail. Evolution doesn't work that way. You new age scientists (MBA's) really ought to study your Catechism more.
If the universe was so smart, I would have expected to see more hydrogen based life.
Seriously though, we've got to help these people. I've done my part by writing on Slashdot. I can only pray that enough people will join together, urging somebody else to do something before it's too late.

Re:Scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521755)

A virus with high mortaility and rapid spread will rapidly kill all susceptible individuals within it's catchment area, so it's likely that such things have never really gotten off the evolutionary drawing board.

Sweating sickness [wikipedia.org]

Re:Scale? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47522471)

Ebola has an incubation period of 21 days which is plenty of time for symptom free people to travel anywhere in the world.

Re:Scale? (1)

BergZ (1680594) | about 2 months ago | (#47522533)

"A virus with high mortaility and rapid spread will rapidly kill all susceptible individuals within it's catchment area, so it's likely that such things have never really gotten off the evolutionary drawing board."

Generally speaking I agree, but only when the virus is lethal to all susceptible individuals.
If the virus is non-lethal to some susceptible individuals then those individuals could become carriers (a reservoir where the virus can continue reproduce but does not kill its host). Carriers are how a virus can have a high mortaility and rapid spread without becoming an evolutionary dead-end.

In the case of Ebola I have heard that it is suspected that fruit bats are carriers. If it is true that fruit bats are Ebola carriers then I think that means Ebola has some susceptible individuals (humans) where it is highly lethal and some susceptible individuals (fruit bats) where it is non-lethal.

Re:Scale? (1)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | about 2 months ago | (#47521505)

syphilis kills and cripples more people annually [...] "What's all the hubbub, bub?"

compare slow progressing sexually treatable disease with ~80% mortality fast bleed-out disaster? get back in the womb, critter your brain is not fully developed yet

Or their mother's basement, whichever is more convenient....

Re:Scale? (1)

Rashdot (845549) | about 2 months ago | (#47521931)

get back in the womb, critter your brain is not fully developed yet

Or their mother's basement, whichever is more convenient....

Mother's basement as a convenient replacement for the womb. There's a joke in there somewhere...

Re:Scale? (2)

_anomaly_ (127254) | about 2 months ago | (#47522923)

I think it's the infection rate that is all the hubbub, to put it lightly. 67 new cases and 19 deaths in the span of 3 days (July 15-17)?

Then, posted not long ago, an update: 45 new cases and 28 deaths from July 18-20 [infectionc...ltoday.com] .

Dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47521495)

I wish it started in Madagascar.

Re:Dammit (2)

GTRacer (234395) | about 2 months ago | (#47521985)

But that won't stop them making another sequel to the "zoo animals on safari" movie!

Re:Dammit (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 2 months ago | (#47523045)

Why? They would just close their borders and contain it from spreading.

Risk of mutation to something worse? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47521559)

I am not a virologist or an epidemiologist (nor do I play one on TV) but I always seem to remember the risk of a larger pandemic from Ebola or other similar severe hemorrhagic fevers was reduced due to the nature of these illnesses having a rapid onset and severity which limits the ability of infected people to be ambulatory and infect other people.

What I wonder and maybe worry about is a long-term low-grade outbreak leading to mutations which increase the amount of time the infected might be able to spread the illness. I don't know how likely this is, but it seems kind of a scary idea.

Re:Risk of mutation to something worse? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47521617)

Low percentage of asymptomatic cases is also a factor slowing the spread: almost everyone who has an Ebola virus infection develops a serious illness, so there are few (possibly no) asymptomatic carriers who could unwittingly spread it.

Re:Risk of mutation to something worse? (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 2 months ago | (#47522681)

From what I have read about ebola (EVD-- whatever), it has an incubation period of 21 days and its early symptoms are easily confused with the flu. Just about everywhere other than Antarctic research stations is within 21 days travel time of west Africa.

Mecca is going to be an epidemiologist's nightmare this year. Lots of Muslims in west Africa, and some infected Boko Haram nuts might think that they were doing Allah's will in bringing the disease to impure muslims and infidels. Sort of like the way the USA gave smallpox to the American Indians through infected trade blankets.

Re:Risk of mutation to something worse? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47522941)

Well incubation period is somewhat different. Also an issue, but not the same one as asymptomatic carriers. Some viruses have completely asymptomatic carriers, who can harbor it for years without themselves being significantly affected, which makes long-distance spread a lot easier. Ebola doesn't seem to have that.

Although Ebola does have a reservoir in rats, who carry it asymptomatically. No idea what the odds of it spreading via that route are.

"Head doctor" now also a carrier. (1)

splutty (43475) | about 2 months ago | (#47521785)

And I just read that the doctor that's treated 100+ of the Ebola victims has been infected as well.

3 other nurses have already succumbed to the disease.

The high mortality rate is probably what scares people the most, despite it actually not being that infective through normal pathways.

Re:"Head doctor" now also a carrier. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 months ago | (#47522569)

I know a hard working, idealistic young doctor from Long Island NY who went to Africa two weeks ago to try and help. He came back very disillusioned, stymied at every attempt to treat patients there by government officials. He told me his parents were very afraid he would become sick and didn't want him to go, but this man feels he has a higher calling to treat the sick, higher than making money. A good man who I'm proud to know.

The only solution... (-1, Troll)

RoLi (141856) | about 2 months ago | (#47521851)

... let all ebola-infected people into Western countries, do not - ever - screen anybody for it (that would be racist), create a ribbon campaign for feeling good and kill the jobs of everybody who dares to disagree on that.

It worked great with AIDS, why shouldn't it work with Ebola?

Re:The only solution... (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47521891)

From your sarcasm, I'm going to assume that you'd rather that AIDS was characterised as a disease of gay people and minorities who should therefore be ostracised, it wasn't spoken about, and where its very existence was denied?

That's what happened in the 1980s and it caused the fucking problem in the first place.

Re:The only solution... (-1, Troll)

RoLi (141856) | about 2 months ago | (#47522627)

Who talked about ostracism? Oh, that was you.
I also don't quite get it how you can mix up "screening for a disease" with "deny it's existence", isn't that the complete opposite?
So who is talking about denying Ebola's existence - or if not that not doing anything about it? Oh, you again.

100 years ago, screening for diseases was normal procedure for immigration in pretty much every country - especially if that disease was contagious.

Yes that was before political correctness.

Today we screen only for those "dangerous" soda bottles and creams that people like you think can be used to hijack a plane.
But AIDS, Ebola, Thyphus? No problem, who cares that thousands or even millions will die of it?

Re:The only solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47522147)

You sound a little insane. Like maybe that you're so far gone that you're a Republican.

Vaccine in the 2030's? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47522025)

The story [telegraph.co.uk] I read before this one was about a malaria vaccine that was developed in the early 90's, was known to be effective by '97, and has been awaiting approval since then, while ten million people died from the disease.

Really, though, it was only ten million families who had to lose their loved ones - that's a small price to pay for the paperwork being in order.

Re:Vaccine in the 2030's? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47522509)

If you had actually read the article you reference, you would see that the delay in malaria vaccine is to to the fact that the many trials have been failures and even this latest version is not very effective for not very much time. The "paperwork" delay in this case is due to the fact that it doesn't work.

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