What is a “traditional healer”? Would it not be more honest to just say witch doctor or magic-user?
More honest would be to say “con artist”. They know it doesn’t do jack.
I’d have to agree with the minister a true hero.
If there’s no cure, and no vaccine, what was he doing?
Is there anything to do other than isolation?
Get on an IV drip to replace lost fluids. There’s some evidence that such treatment improves your chances of survival to about 50%.
There’s a great blog by a critical care doctor (Dr. William Fischer II) who was sent to Guinea. He talks about treatment.
Additionally, while vaccines and Ebola-specific antivirals are years away, aggressive supportive care is possible now. Improved mortality rates from augmented clinical care will result in enhanced trust between patients and providers and ultimately earlier recognition of those that are sick and decrease transmission.
The fear of Ebola is almost as dangerous as the virus itself. I truly believe this is a significant barrier to improving the clinical care of patients infected with Ebola. The most difficult part of this mission for me was the week prior to leaving Geneva for Guinea. I was consumed with how this virus is portrayed (90% mortality, bleeding from every orifice, decimated villages, etc.) rather than what we know about this virus (it is caused by a virus that is readily transmissible, has hemorrhagic complications of varying degrees in 50-60% of the time, and is potentially survivable with aggressive clinical care).
One bit of warning before reading the blog – he talks in heartbreaking detail about some of the patients, including a mother and child who come to the clinic for treatment, but who do not survive. Read at your own risk.
Only if you feel that contempt for ignorant savages is a sign of honesty. Others feel it is a sign of racism.
The speed of treatment is also an important factor in improving survival chances. Unfortunately, the strain that has hit West Africa this time is the most deadly form of the virus. Typically, up to 90% of cases die - they’ve reduced that to 70% which is a type of success.
Ebola is so very infectious that one drop of sweat can be enough to transmit the disease - working with the patients is a horribly brave thing to do.
So basically, untreated Ebola means almost certain death, whereas with treatment one may or may not die – all the while raising the chances that people treating him would also get infected.
What a shitty, shitty virus. I always wonder, what is the point of such deadly parasites, from an evolutionary point of view? Sure, the virus might be very successful at spreading (although airborne ones still win), but once it kills all available hosts, it’s basically condemning itself to death.
I guess it’s proof that evolution really does work pretty much randomly.
From within its little niche, the DNA does not know. It just works at replication.
We, humanity, appear to know we’re condemning ourselves to death, but we keep drinking / smoking / polluting / fighting / building better weapons.
DNA is not intelligent - it just is, and does a job.
As Kubrick said, “the most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent.”
Studying evolution was one of the factors that finally stripped me of any ability to believe in any sky-godish forces.
I’m always yammering on about how people even bend the use of the evolution lexicon to, perhaps subconsciously, bend it to some form of intent, some pre-calibration, some other-than-indifferent process.
Even TV animal ‘scientists’ say things like “this creature evolved to fill this niche” - it didn’t; evolution isn’t an active process. It’s a passive outcome. This niche happened to be appropriate to the survival of this creature.
I believe Hart Crane said much the same thing. Check out “The Open Boat” for a great story in this theme. Or, you know, just read about Ebola or Great White Sharks. Red in tooth and claw, and don’t give two fucks.
I am always frustrated by the misuse of “survival of the fittest”. It’s just the most appropriate, folks. Doesn’t have to be big, strong, and pretty.
And I love it when they bring “luck” into it. Any greater confusing force will do when you’re stuck in a corner.
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