First one, and now another, commenters in comments on other posts asked an opinion on the latest Ebola outbreak:
(CNN) An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has entered a "new phase" after it spread to a large city, the country's health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, aid Wednesday.
The new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Congo, the World Health Organization confirmed Thursday.The spread of the virus from rural areas into a city has raised fears it could quickly spread and become harder to control.A total of 45 cases of hemorrhagic fever have now been reported, including 25 deaths, the health ministry said Thursday. Fourteen cases have been confirmed with laboratory tests.Until now, the cases and deaths were reported from the rural Bikoro health zone, nearly 150 kilometers from Mbandaka, allowing authorities to attempt ring-fencing vaccinations in the the affected areas.A newly confirmed case in a densely populated part of the country will complicate attempts to control the outbreak.
My original response still applies:"The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning and WHO and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area," said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa."With the new case confirmed in Mbandaka, the scenario has changed," said Henry Gray, an MSF emergency coordinator in Mbandaka. "It is paramount to trace the suspect case in order to have a clearer view on how it reached the city."In Mbandaka and Bikoro, 514 people who may have been in contact with infected people have been notified by national health authorities and are being monitored, according to MSF.
One case is just one case. No big deal.I didn't like sportscasting the end of the world the last time, and I'll be dragged to it again only kicking and screaming.
It's when it starts morphing to two, four, eight, 16, 32 in a few weeks (like it does)that it starts getting dicey. In a city of over 1M just improves the odds that it hops a plane to another continent before anyone's looking for it.
If Dallas had gone to four or eight cases in 2014, it would've gotten away from us in the U.S., and we would've been off to the races.
Jackasses with double-digit IQs forget that at the latter stage of the 2014 outbreak crisis, we had exactly one open BL-IV patient bed left, for the entire United States.
After that, hospitals become ghost towns pretty quickly.
One can only hope that both WHO, and TPTB in this administration are brighter than the unmitigated and incompetent @$$clowns showcased in the last one in 2014, who came within a whisker of getting everyone everywhere killed. No shit.
There are three posts from my Greatest Hits album you should probably refresh your memory upon.
Logarithmic Growth 101 : How Ebola doubles in the real world.
TL;DR: We are currently at between a 4 and a 5, on a 33-point scale of whether or not to panic. So we're still in the "small potatoes" phase.
(To recap, a 10 is 1000 cases. A 20 is just shy of 1M. A 30 is entire continents. 33 is functionally everybody.)
Do The Math : This is a breakdown of what the actual US resources are for dealing with Ebola.
TL;DR: 23 beds. It's actually worse than that: it turns out the hospitals in question are only staffed for 11 beds. For the entire U.S. At the height of things in 2014, we had 10 patients in those 11 beds. we were two actual patients away from everything turning to shite, just like Liberia/Sierra Leone/Guinea,because we were down to one open bed.
Surfing USA : how to deal with Ebola, if and when it comes here, and overwhelms our ability to treat it.
TL;DR: Forget masks. Stock up on food and water. And bullets.
You have a couple of things going for you this time around.
1) Obozo and his team of @$$clowns aren't running the show.
(That, dear friends, is yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.)
2) There's a new Ebola vaccine that shows some promise, unlike last time around:
The World Health Organization, which earlier this week deployed 4,000 doses of experimental vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Congo to control the outbreak, described the situation as "a concerning development."The Ebola vaccine being provided -- called rVSV-ZEBOV -- has been shown to be safe in humans and highly effective against the Ebola virus, according to the WHO.A 2016 study found it to be 100% effective in trials in Guinea in coordination with the country's Ministry of Health after the 2014-15 outbreak.
The other shoes dropping:
1) The virus may have mutated, rendering the vaccine ineffective already.
2) This outbreak has already blown past the vaccine-ring they tried to throw around it, either because of bacteriological factors (#1, above) or because of sloppy quarantine and human cupidity and stupidity in the region in question.
Either of these may render the vaccine approach useless, and then we're back to my Greatest Hits selection.
Since you asked.
Personally, as in the Spring of 2014, I'm hoping this is the only time I need to visit this topic this year.
But if you're a religious person, a prayer or two is in order.
Ebola, unbridled, is literally hell on earth.
Have A Nice Day.
|Image © First (White) Horseman of the Apocalypse, AKA Pestilence|