Thursday, August 1, 2019

Ebola Update: August 2019

Perusing the most recent WHO report, and various articles, the outlook is mixed.

The Good

The rate of infection, promisingly, is slowing. In 77 days from early February to May, the outbreak doubled from 1000 cases to 2000. In the 84 days since then, it's only grown half as fast, to a shade more than 3000 cases. That's mainly a tribute to a functional experimental vaccine.

That puts us still at "only" an 11.5 (out of 34) on the Worldwide Pandemic Panic Meter©.

For reference, in 2014, the outbreak in West Africa grew from 1000 cases to 17,000 in a similar timespan "officially", which means it probably grew from 3000 cases to 50,000 cases in reality.

We are nowhere near that bad off this time. That's the difference between rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, and no vaccine.

The Bad

The disease continues to whack between 2/3rds and 3/4ths of all those infected (depending on whether you count suspected cases or not).

The usual pre-literate idiots are still shooting up aid workers, and burning down Ebola Treatment Centers, stealing corpses to fondle and slam dance with before burial, etc.

It's still subject to African authorities, and local math capabilities and accounting practices, as always.

What is more concerning are a couple of things:

1) The appearance of new cases in Goma, a city of 2M, with international flights weekly to Nairobi, Kenya and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and internal flights to Kinshasa, DRC, megopolii all, connecting flights thence to everywhere in the world.

2) The fact that medical authorities have no contact route for how the latest cases there arrived over 100 miles outside the previous "Hot" Zone. A ring 100 miles in diameter places Uganda (which already had three cases, but which outbreak seems to have spent itself rapidly), Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, let alone central areas in the DRC previously unaffected, all at high risk for the next pop-up cases.

In short, while it's spreading at a relative snail's pace, they haven't whipped it, and it's popping up (and will continue to) all over the map, amidst the poorest countries on the planet, several of which have the capability for it to blow right out of the area, and spread to new cities, and even new continents.

The Ugly

#1 is also the reason (along with seizing the moment to get more funding $upport) that WHO and the UN pulled the panic alarm on this outbreak in July. Epidemics in cities with international airports will do that.

From the WHO report:
"The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost 2 million people bordering Rwanda. The committee determined that risk of spread remains very high at national and regional levels, but still low at global level. No restrictions on trade or travel are recommended."

That last part, given that Point of Entry/Point of Contact screening relies on detecting fever, in an outbreak their own documentation from last October confirms is totally absent in 50% of confirmed Ebola cases, ensures that at some point, infected people will slip through the perfunctory kabuki theater "screenings" everywhere, and bring this outbreak to points far removed from Kivu and Ituri provinces in DRC.

That approach to containment, i.e. waiting until the horse has left the barn to lock the stall door, goes by the quaint colloquialism of "having your head up your @$$".
(You will see this material again.)

Also for reference, airfare from Goma to NYFC via Addis Ababa is $983, one way.
The only thing helpful about this is that the average per capita income in DRC is $800 per year, which ranks them at 226 (out of 228) on the world income list.

The only thing keeping Ebola in Africa, as always so far, is poverty.
If this gets into populations with somewhat more means of livelihood than $15.38/week, it goes everywhere, at the speed of 767s.

And given that medical personnel comprise 5% of the cases of this outbreak, it's worth noting that the do-gooder aid workers are required to have round trip passage in hand before they can go there. Which was how the US got 8 of its 10 cases in 2014.

But it's okay, because now we have 15 BL-IV beds.

My take on all of the above:
You're never wrong to be prepared for bad things.
Canned food takes a long time to go bad.
And we're always just one Duncan away from reliving 2014.
Assuming Bad People don't help things along in that respect, a-purpose.
You cannot and should not expect Team Allahu Akbar to stay stupid forever.

That concludes our summary for August.
With the usual caveats about African math and accounting practices, and any developments of a more troublesome nature, we will revisit this in September, unless fate takes a hand.
Questions in comments.


Anonymous said...

If you have not started prepping, it isn't too late.

Start small. Buy some water on sale. Buy some canned goods on sale. Soup, vegetables, fruit. The local store has Chef Boyardee canned pasta on sale, 4 pack $2.99, 1/2 price. Dry Rice, dry beans, pasta. Buy enough for three extra days this week. Another three days next week. And the next.

Do you have prescriptions? Do you have 30 or 90 extra days worth?

Empty the gas cans into the car and buy fresh. Do this every month.
Check on the camping equipment. Repair, replace, add to it.
Buy bleach. Keep a gallon around. Not too much, it degrades to water. Dry Clorox Bleach crystals don't.
Buy a box of nitrile gloves.

Read Aesop's Ebola Files.
Don't panic, but start making plans.
We should have months, hopefully years, maybe never. Maybe it will be flu or some other disease instead? Maybe a civil war?
Ebola isn't the only disaster to prep for.


sykes.1 said...

Ebola kills too fast to be a candidate for a global epidemic. A good candidate for a pandemic has a long incubation period and infectivity period so that it can spread widely. With ebola the whole cycle is too quick. A sick person shows up, and within a few days all the susceptibles are dead. The spread stops.

The only way to get an ebola pandemic is for some agency to artificially spread it.

A good candidate of a pandemic, one that has actually happened, is influenza. Bubonic plague is another. Bubonic plague is a good one, because it has an animal reservoir and vector.

Anonymous said...

A small escalation?

tweell said...

Sykes, that isn't necessarily so. Note that Ebola has a highly variable 'dormant' phase after initial infection. Although the mean time between infection and symptoms is around 12 days IIRC, it can be much longer. A 21 day quarantine will stop 95%, a 40 day quarantine will stop 99%. Do you feel lucky?

Also, modern air travel means that diseases can spread very quickly. An infectious person in Goma could fly to New York in less than a day, and airplanes are great disease incubators. Distance and travel time are no longer barriers to disease, and haven't been for decades.

Domo said...

"Ebola kills too fast to be a candidate for a global epidemic."

It doesn't appear to be burning out anymore
It's outbreaks have been getting longer not shorter.

Anonymous said...

"The only way to get an ebola pandemic is for some agency to artificially spread it."

Sykes, et al;

It gives me pause to consider that our enemies have yet to do so...they are not stupid, they have the minimal resources required to vector dozens of martyrs into our country. I cannot think of any other method of attack that would provide the "bang for the buck" that would bring America to the point of panic.

$2000 a head provides for a good haircut and nail trim, decent suit, economy ticket on an airline, and enough pocket money to infect any number of whores in our inner cities...not to mention hours of public transit travel, mall "ratting", etc.

So why have they not already done so?

Crew said...

Only a matter of time now until it turns up in Mexico or the US.

Marty said...

Then there is this from Zero Hedge today
Rwanda Shuts Border With DRC After Ebola Deaths Hit Border City

Tucanae Services said...

"Crew said...
Only a matter of time now until it turns up in Mexico or the US."

Not to be an echo but it has already turned up here in the US. Or don't you remember the Dallas incident?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the batteries in your preps; AAA, AA, C and D sizes. Buy lithium even though they are expen$ive. They are well worth it especially when you can't buy more.

If you need new tires, battery etc. for your vehicles now is also the time. UL approved small gasoline/diesel cans e.g. 1, 2 1/2 and 5 gallon along with fuel preservative will come in handy too.

Unfortunately most people will not prep because they are eternal optimists and don't want to acknowledge that really bad things do happen outside of TV land.

Question for Aesop et al: Although antibiotics are useless against ebola there are still going to be infections among survivors requiring antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics are available OTC where I live for veterinary/pet care. Is there any reason not to purchase some for emergencies?


NE Heretic

tweell said...

Reasons to not purchase antibiotics? Hmmm.

If your pet likes to self-medicate and doesn't pay attention to dosages and schedules, or if you aren't able to keep them on the antibiotic at the right dose for the correct length of time for a complete drug cycle, I wouldn't get them.

You may want to check for allergies. If your goldfish or budgie is allergic to some antibiotics, you might want to steer away from those. Penicillin, amoxicillin and the like are the most likely to cause allergic problems, IMHO, but it can happen with any of them.

If your dog or cat has liver issues, tetracycline isn't a good choice to stock. If they have kidney problems, you might not want to stock neomycin or tobramycin, for starters.

For elderly pets, I've found that azithromycin doesn't stress their bodies much and the five day cycle is easy to deal with. It's not easy to get, though.

Do some research, and depending on the known medical issues of your pets, buy (or not) accordingly.

Anonymous said...

In my neck of the woods late summer seems to be the time canned food seems to go on sale. Your standard green beans, corn, beans of various varieties go on sale for under a buck a can. You will even get name brand condensed soups like Campbell's chicken noodle, bean and bacon, tomato etc on sale for under a dollar. If you're in a rural area like me and your grocery store is an independent mom and pop operation a talk with the manager can often dispense with any purchase limits and allow you to walk out with several cases especially if you're a regular customer. Sometimes they may ask you to come back as they need to order ahead if you're gonna be buying in case quantities. This is one of those times it pays to cultivate relationships with your local businesses. 200 or 300 bucks buys a bunch of food that will last a very long time. Far longer than indicated on the can. I've eaten 10+ year old canned goods that were perfectly fine. As long as the can isn't bulged, rusted or otherwise breached and smells normal it's probably fine.

Aesop said...

What tweell said.

You should have a stock of Abx anyways. Shelf life is decades, with proper storage, and when you need them, the store won't be open.

In 2014, with the best care in the world, we were exactly two patients away from becoming Liberia.
We saw that in Dallas, when they managed to infect the exact same number of people using "first world" medical genius and CDC guidelines as Ebola infects unassisted in the Turd world, without any protection at all.

Twenty cases shuts down America. Ebola is not "too fast", it incubates variably for 3-40+ days, and by the time you find a single case, they've had 3-6 weeks to infect an unknown number of others.

Carry a tally counter, and count the people you come within 5' of for the next 40 days, and get back to us.

Also, this strain doesn't show fever in 50% of cases, so someone can wander around infectious, and not know it until the terminal phase of the illness.

Lastly, all protocols for treatment absolutely depend upon someone being honest about who and where they've been. Anyone angling for 72 virgins, who'll shop till they drop, and lie abut it, would be utterly catastrophic.

Nobody likes to talk about that, because at that point the entire civilized world has to go on lockdown quarantine.

The 2014 outbreak in West Africa lasted 25 months there.
Almost a full year and a half after the MSM agreed to stop talking about it, because it upset President Obola.
How much food, water, power, cash, etc. do you have stocked to cope with that?
When, after 6 months or less, the entire world economy melts down, then what?
And what next?
You're ready to cope with that?

I don't cover Ebola because it's no threat; I cover it because it's the threat.

Rethink your premise.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't stocked up on food & supplies you're a dead set dill. It's not expensive unless you *are* a dill and base your food supply around MRE / Freeze Dried.

Rice, soy sauce, butane camp cookers.
Single Barrel Shotgun and some appropriate shells (just a box will do)
Torch with AA batteries.

Tell me you can't hole up for a month. Sure, it's not going to see you through the comet of doom but it's going to give you time.

Don't forget toilet paper, water (cheap to do right now) and some entertainment.

Anonymous said...

"Don't forget toilet paper, water (cheap to do right now) and some entertainment. "

Entertainment? Just wait until the shortage of toilet paper becomes evident...tell your wife you are without and you will be justly entertained....

Men can get along fine without it...women seem to have no sense of humor regarding toilet paper.

Anonymous said...

Note on canned foods. A couple weeks ago, ZeroHedge had an article showing that Walmart was having trouble keeping some canned foods in stock. Non-exotic stuff like green beans. We're seeing lesser amounts of the same at Fred Meyer (Pac NW Kroger groceries etc). Kroger brand no-salt green beans have been absent for a few weeks now, and now Del Monte french cut beans are out of stock. Not that I'll eat those, but a marker.

I don't know where these are grown, but with flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi, that would be my guess. So, there may be some resistance for those case-lot sales.


Anonymous said...

Anon @947am. I wondered about that myself. Even in 2014 we weren't the best of friends with the local muzzies and other self destructing jihadists. LOL it's even worse now. When you consider the suicide killers that abound why not pick the low hanging fruit? It's free for the taking no? So why? High plane costs? LOL nah I don't think so. Perhaps we don't understand ebola. Just guessing here but short shelf life? Maybe. Perhaps regionally nurtured? Maybe. Lab produced? Could be. Perhaps, as the virus gets out from its natural setting, DRC petri dish, it behaves like radiation but instead of distance we look at it in terms of its natural environment. In 2014 the ebola virus was even more aggressive than it is now. So what happened? It does not make sense. Too much luck too many coincidences. Not good enough. There are too many self sacrificing jihadists and other loons out there now as there was in 2014 not to take advantage of this. It does not fit. I know I'm going to be fried on this but that is how I see it.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 5:08P

Butter yourself up.

You're being an idiot.
There's a vaccine this time that's >97% effective, that's what's different.
They've vaccinated >178K people with it since this outbreak began, which info I frickin' linked you straight to in the post.
Suffering cats, man, crack a friggin' book.

Take the tin foil hat off, it's cutting off all the oxygen to your brain.

Anonymous said...

RE: flooding and your food supply.
Not a huge deal as far as fresh produce or canned. Some, loss there but not enough to matter in the big scheme of things as far as I know.

What did get flooded out or no-planted was a lot of corn and soybeans. This is a good and bad thing. Bad if you're a farmer who didn't get planted or flooded. If you did get crop in the ground it's helping to hopefully bring prices up to the break even point at least. We have an enormous glut of commodities and it's not sustainable and things are rough and are gonna get rougher in farm country. The price per bushel is a fraction of what it should be. Why? Long story.

Anyway as a consumer you won't notice much. The corn in your box of corn flakes is a tiny fraction of the price. The damn plastic bag in the box probably costs more than the corn. Most corn goes to animal feed one way or another. A lot of corn goes to make ethanol of course but it comes right back out of the plant as dried distillers grains which makes as good or better animal food than the raw corn does. Soy you get as oil, biofuel and meal. The meal is used as animal food and gets used in foodstuffs.

Lots of corn, soybeans and such get exported. The fact that China isn't buying our soy is hurting rural areas very hard. It's a necessary evil at the moment as the Chinese must be brought to heel with the trade imbalances and wholesale industrial and intellectual property theft. They've even caught Chinese in seed fields and testing fields stealing plants in broad daylight to send back to China to steal the traits. There's simply nothing they won't steal.

Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

"The only way to get an ebola pandemic is for some agency to artificially spread it."
"It gives me pause to consider that our enemies have yet to do so..."
"So why have they not already done so?"

Just guessing, but volunteering to be a suicide bomber (or some other form of jihad martyrdom) would be viewed by most as quick and painless. Death by Ebola probably would not have the same appeal.

That said, it would make sense that countries who we may go to war with, and even terrorist groups, may have a plan in place to unknowing infect certain people who would be likely to spread it. Since the Ebola virus can live on surfaces anywhere from hours up to nearly two weeks depending, there may be a plan to contaminate places in airports where pilots, flight attendants, and tourists traveling to the U.S. may be.

AIDS was said to be introduced into the U.S. and spread to both coasts by a homosexual flight attendant who was said to be "patient zero". Gaëtan Dugas may not have been the only one to spread it at first, but as someone who had by his own estimate 750 sexual partners in three years he definitely had a part in spreading it around.

So spread it to the gay male community in the form of several young attractive and sexually active gay men and it will get around. Not just sex, lots of hugging going on at social and family events too. Celebrate Pride!

Then again, it may just be some unlucky combination of chance and stupidity bringing it here. All it would take is a few bad luck things lining up just right (right people in the right places at the right times in the right circumstances) and instead of a few cases we suddenly have blooms of numerous cases occurring in several major metro areas in rapid succession.

Always best to be prepared.

Marina said...

One must not forget the bunch of Africans seen on videos that showed in the US with large bundles of rolled-up US !! money claiming to be poor refugees.
When interviewed lots of conflicting answers & hesitation to their so-called stories: Easy to see: ALL lies !
Someone with deep pockets gave them the money.
They had the gall too to say in an agressive tone : "We're here now, give me my money" !!!
Many thanks Aesop for your thorough Ebola update, I've been impatient to find out. I'm quite grateful for all your dedication & generosity.

MingDaMerciless said...

4th case in Goma. That last baboon killed his whole family, and everyone else they met; and they don't even know they're dead, yet.

Robin Datta said...

50 % afebrility shows how effective adaptive evolution through mutation can be: in this instance to evade exclusion by "screening".

Anonymous said...

I recently returned from Rwanda, this will be an issue due to the moto taxis and dense populations in the big cities. I would suggest that folks here consider donating to Doctors Without Borders or other response organization to try to assist in containment rather than buying canned goods. It’s a horrible virus wiping out entire families, many women and children. People should try to help instead of persecuting them further.

Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

"It’s a horrible virus wiping out entire families, many women and children. People should try to help instead of persecuting them further."

That's a nice thought. Maybe tell the people over there that, and when they start doing that then get back to us.

Headline: "DR Congo Ebola centre attacks could force retreat against the deadly disease, warns UN health chief"

"I would suggest that folks here consider donating to Doctors Without Borders or other response organization to try to assist in containment rather than buying canned goods."

God Bless the selfless charity work Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is trying to do.

However, with the ongoing violence and attacks on clinics over there making it difficult to impossible to effectively contain the problem and misguided do-gooders and political forces with an agenda to bring as many people from troubled parts of the world as possible over here, it would seem at our individual level the best course of action to take is preparation for what looks to be the very real possibility of Ebola turning up here in the U.S. in significant numbers.

Quail said...

That Canadian/Chinese researcher who was canned a few months ago shipped Ebola samples to China. I'm sure they already had wild types so I'm guessing they wanted the vaccine strains.

Anonymous said...

" . . . That Canadian/Chinese researcher who was canned a few months ago shipped Ebola samples to China. . ."

If Ebola breaks out in China this could be the reason; bitten in the ass by their own research project gone bad.

NE Heretic

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

I know that I am asking a lot, but one of my beta readers suggested that I ask you to review a chapter in a book that I intend to publish. The book (fiction at this point) discusses how Ebola could smolder in the immigrant and homeless population of large, US cities.

The chapters I want you to review are about 10,000 words in total.

You can shit-can this comment if it bothers you.

Very highest regards


Email address:

Marina said...

In support of Wendy (KekistanTrans)writings regarding Anonymous 7:51 AM comment, Rwanda traveller:
I'll add that overpopulation is a huge problem there and that before White do-gooders and others not so do-gooders showed up Mother Nature took care naturally of the overpopulation. Sorry if that's sounds cruel but that is Reality.
Strangely enough those that advocates more do-gooding stuff all over the world,also are for open borders are also all about climate change.
You simply cannot be for immigration and climate change when they are at each other's end of the spectrum.
The more we save of them, the more they come here, the more we increase climate change, the more overpopulated the world becomes which ends up destroying more of the world.
Looking at the fact that Africa's pop already overpopulated will have DOUBLED in a tiny 31 years to 2.5 billion, add Asia's pop huge increases to 5.2 billion, India's to 1.6 billion, sorry but I'm gonna help Westerners who happen to be the smallest minority in the world and that is shrinking every day.
Remove your rosy-colored glasses. We're not in 1950 anymore unfortunately.
The Others, I did use to care about but that was before, not one bit anymore. Call me cruel, heartless I really really don't care. I have plenty of heart for fellow Westerners.

horsewithnonick said...

What I read this morning at left me skeptical that anything we can do will stop this. Only 10% of a city of 2 million has running water, many people rely on communal latrines, and public hand-washing stations are closed at night and on Sundays? That is truly terrifying.

Dave64 said...

Marina said...

PBS Frontline Ebola 1HR doc from 2015. You've all probably already seen it, but just in case. Bear in mind Frontline leans Left. I'll be watching a touch later.

Marina said...

Another Frontline Ebola video, a companion piece to the other one above. This one is 30 min.focuses more on the day-to-day work and worries of the medical staff.

Definitely both showcase everything that Aesop has been saying !

RSR said...

Canada sent Ebola to China for "research"; China suspected of having weaponized Ebola; Ebola "cure" already developed:

Marina said...

This has all the looks of Chinese researchers working as usual for China, not Canada. Samples sent on an Air Canada plane ! Another RCMP investigation that will go nowhere especially with moron no-balls just-more-tears Justin.
There was another Chinese researcher guy that was caught months ago doing the same. I believe he was expulsed from Canada so you can just imagine the gravity.

In the California mountains said...

Research conducted by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was halted after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the lab "failed to meet biosafety standards," as first reported by The Frederick News-Post.

The Freeholder said...


Anonymous said...

Aesop, I didn't see a September update, can we realistically hope for an early October catch up?

Rate of growth seems to be slowing, but it is still growth. So vaccines seem to be helping, but not solving.

Cases popping up away from any previous cases (containment areas) creates possibility of sudden exponential growth overwhelming containment. Which seems almost inevitable but not necessarily imminent.