Ebola: Liberia shuts borders to curb outbreak; 2 Americans infected there


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I’m not that worried about Ebola in the USA. It’ll eventually show up here. But we don’t handle our dead like people in Africa, AND we are much more paranoid and ready to lock down and contain a nasty threat. It’ll give all the police something to do, finally.

I don’t know about us “locking things down” Think about all the people of privilege who will pull strings to get out of things the riff raff have to do. Of course we know bacteria and viruses don’t check your bank account, but…

I’m watching the TV show The Strain right now and it’s kind of silly in some ways, but in others it is spot on, including people who will lie and put their own interests before the interests of the common good.

Oh great, if I die of ebola here in the states its your fault.

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The good news is that if it comes to the US we’ll alert all the people so they can protect themselves. I mean can you imagine a government that would put economic concerns (like shutting down and quarantining a plane at a major airport) before public health concerns?

The EPA was not given full control over its press releases in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Administrator Whitman issued a memo on September 12 announcing that "all statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC [National Security Council] before they are released,"5 and the New York Post reported that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was “the final decision maker” regarding the release of information by the EPA.6 In addition the OIG report details how the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) pressed the EPA to “add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones” from agency press releases.7 For example, information discussing the potential health risk for “sensitive populations” from exposure to particulate matter was discouraged from inclusion in a press release by a CEQ official, and language discussing detected levels of asbestos was softened.8 The involvement of NSC and CEQ officials raises questions as to whether public health concerns were trumped by political and security priorities.
From the Union of Concerned Scientists.


The majority of human-to-human transmissions are between living people. Even people who take precautions can get infected, just as many of the health workers currently carrying the disease could attest.

At least we don’t have the fruit bats that serve as the virus’ natural host.


Dammit, dammit, dammit!

If the future had to be accidentally nailed by one of the most popular works of a well-known author, could it not have been Isaac Asimov instead of Stephen King?


There seems to be so much NIMBY fear about ebola. Yes, it is incredibly contagious and has an incredibly high mortality rate. But, these kinds of headlines are terrible. People in North America only seem to care because they are afraid of catching the disease. The attention is based on self-interest, which is unfortunate when there are so many other diseases that affect many more people but don’t make sensational headlines in the news.


Exactly. That is what makes it “news” the other diseases don’t aren’t as splashy. Whomever is doing the PR for Ebola is doing a great job.

How would you turn this outbreak into a way to point out the other diseases that affect many more people?
Stay turned for my column!

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Eat less refined carbohydrates and get some exercise!!!

Doesn’t have the same ring to it. Pity.


Here’s a fairly responsible article on the disease from CNN. It was written in 2012 during an outbreak in Western Uganda. It includes some good information, like the fact that fruit bats are only suspected to be the transmitters of the disease.

In fact, this CDC report relates the information that it’s rural and forest fruit bats which may present a greater threat than the more widely common types. The straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum), which is most widely spread throughout Africa, doesn’t seem to be the culprit here.


I’ll be sure to lick your corpse. You won’t mind, will you?


I think we’ll do OK when Ebola shows up.

Phew, good thing Jimmy Savile is already dead!

Jimmy Savile Performed Sex Acts On Dead Bodies At Leeds General Infirmary (VIDEO)
Claims that Jimmy Savile may have sexually interfered with dead bodies are some of the most shocking revelations yet about the disgraced broadcaster. Investigators at Leeds General Infirmary were told that Savile admitted performing sex acts on the dead in the hospital mortuary.


I think the primary concern with air travel should be human to bat transmission outside of Africa. Ebola isn’t an airborne transmitted disease, so I don’t see the probability of a huge number of cases occurring, but if there are enough cases in the Americas, Europe, or Asia and the local bats become carriers, then it could flare up repeatedly over time, which could substantially increase its death toll.

I don’t think there are fruit bats outside the tropics

This site lists all the bat species known to habit the United States. None are fruit bats.

Here is a good, short, kids’ article on fruit bats, and where they live - not in the U.S., but in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. The only ones you’ll encounter here are in zoos or outreach programs from wildlife centers. Bats aren’t legal to be kept as pets in the U.S. due to rabies transmission, and simply because it’s harmful to the animal.

The biggest animal concerns I see for any outbreak in the U.S. is the large number of feral dogs and cats that we have in urban areas. Dogs have been tested for infection after they ate infected animal carcasses, and they then tested both positive for the virus (31.8%) and remained asymptomatic. So, in an urban area - rats, cats, and dogs, could present a much greater real hazard for transmission to humans through biting.

Someone make sure Ozzy doesn’t do a tour of Africa in the meantime.


Ebola is scary in places with poor sanitation. It is a ‘fluids’ virus. Alls you need to do to not get infected is have a good water supply, handle the dead with care, and avoid sick people. What makes it especially not scary for rich folks is that it is only contagious when there are symptoms. In the case of a general outbreak, you just need a decent water supply, a little paranoia, sick people to not go wandering about, and a central government to keep shit in check, and you are fine. A developed country would have no problem containing Ebola. You just tell sick people to not go out other than to go to hospitals and you are pretty much done. It would be disruptive if everyone who gets the sniffles stays home, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Where Ebola gets scary is in less developed parts of the world. Poor sanitation, close quarters, and Ebola could be a deadly combination. Ebola outbreaks so far have been confined. If it was to really pick up in one of the poorer super cities with bad sanitation, you could be in for a very bad time. Poor sanitation combined with poor information dissemination is what makes Ebola scary. If it picks up steam in a major city in the developing world, you could really see some horrific death tolls, especially among the poor.

So, if you have running water and a functional centralized government, you don’t need to personally worry. You should be worried though about the impact on those without such privileges. If you need to be a selfish prick about it, consider that an Ebola outbreak in the factory cities of China or that ravages India would be bad for the entire world’s economy, and an Ebola outbreak in the slums of Southern and Central America would be more lead to a human flood fleeing into the US.

So, Ebola is scary, but probably not for the reasons why a person who has read The Stand on their Kindle thinks it would be.


For the record, I read The Stand as a dead-tree paperback when the Kindle was still a twinkle in its inventor’s eye.

For that matter, it’s quite possible I read it when the inventor of the Kindle was a twinkle in that worthy person’s parents’ eyes :stuck_out_tongue:

Defensive levity aside, my post was gallows humor, but you have rightly called me on it for hyperbole. Also note my own self-importance at taking the next Stephen King reference as aimed at me.

May I conclude with a genuine thank you for a well-considered and thorough post?

I take considerable personal (that is, selfish) comfort from your detailed explication of the actual hazards presented by the Ebola virus.