Sunday, January 20, 2019

January Ebola Update

Just checking in, nothing really major.
TL;DR: Same-same, trending to really bad eventually. 
But it's been 21 days since my last update, so here's where it stands:

They've now vaccinated over 60,000 people in the area of DRC overrun with Ebola.
That, and that alone, is the only reason the outbreak there is still "only" into triple digits, instead of being the West Africa Ebola Outbreak of 2014, and racking up tens of thousands. Those vaccinated represent the 60,000 victims who would have probably been in the infected and dead tally now, except the experimental vaccine appears to work pretty flawlessly, AFAWK.

Despite that one small sliver of hope, per the latest (14 January 2019) WHO report, they've had an additional 100+ cases (a 20% total increase in 3 weeks), the suspected cases now become confirmed with near 100% certainty in a week or two, the actual kill ratio (dead now versus infected 21 days ago) is still running at 75%, not the happy-gas 60% number which they (WHO and Wikistupidia) keep putting out, despite knowing that the disease doesn't kill people instantly, but takes 2-3 weeks or so to do the job, and the areas that are listed as the longest number of days with the fewest new reported cases are also the ones where the health workers have been chased out by armed militias, no one's tracking contacts there because they cannot, the treatment centers have been burned, and bodies of victims have been stolen back from quarantine by relatives for the traditional let's-rub-our-hands-on-Grandpa's-Ebola-festered-corpse funeral preparations.

In short, the data is best there because it's missing entirely.
Africa wins again.

Meanwhile, the newest case is in an area 50 miles west of the furthest spread before now, IOW their half-assed Congolese quarantine and travel checkpoint scheme is working about like you'd expect (i.e. not at all), and so this is spreading towards the megapolii in the interior of the country, and should pop up in a major international city any time in the next couple of months, unless the universe shows a level of concern for our species hitherto absent for several billion years.

The only other happy news is that the bordering countries, under no illusions how bad Ebola would be, have instituted pretty draconian restrictions where they can, and the outbreak is slackening in the eastern border regions somewhat.

Unfortunately, that temporary slackening could be undone by even one infected person from the hotter zones hopping in a cab, or driving a truck there, or taking a walk through the jungle off the paved roads, and starting the fire anew overnight, which no one will know about for 10-21 days, when the new case finally hits the tracker map.

In short, the whole central African clown show continues to keep festering along, until it hits some target-rich environment, and gets out of the bottle again. Like it does.

At current course and speed, we hit a Level 10 on the 34-Level Ebola Panic Meter by end of February.
Concerning (still) but not really a big deal.

I remain confident that WHO and DRC can manage to royally f**k humanity yet, and turn this into another true pandemic catastrophe, but clearly the vaccine is hampering their usual incompetence to a very small degree.

Enjoy that while it lasts.

If we assume the people getting vaccinated are definitionally the luckier/smarter percentage, perhaps Ebola can cull the stupid 10%, and burn itself out, before it takes ahold in even more populous teeming slums in the bigger cities. Those would be the ones with international airports.


Night driver said...

Well, they tested "Ring Vaccinations" with Small Pox more than a few decades ago and found that this technique worked THEN.

What they needed for Ebola was a reasonably effective vax. Looks like they found one.

Retired cop said...

The question would seem to be, "has any nation or large organization taken note and begun to set up certification trials and prepare for some mass production of the vaccine?" That would show some amazing foresight, preparing for a major emergency beforehand to the effect that the emergency doesn't happen. Can't say I'm all that confident.

RSR said...

Vox report on drudge, dated 1/19:

:Just this week, DRC’s health ministry confirmed four cases of the deadly virus in Kayina, a town in North Kivu, where fighting among rebel and militia groups has repeatedly interrupted the painstaking work of health workers who are responding to the outbreak.

Kayina happens to be halfway between Butembo, currently one of the outbreak’s most worrisome hotspots, and Goma, where a million people live.

So far, the outbreak has not affected DRC’s biggest cities. But Ebola in Kayina “raises the alarm” for Ebola reaching Goma, Peter Salama, the head of the new Health Emergencies Program at the World Health Organization, told Vox on Friday."

Domo said...

Smallpox only infects humans and has a short infection period.
Ring vaccination eradicated it.
Ebola infects unknown other species and "cured" people remain infectious for a significant period of time.

It's the best method of controlling the outbreak but it isn't a solution, there may not be one, even if everyone world wide was vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that large doses of gamma radiation can be quite successful in containing the spread of otherwise uncontrollable diseases like Ebola, and that one dose, applied to the entire population does it.

Aesop said...

Do a self-test, and let us know how that works out for ya.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for these Ebola updates. I appreciate your work keeping us informed.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, I think he was invoking Ripley on LV426. Its the only way to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Yup, nuke it from orbit. Napalm's kind of messy.
Trump should have let Pelousies plane leave and then redirected it to the Congo for dinner.


MEALONE said...

If e-bubblelip-bola hits in the West it will be addressed faster than a Trump/Russia rumor. HIV wandered in from the same continent as I remember. No one ever really asked how it started and how it got to the West except by "freedom of travel" theories. Then it became a plague on the "tippy-toe" population and suddenly sodomites and perverts of all kinds became the poster children for "save the world". Hmmmm,folks have NO memory circuits it seems. Who, What, When, Where, How, Why? And, Quo Bono? Who profits?
There is no such thing as coincidence or accidents.

Pat H. said...

There was a link to an Ebola story on Drudge this morning. The headline was, "Ebola marches towards large town". It appears that story is gone now. Wish I'd copied the link when I had the chance.

As some know, I'm a health care professional, now retired. The Ebola threat to the US is real and needs to be taken seriously.

George True said...

I have an acquaintance who is a PhD in microbiology and works for CDC. He has his own lab at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. His specialty is food-borne illnesses. When you hear on the news of an outbreak of e-coli, salmonella, norovirus, etc somewhere in the US, it is usually Marvin and his small Go-team that are sent there to investigate and contain it.

I would usually run into Marvin at least once a week, and I always found his backstory of the latest outbreak quite fascinating. Then in the summer of 2014 I did not see him for several months. When I did see him again and asked him, "Hey, where ya been?", he told me that he had just returned from two months in Sierra Leone where he had been sent by CDC to help with the Ebola epidemic.

Marvin related some very scary stuff to me. A lot of it had to do with local health workers trying to do their best with very limited resources. As such, they would sometimes practice inadequate suiting up procedures, and inadequate decontamination protocols after treating Ebola patients. And he told me that sometimes it was difficult to get the locals to fully appreciate the need for strict adherence to established protocols. So it was not always a lack of resources, but sometimes an attitude of laziness and inattention to details that caused problems.

He also told me of an entire tent city that was build by the US Army to receive Ebola patients that was never used. Partly due to government incompetence, and partly due to the fact that the epidemic was burning itself out by then.

But the scariest thing Marvin told me about was how stretched to the breaking point that CDC was. Their strategic thinking was good - fight the epidemic over there to prevent it from breaking out here. But they had to send everyone they had. The first people they sent of course were their communicative disease specialists. Then they sent their bird flu specialists, their anthrax specialists, their MRSA people, and then they sent Marvin and all the other food-borne specialists. They literally had no one left to send. Had the epidemic continued to spread and broken out here, CDC would have very likely been overwhelmed.

So regarding the prior comment by Me Alone, don't be so sure that we would even have the ABILITY to address an Ebola outbreak here 'faster than a Trump/Russia rumor'. According to Aesop, there is a grand total of something like nine or ten beds in the entire US that are capable of dealing with an Ebola patient. Combine that with a CDC that would be severely undermanned in such a crisis, and you have the potential for a nightmare scenario of biblical proportions.

Aesop said...


Either you were in a coma in 2014, or you have the memory of a fruit fly.
Google Ebola Dallas, then get back to me.

One case of Ebola gets here, and it's a shitty day.
Twenty cases, and its SHTF time.

We have 11 BL-IV beds, total, for all of North America.
0 in Mexico.
0 in Canada.

In 2014, at the peak of the outbreak, 10 of them were in use.

Shrimp said...

Speaking of which (BL-IV beds), what is up with the person brought back and placed in faux-quarantine in Nebraska? Haven't seen anything on that since Dec 30... Can't find anything either.

George True said...

Yes, I was aware of the Ebola cases that came here. First the guy who flew to Dallas from West Africa, causing the entire hospital to be evacuated, and I think it went bankrupt and was closed. Then one of the nurses who treated that guy, and who decided she didn't need to be in isolation. And was walking around New England potentially infecting dozens more. I know there were a few other cases, possibly vectored off of patient zero in Dallas.

So yes, I was aware of the handful of cases that ended up here. I just didn't think I necessarily needed to mention them in order to make my point, which was that we are still ill-equipped to deal with a real Ebola outbreak here. I apologize if I unintentionally gave the impression that NO Ebola cases ended up in the US.

George True said...

I think it was subsequently announced that he did not have Ebola after all.

Aesop said...

George True,
You perhaps didn't notice my response was directed not to you, but rather

George True said...

Oh. Now it makes sense to me. My apologies.

ADS said...

In addition to this excellent idea, we should go further and apply this treatment to areas of high immigration in the United States to safeguard against that infection vector. Washington DC should also get this treatment as a prophylactic measure to safeguard our precious ruling class from any potential disease threat.

jen said...

George, small correction. Nurse dipshit in new england, who refused to quarantine, had never had contact with Dallas patient. She had returned from some medical project in Africa, where her roommate got Ebola. The ICU nurse in Texas was the one who flew to ohio to put a wedding store out of business after it was discovered she'd tried on all their dresses while ill.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Vice camera guy who got it and ended up back here for treatment. It's a shame they went all lefty, they were the only video team on the ground in africa doing stories like they were doing. Watch their WROL series from just before the ebola outbreak. Since they were already there, ABCBS hired them as shooters (video kind) and managed to get one of them sick while doing coverage of the outbreak.


Pat H. said...

Today on Drudge.

Aesop said...

It hasn't really "surged", they're just covering it because of the new president.

The MSM will ignore this until a case pops up in the 1st world, then they'll start beating the headless chicken panic drums 24/7.

Like they do.

Reziac said...

For those interested in the development of difficult vaccines, including ebola, a presentation from my alma mater:

You'll have to fish through it yourself for the content, and there are lengthy dead spots, like the beginning. 7 hours long but most quite informative on newer methods.

Anonymous said...

It's only a scare this time!