Monday, December 1, 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics...and Pure Ebola Bull$#!^

(AP)Liberia and Guinea have met a Dec. 1 target for isolating 70 percent of people infected with Ebola and safely burying 70 percent of those who die, the World Health Organization said Monday.
Only last week, the U.N. health agency had said only Guinea was on track to meet the targets for getting the deadly Ebola outbreak under control in the three hardest-hit West African countries.
But at a news conference in Geneva, WHO's Dr. Bruce Aylward said the organization had revised its conclusion based on more analysis of its data. Sierra Leone also probably met the targets in the west of the country, he said, and likely will improve to the 70 percent target nationwide "in the coming weeks."
Aylward also told reporters that WHO's ambitious plan to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shown it possible to quickly reduce the "yawning gap" between disease levels and the capacity to respond.
"You can catch up with Ebola even on this scale," he said.
However, he added that it "doesn't mean you're automatically going to get to zero" cases and eliminate unsafe burials without more cooperation among organizations, communities, citizens and country leaders.
It is also important for people who have changed their behavior to reduce the disease risks to avoid becoming complacent, he said.
WHO launched its Ebola plan two months ago to isolate 70 percent of the sick and safely bury 70 percent of the victims in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by December 1.
But the U.N. and others have predicted that Ebola will continue to sicken people in West Africa and possibly elsewhere until sometime next year.

Sure they did. Except for the part about only having 20% of the infected in treatment beds.

Or maybe WHO, and the AP, think that overcome by some tryptophan rush since Turkey Day, we forgot all about this little gem issued only last week, as folks rushed home to stock up on stuffing and cranberry sauce, and start marinating the bird:
 In its release of the latest figures on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said both Sierra Leone and Liberia appeared to be far behind the U.N.-set goal of isolating 70 percent of patients by Dec. 1, with only about 20 percent isolated in each country.
Seriously, Assclowns, do you really figure we all have the attention span of methed-out gnats?? A 50% increase in only the last four days?!? Mirabile dictu, and magically and purely coincidentally, just in time for the Dec. 1st deadline??!!??

Apparently, the only doctors still practicing in Liberia are SPIN DOCTORS.
This is worse than watching a naked guy trying to pull rabbits out of a hat.
This is watching a retarded naked guy trying to pull rabbits out of a hat.

We see the bunny, you jackasses.
Don't quit your day jobs.

Related news:
Those 1000 Liberian deaths they "forgot" to include in their Ebola totals until last week?
Apparently, Liberia realized that Something Else must have actually killed them, but they're absolutely POSITIVE it couldn't have been the Ebola, nosiree Bob, not a chance, honest, we swear.
Dec 1 (Reuters) - A surge in Ebola deaths reported by the World Health Organization at the weekend was due to about 1,000 Liberian deaths wrongly ascribed to the disease that would be removed, WHO assistant director general Bruce Aylward said on Monday."Liberia's figures came in but they've since said these were actually non-Ebola deaths that were reported as part of our Ebola deaths and we will be taking them off. So the whole world went up and the whole world will come down again," he told reporters.
Data published at the weekend put Liberia's death toll at 4,181, up from 3,016 two days earlier.
Call Ripley's.
Apparently this here's the first reported casualties of the Giant Liberian People Eater.
And the Liberian government officials who sacked other Liberian government officials for misreporting Ebola deaths, have just been sacked by NEW Liberian government officials.
So you can believe these figures. Would Liberia lie to you?
This is comedy gold, and it writes itself, I swear.


Andrew said...

It'd be comedy gold if it weren't a roughly 90% fatal disease.

Which, seemingly, nobody is taking seriously, except for you and a few others.

Every weekend I come and "See what Aesop has uncovered/reported/shown the light of day upon" and hope, that you're going to say, "THEY FIXED IT! EVERYBODY HAVE A PARTY, EBOLA IS CONTAINED, WE'RE SO FIXED!! DRINKS ARE ON ME!" but nooooo...

slowpoke said...

You have to keep in mind. That press release telling how they contained it was drafted right after they set the goal. They simply forget to remove it from the "to be automagically released" pile.

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

geoffb said...

Sorry this is somewhat OT for this post.

This is something I figured was happening since the Ebola virus mis-copies once every 1000 base pairs which means 19 changes on average each replication and that in a person would select for copies that could more easily enter that person's particular genetic variant cells and replicate.

"The Ebola and Lassa group, led by Pardis Sabeti, wants to know what the viruses look like. Do they mutate while they are infecting people, possibly evading the immune system? Are some strains more deadly than others? And what about the genetics of the people who are infected? Are some people more resistant, perhaps even immune, to these viruses because of tweaks in their own genes?
While Dr. Sabeti and others work on Ebola, they also are working on Lassa and asking the same questions.
Dr. Sabeti’s interest in Lassa was piqued seven years ago, before there was an Ebola epidemic, and before sequencing reached today’s low price and fast speed. She had decided to look at already-determined DNA sequences from people around the world with a simple question: Are there new gene mutations, ones that only recently emerged in a population, that might protect against disease? The idea was that if a disease entered a population and was deadly, those who carried a protective mutation would survive and reproduce and soon that good mutation would become common.

She saw one such mutation in Nigeria — it was a slight tweak in a gene and so common that 34 percent of the population there has it. The gene, called LARGE, is 10 to 50 times bigger than other genes. The gene still functioned, but why did so many people have this variation?

It turned out that the role of the LARGE gene was well known, studied by Dr. Michael B.A. Oldstone at Scripps and his colleagues. LARGE modifies a protein on the surface of cells that the virus uses as an entryway. Without LARGE, that group found, Lassa cannot get into cells.

Now that was interesting, Dr. Sabeti thought. Could the little tweak she had found in LARGE among so many Nigerians make it harder for the virus to infect them?

Lassa had been in Nigeria for about 1,000 years. If this gene mutation was protecting people, how would she know? Dr. Sabeti looked at DNA sequences from Sierra Leone, where Lassa entered about 150 years ago. Ten percent had the mutation in the LARGE gene.

Elsewhere in the world, the mutation was unheard-of. This told her that it was likely that the mutation was protective. To confirm her suspicion, she had to get data — cells from people who were exposed to Lassa and fell ill and those with similar exposure who resisted the virus. That way, she could test whether the LARGE mutation was linked to a better outcome. It is a difficult project and still underway, but so far, based on a small set of data, the mutation in LARGE does appear to be protective."

Aesop said...

That was almost the exact closing line I was going to add.

And as tired of this as you are, imagine how I feel, when day after day it's a non-stop @$$clown show...

geoffb said...

I wonder if the numbers, the reporting of numbers, in Liberia have a political component related to President Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her son Robert Sirleaf, who is running for the Senate seat that the capital is in, continuing in power? Wouldn't be the first politician to play with reported numbers in the run-up to an election.

'Ms. Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel in 2011 for her work as Africa’s first elected female president, has been skewered in Liberia for her handling of the outbreak. Ordinary Liberians complain of paying the price for her missteps.
The president also has drawn criticism for appointing two of her sons to prominent positions at the national security agency and a national oil company. Another son, a doctor who lives in the U.S., scaled back his medical charity’s work in Liberia just as the Ebola epidemic exploded. Ms. Johnson Sirleaf, meanwhile, fired senior officials who had left the country in fear.

The president acknowledged that she didn’t grasp the scope of the threat Ebola presented at first. “This was a strange enemy for us,” she said. “I did not know what to do.
“It’s possible we’ll have a flare-up here, there, that would prevent the goal of zero new cases by Christmas,” the president said. “But there’s not going to be reversal. We’ve got too much all set.” '

Hope is a powerful thing to hold out to people beset by such a horrible disease atop all their other problems. I pray that it is not one to be dashed from being merely an election ploy.

One good thing that is coming out of this is the focus of so many on finding better ways to deal with Ebola, in particular, and viral disease in general.

geoffb said...


I apologize for the extended comments with quotes. If such are a problem please just say so and I'll not.

I'm used to commenting at a place where it is common to do so.

I truly appreciate this site as a place where this disease is taken seriously. Thank you for it.

Bezzle said...

Derperia scores again:

"Liberia: Four more health workers contract Ebola

The head of the Incident Management System (IMS) of Liberia’s Ministry of Health, Tolbert Nyenswah has confirmed that four more health workers in Montserrado County have contracted Ebola.Speaking to journalists in Monrovia on Monday, Nyenswah said the latest infections were reported at private clinics and homes where there are no sufficient health precautionary regimes against the disease which has killed over 2000 people in Liberia.

According to Nyenswah who is also assistant minister of health for preventive services, this brings to more than 300 Ebola infections among health care givers with more than 100 deaths among them, since the outbreak began in March.

“The new infections among these health workers should constitute a somber reminder to Liberians that Ebola is still in the country and people should stop playing doctors’ role and rather report all forms of illnesses to hospitals" Nyenswah admonished.

Nyenswah disclosed that the four health workers are being catered for at the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) situated on the Robertsfield highway.

The MMU is financed by the American government and jointly operated by the United States military and the Armed Forces of Liberia."

geoffb said...

The thing that always stands out about the official figures is the differences between the three countries.

Guinea with a population equal to the other two combined has the smallest number of cases but the highest rate of death. This is both looking at the numbers for a certain date and the more realistic number of comparing deaths with the case number of 2 weeks prior.

Liberia has the smallest population and a density like Guinea but has the largest number of cases but with a death rate down a ways from Guinea.

Sierra Leone has 50% more people than Liberia but only 2/3rds that of Guinea and a population density twice that of the other two and it is now close to Liberia in cases but has a much lower death rate that either of the others.

These things do not compute. I suspect that the true death rate is above 70% in all countries and that the cases reported are only a fraction of the true numbers if there can ever be any such numbers in such conditions both physical and political.

Aesop said...

It's clear to me that the "official" numbers have no bearing on reality, and never have.

Up until a month ago, they were obviously off, but throwing a constant correction of 2x-3x, one could arrive somewhere in the vicinity of ground reality.

Now, with the governments, particularly Liberia, actively cooking the books daily, foreign reporters gone, and internal press jailed, threatened, or both when they point out the obvious discrepancies, the numbers - from which WHO/CDC/MSM/Wiki all derive their published data, are completely notional and demonstrably farcical.

Every time someone on the scene reports in, the descriptions are 10x worse than the numbers would indicate: villages bereft of signs of life, entire districts depopulated, etc.

The only thing I can liken it to is early reports of the Holocaust coming out of Germany amidst the war, which proved to be orders of magnitude worse once the camps were liberated, and the actual mounds of corpses ad meticulous records of the dead turned up.

I suspect we won't really know how bad this was except by inference, after a few years, and another attempt at a census, and it becomes apparent how far and wide it actually spread to account for the new (de)population numbers.

Don't worry about the extended comments; as long as they're generally on topic, no worries.

Anonymous said...


WRT mutations, the issue is the difference between viral and human generations. Human generations run about every 20 years, while viral generations are seconds to minutes.

Now, genetic recombination could be a game changer in this regard, but that technology is still in it's infancy.

Anonymous said...

Ebola doesn't act different than other diseases till the late stages. So with out easy and effective tests there is no way to know how many are currently infected. How do you meet 70% of an unknown number other than to pull it out the ass.

Anonymous said...