Friday, November 21, 2014
Ebola Update 11/21/2014
Looking at the latest WHO data (such as it is, with Liberia as usual electing to someday get around to coughing up some made-up numbers), what you can definitely say is this:
Sierra Leone has new cases in 100% (12/12) provinces in the last 21 days;
Liberia has new cases in 75% (10 out of 15) provinces in that same period;
Guinea has new cases in 50% (16 out of 33) provinces.
Mali's fatalities are all 6 of the confirmed cases, while they are following 327 exposure contacts in the capitol.
Of the confirmed and admitted cases worldwide, there are 100+ fresh confirmed cases per day, every day, and the most intense number of new cases in every instance is in the capitols of the respective countries, in each case among cities of around 1M persons.
In short, none of this points to outbreaks being any sort of controlled, nor even slackening much. The only thing that is certain is that people aren't coming to official treatment centers, thus not getting tested and confirmed as official cases, which seems to suit the respective governments just fine, and feed their penchant for minimizing the degree of infection, which their general illiteracy and innumeracy tends to support as well.
The only actual good news is that no one new - yet - has managed to drag their infected asses into London, Paris, the U.S., or apparently anywhere else, largely due to the recent travel bans and mandatory returnee quarantines, even as international aid to those countries has increased, and thus totally undermining any and all of the specious arguments against adopting those travel sanctions from the outset.
And even that thin reed breaks the minute there's one solid cluster of cases anywhere outside the now four affected/infected countries.
How much worse reality is than the cooked "official" numbers is would be anyone's guess, since the governments involved have notably cracked down on any reporting that doesn't accord with their own rosy figures, and outsider journalism worthy of the name has essentially departed, with most "reporting" done second- or third-hand, via telephone, fly-by, or from the bar outside the relevant agencies' briefing rooms, and a none-too-subtle deliberate spiking of reports and squelching of anything resembling actual reporting here in the US. Note, for example, finding out how many febrile symptomatic travelers have been intercepted is like asking for the nuclear weapon launch codes, or getting a confirmed sighting of Ebola Czar Klain, who surfaced precisely once in the last month for about 15 minutes, then submerged again to points unknown. (The chief benefit of which has been to stop rubbing the entire nation's noses in the limitless and studied assclownery of Drs. Frieden and Fauci, by throwing a shepherd hook around them both, and dragging them out of press briefing rooms non-stop since mid-October. This administration may still not have the first effing clue about handling Ebola, but they at least understand how to control the lazy and stupid bastards in the media, starve them of easy stories, and make further Ebola outbreak coverage resemble a sportscast of submarine races. Mission accomplished.)
The only other mildly cheery observation is that none of the hubris and happygas of officialdom so wall-to-wall prevalent two months ago is in evidence anywhere, so the one thing you can remain assured of is that there's nothing good to report whatsoever, else the gas-passers, and their media lickspittles would be only too cheerfully passing it along by the shovel-load.
So consider this a momentary respite, to continue to get your own stuff together, and hope that things continue in this vein for as long as possible, if not actually improve. If or when things begin to fall apart in W. Africa, or a solid cluster of cases appears outside it, it will become rather hard to cover up, and the sudden panic will bubble a bit higher in each succeeding wave, and become harder to whitewash.