Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Nothing (Good) To See Here

UPDATE: Today's Ebola box score (with figures from WHO 8/24 report):
117 Ebola cases  
73 dead
3,421 contacts.
So the metric to watch is to see what that looks like in 21 days.
I.e., From 8/3-8/24, they went from 33 deaths to 72, so it's doubling a bit faster than expected. Not good.
On or about 9/14, if they have 144 deaths, they're on track for no control on the outbreak.
The first batch were the people infected largely before the outbreak was detected, because you're always behind the curve with this disease.
The 40 or so who've died since 8/3 are the second wave.
The 72 probable between now and 9/14 are the next wave.
If the dead count is less than 144 then - assuming the counting is accurate (because Africa) - that means vaccinations and so on are slowing the spread. That would be hopeful news.
If it's 144 or more, that's very, very bad.
That the contacts they need to trace have already quadrupled in three weeks is the reason epidemics become pandemics.
One other note on the panel on Wikipedia:
IGNORE their published CFR.
They're doing it wrong.
Allow me to explain:
The death rate isn't the number dead now vs. the number infected now.
Ebola isn't a lightning bolt.
In 2014, Duncan, with first-world ICU care, took 10 days to die.
He'd been sick several days before that.
In Africa, a week, or two, or more between obvious infection, and death, is not uncommon.
So if you're going to be honest, look at how many cases they had 21 days ago (that time span being the rough average of 5-42 days between contraction and appearance of Ebola) and how many dead people they have now.
21 days ago, there were 76 cases. Today, there are 72 dead.
That's a CFR of 95%.
So unless they're going to publish survivor numbers, this thing is doing what you'd expect it to do in Africa: it's killing 95% of the people who catch it.
It's like scoring bowling. With strikes and spares, you know you have to go a frame or three back, to get the correct current score.
You can shorten the time frame to the average number of days an infected person lives in a Congolese Ebola clinic, or you can tell us how many of the people infected  two weeks ago are dead now, and how many have recovered; those are both statistically honest options. Anything else is b.s.ing with numbers, and purely dishonest.
And whatever mook at Wikipedia is skewing the percentage should know that (and either isn't savvy enough to grasp this simple epidemiological concept, or someone there is holding their thumb on the scale). It's a coin-toss there; you can guess which option, stupid or evil, is more likely. Neither one makes them look very good. If they plead "we're just re-posting the numbers from WHO", which are the numbers from DRCongo, that's fine, but it simply underlines the biggest problem with Ebola: Africa wins again. (h/t KDT)
UPDATE (8/30): Going to the WHO source document as of 8/28, there have been 75 deaths, 25 are in hospital, and 18 people have recovered (Three are apparently in limbo...). Which gives a CFR back in reality, at 80.6%, IOW the exact death rate in nearly every Ebola outbreak since it first appeared. Which means of the 25 hospitalized in clinic, 20 more will die.
Unless this either
a) crosses an international border,
b) appears in a major (pop. > 1M) city, or
c) some modern Thomas Duncan gets through an airport and brings it outside DRCongo,
d) something really major happens, internationally
we're still keeping an eye on this, but won't be talking about it much, if at all, for the next three weeks. Anything other than that, grim as it may be, will just be Africa being Africa.
Which it does just fine whether we watch, or not.
I brought it up at all, because it's moved into being a thing, and mainly - since neither you nor I can affect what's happening 6000 miles away - as a reminder to make sure (or start making sure) you could ride things out at home if this goes as sideways as - or, God forbid, worse than - it did in 2014. Which is well within the possible likely course of action.
This is not the all-Ebola blog, never was, nor ever will be. There is too much comedy, serendipity, and general mockable fuckery, both professional and amateur, going on in the world besides just this, to focus so narrowly. If all Hell breaks loose, and this turns into a 2014 do-over clown show, complete with TPTB importing the disease to the US, we can talk about that then. I covered it pretty intensely, to the limit of available sources in fact, in 2014, but mainly because the hubris and outright stupidity was breathtaking in its scope and depth; it was like coming across an ocean looking for the Spice Islands, and instead discovering a new continent.
Between now, and then (or, hopefully, not), just get your crap together, literally, and check your plans. Get informed, lock down the preparations for SHTF just in case, and then move along. If there are any questions, ask them, even in comments to other posts, but it ain't going to be my 24/7/365 focus, ever, unless I'm hunkered down behind barbed wire, and you are too.
And one other thing:
Think happy thoughts.
And be sure and take some Tylenol and drink a lot of water after your celebrations on the passing of our newest ex-senator. It'll make the post-celebratory hangovers a bit less uncomfortable.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU Aesop for tracking this at the level warranted. Unfortunately is is now becoming a "thing"; but I can use your assessments to perhaps bring a measure of reality to those who need it.

G-man said...

Last time, we eventually had the benefit of intel analysts from the 101st posting daily unclassified INTSUMS. IIRC, it was apparent that the only reason we didn't get further along the doubling timeline was the fact that it was in a sparsely populated area in the jungle. Along the eastern border of DR Congo (near Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), the population density is approximately 4x that of Guinea. Additionally, with this episode's proximity to large number of refugees in a much less permissive environment... this will likely get a LOT worse before it gets better.

Earlier outbreaks (pre-2014) had significantly more press coverage, because it was understood to be A Big Thing™. With the suppression of appropriate coverage post 2014, this will likely hit international headlines the day AFTER someone gets positively diagnosed outside Africa, which is weeks after the genie is out of the bottle.

Aesop said...

As previously noted, this is going to go pear-shaped.
That said, get ready.
I'm only going to drop in on it about every 21 days, barring an eruption outside the hot zone.

The Gray Man said...

"It's a coin-toss there; you can guess which option, stupid or evil, is more likely."

I would tell you to consult Hanlon's Razor, but then again, there is no shortage of evil, or in Hanlon's word, malice, running around these days.

Unfortunately for West Africa, there is a population, large or small, of infected but undetected people running around doing all things UNsanitary, and probably NOTHING sanitary.

Pat H. said...

Don't leave out Marburg virus, it may be worse than Ebola. My wife insists on a subscription to National Geographic, the most recent issue has a story about a photographer that catches bat shit in his eye, the group of bats were known to be Marburg carriers. Of course, dickhead came back to the US for treatment.


Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

JI assume the 21 days is the time from first getting the bug to dying?
ust for the sake of discussion while we can calmly discuss it (and just because I think the question would apply if we were talking smallpox or something else instead of Ebola)...
What is the course of action to plan for if things break out in the U.S. in a big way?
Call in sick and don't leave the house for three weeks? Make that six weeks? Head for the hills and live in a cave until the radios stations say it's over? ...?
I figure in any case probably should also plan for electricity, water and waste disposal to go out too along the way because municipal workers would also be affected...

A final thought... Because I just have to say say it... I think that in any such case of terrible widespread disaster in the US some form of Martial Law would be in force and the military would be called up to enforce order. Although it's dangerous to give near total power to someone and assume they will always have the best intentions no matter who the person is, it warms my heart that at least Trump is in office instead of Hillary...

Aesop said...

If it was a concern here, you'd want to bunker in for eight weeks minimum after the last reported case. The incubation window is 5-42 days, add a week after that at the long end before a person becomes obviously infected and shows full involvement, and you're already at 7+ weeks.

And given that commercial radio/TV stations may be affected, along with everything else, news may be a luxury too.

Got comms?

Being able to talk to a HAM 20-50-100-500 miles away could be lifesaving.
It may also become the de facto news, depending on how bad things get, and far less subject to government news "massaging" the truth of reality.

Stealth Spaniel said...

Thanks for the latest. I always trust your analysis of disease events. Because of first world medicine, people are oh-so-casual about these things in the FUSA. Yet, my mother was born in 1920-and she told me about how people tried to avoid polio growing up. It was a killer for many. Today, like smallpox and TB, mostly eradicated in this country due to those dreaded vaccines-until it isn't. Germs are resilient things and they are part of nature for you organic people. On a personal note, my next knee replacement is scheduled for October. What timing!

Haxo Angnmartk said...

so...assuming Ebola-Chan stays confined to

the Dark Continent,

Y is this bad? The Judeo-globalists have already told us that

after they run out of Muslims and Mestizos to invade teh White nations,

(((they))) intend to finish us off by importing 1 billion black African orcs.

every fertile male/female Congoid that dies now is a good thing for Whites.

Aesop said...

And if only you could insure that outcome alone, you'd have a point.

As it is, we've already had the experiment get out of the lab, and we know how that turned out. One of these times, it's going to make its way to Mecca during the hajj. Which would also not be a bad thing initially, for about five minutes, right up until it then proceeded outwards to the ends of the earth at 550MPH via 767, as it would.

And then it's a planet-wide shitshow of biblical proportions.

There's a reason nobody sane has used, nor would use, bio-weapons.
It's the same reason you don't fight with hand grenades inside a phone booth.

TrT said...

"What is the course of action to plan for if things break out in the U.S. in a big way?"
There isnt one

"I figure in any case probably should also plan for electricity, water and waste disposal to go out too along the way because municipal workers would also be affected..."
Utilities are likely to be fairly resilient, they mostly run on auto pilot these days, but yes.

"A final thought... Because I just have to say say it... I think that in any such case of terrible widespread disaster in the US some form of Martial Law would be in force and the military would be called up to enforce order."
Hence would 25* General Barbie McDeskjob make trigger puller Steve leave him family and the relative safety of an isolated, secured, armed and supplied military base to go and "enforce order" in a starving, rioting, plague infected metropolis of 10million?

Aesop said...

1) Pretty much.
If this breaks out anywhere in a big way, that place is f**ked, period.

2) Except for nuclear plants, or if the trucks stop delivering fuel.

3) The military - every last swinging Richard - couldn't enforce order on anything bigger than South Carolina.
And if they were spread out to exert more control, they'd be whacked in little bunches, and that would be the end of that.
If only Dallas had gone up the spout in 2014, the entire 1st Armored and 1st Infantry divisions could maybe have sealed DFW and their counties.
If this were in 2-3 cities, that's it. The .mil simply is far too small to control much, even assuming they had 100% of their own people willing, available, and on deck to play.

If it got to the DC-Boston corridor, or San Diego-San Francisco, fuggedaboudit.
At that point, that ball is out of the park, and the EAM you'll see on TV will tell you to stay home, or die, and it'll be on the honor system.

Anonymous said...

Amazed at the non invitation of certain people at the big funeral today...

I thought Tylenol was bad when you are drinking?

Aesop said...

Tylenol is bad with your drinking.
After the alcohol has been metabolized, most of the headache is dehydration for the diuretic action of your body trying to flush alcohol. (The rest is from the brain cells you killed.)
Water and Tylenol is indicated, at that point.

Anonymous said...

Read this and immediately reminded of your thoughts here. I’m sure this is nothing, and yet...