Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things Fall Apart

 President and his CDC and policy advisors pose for picture after latest Ebola strategy meeting.

Doctors and nurses in Liberia flee hospitals:
A new and remarkably candid on-the-ground audit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ebola crisis in Liberia said that doctors and nurses have fled hospitals in the infection zone and that obstacles to killing the virus remain.
 And the lack of medical staff seemed to surprise the report authors. “Before the epidemic, six physicians served all four counties. At the time of the evaluation, only three physicians remained; the others had left Liberia because of the epidemic. In two of four hospitals assessed, nursing staff members were not coming to work or had abandoned facilities; in another hospital, health care providers had not been paid for three months but were still providing basic care,” said the analysis.

Mission creep: We've gone from "none whatsoever" to "several dozen". Next stop: lots!

A few dozen U.S. troops will have exposure to laboratory samples from potential Ebola patients by running testing facilities in Liberia, the head of U.S. Africa Command said.
While most of the 4,000 troops authorized to deploy to the west African country won’t have direct exposure to the virus -- as Pentagon officials have previously emphasized -- three or four specially trained personnel will run each of as many as seven testing labs, Army General David Rodriguez said today at a Pentagon news conference.

Bear in mind that we don't have MOPP gear that's made for Ebola; our military stuff is intended for chemical agents far more than for dealing with oozing blood, or bloody vomit and feces:
The JSLIST can be worn in a contaminated environment for 24 hours. In addition, JSLIST users must keep track of how long the JSLIST suit has been out of its original packaging bag, and how many times it has been washed. The limit for wearing the suit is 45 days total and the limit for washing it is six times. Once the suit is taken out of its bag, it's good for a maximum of 120 days. After any of these limits have been reached, the JSLIST suit is good only for training. Such overlimit suits are turned in and FOR TRAINING ONLY is stenciled on the outer surface.
The suits are also hot as hell, and we're talking about equatorial Africa here.

Ten days ago, Ebola getting to the US was "unlikely".
They keep using that word; I do not think it means what they think it means:
The Ebola virus becoming airborne is a possible but unlikely outcome in the current epidemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden said Tuesday.  
A change in the way Ebola spreads would make the virus significantly more dangerous. The disease kills roughly half  90% of the people it infects, and lacking a vaccine or cure, its traceable chain of transmission through bodily fluids is one reason officials believe they can contain it.

Top. Men.
ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said she was shocked and horrified at the lack of screening for Ebola at an Atlanta airport after coming back from Liberia.
Speaking to HLN on Monday, Cohen described what happened when she was going through customs at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“I expected that they were going to take my temperature, they were going to ask me lots of questions, but they didn’t,” Cohen said.
Cohen explained she told the airport official that she just came back from Liberia covering the Ebola outbreak.
“I said, ‘I’m a journalist. I’ve come back from Liberia, I was covering Ebola.’ And the gentleman who was helping me – the officer – he started to hand my passport back and said, ‘Welcome home,’ but instead said, ‘Wait a second, I got an email about passengers like you. Hold on a second.’”
Cohen continued: “And he went and conferred with someone and he didn’t know and they conferred with someone else. And in the end he said, ‘You need to watch yourself for signs of Ebola.’ And I said, ‘Well, what am I watching out for?’ and he couldn’t tell me.”
Cohen’s producer and photojournalist were also not told of the signs to check for.
“I was travelling with two colleagues – a photojournalist and a producer – and they weren’t told anything and they also said they were journalists who had been covering Ebola,” Cohen told HLN. “So we were all kind of shocked and pretty horrified at the lack of screening in U.S. airports.”

So by all means, let's keep throwing gasoline on the fire!

The spread of Ebola across Europe is "quite unavoidable", the World Health Organisation has warned as four people were in hospital after a Spanish nursing assistant became the first person known to have contracted the virus outside Africa.WHO European director Zsuzsanna Jakab has said more cases will spread in Europe.
"It is quite unavoidable ... that such incidents will happen in the future because of the  extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around," she said. 
Gotcha. The house is on fire, but blasting it with water is right out of the question.

And lastly, even the WaPo Opinion section can no longer stave off the obvious logic of shutting off the air pipeline to Ebola Central, as I hinted directly and explicitly to that very WaPo the logic for here and fully advocated here, several days beforehand. Welcome to the party, guys.

Now if only someone can throw an armlock on the serial fabulist in the White House, and overcome his boundless supply of malice and incompetence to wring out of him one stray intelligent thought, before his kakistocracy kills us all.


Always On Watch said...


Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed (Los Angeles Times

A Texan said...

Just wait fot the fun to start when people start returning home to all parts of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and even the US and Europe from...wait for it...the Hadj.

I cannot imagine that there WON'T be someone in attendance from West Africa who has been exposed to Ebola, and who will be assymptomatic upon arrival in Saudi Arabia...and there will be something like 20 million walking incubators in the area.

Monday evening I watched several re-runs of The Walking Dead, including the episode that took place largely in the CDC. The lone surviving doc there said of the zombie virus "this is our extinction event." Well, due to utter stupidity, if not outright criminal intent, this looks like it'll be right up there with the Black Death within a few months. I just hope that if there is a worldwide pandemic, some of the idiot pols responsble for enabling the spread also get it. I know that it'll be cold comfort, but I fear that there will be precious little comfort of any kind before too long.