Ebola outbreak, and other potential epidemics

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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

vtsnowedin
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Post by vtsnowedin »

And they say I am a doomer.
The scenario in which Ebola engulfs the globe is not yet guaranteed, but neither can it be dismissed as some sort of apocalyptic fantasy: the chances of it happening are by no means zero. And if Ebola is not stopped, it has the potential to reduce the human population of the earth from over 7 billion to around 3.5 billion in a relatively short period of time. Note that even a population collapse of this magnitude is still well short of causing human extinction: after all, about half the victims fully recover and become immune to the virus.
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

Indeed. "UE's nightmare scenario" of upwards of 50 million deaths, as FC put it, wasn't the nightmare scenario. It was just what I felt comfortable predicting as looking quite likely now. FC's assessment that this is being contained in the Hot Zone is flawed. At the moment the spillover into the rest of the world is a trickle, and it has ended up in the West. But that's with only 2000 cases. The number of cases is doubling every 4 weeks and there is no reason to believe that is going to change, because even if a massive effort was made now to improve health facilities it would not be able to keep up with the rate the disease is spreading. And that means that in about six months time there is likely to be more like 100,000 cases in the Hot Zone, and an attempted exodus from that area. It's only a matter of time before one of those spillover cases turns up not in the West, but in Mexico City or Delhi.

The "nightmare scenario" is described by Orlov - 3 to 4 billion human deaths and the descent of the modern world into massive economic and political chaos. And at the end of that process a majority of the remaining human population will be immune to ebola, the virus will have morphed into capable of being endemic in a human population and the world as we have known it will be gone.
Last edited by UndercoverElephant on Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by biffvernon »

Any one impressed with the speed and alacrity that our navy operates with.
Royal Navy medical ship RFA Argus has begun loading supplies ahead of its trip to Sierra Leone to aid the fight against Ebola.

The carrier, which has a fully-equipped hospital including critical care and high-dependency units, arrived in Falmouth, Cornwall today [yesterday] and is due to sail next week.

It will travel with three Merlin helicopters, aircrew and engineers to provide transport and support to medical teams and aid workers
http://www.westbriton.co.uk/RFA-Argus-F ... story.html

I'd have thought that if the Navy has a hospital ship it should at least be kept in a state of readiness and not have to go into a port to load supplies a few days after the government announces its deployment.

Never mind the fact that MsF asked for support last March!
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

biffvernon wrote:Any one impressed with the speed and alacrity that our navy operates with.
Royal Navy medical ship RFA Argus has begun loading supplies ahead of its trip to Sierra Leone to aid the fight against Ebola.

The carrier, which has a fully-equipped hospital including critical care and high-dependency units, arrived in Falmouth, Cornwall today [yesterday] and is due to sail next week.

It will travel with three Merlin helicopters, aircrew and engineers to provide transport and support to medical teams and aid workers
http://www.westbriton.co.uk/RFA-Argus-F ... story.html

I'd have thought that if the Navy has a hospital ship it should at least be kept in a state of readiness and not have to go into a port to load supplies a few days after the government announces its deployment.

Never mind the fact that MsF asked for support last March!
It is for show and nothing more.

The cases in the Hot Zone are doubling every 4 weeks and currently there is less than half the number of beds/staff available to cope with the situation. Do the maths. This is a token response that will have absolutely no effect on the final outcome whatsoever. Although it might well be quite useful as an exercise in training British personnel in how to deal with a real ebola outbreak closer to home.
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Post by Mean Mr Mustard »

UndercoverElephant wrote: Although it might well be quite useful as an exercise in training British personnel in how to deal with a real ebola outbreak closer to home.
You mean when the plague ship returns?
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

UndercoverElephant wrote:And that means that in about six months time there is likely to be more like 100,000 cases in the Hot Zone, and an attempted exodus from that area. It's only a matter of time before one of those spillover cases turns up not in the West, but in Mexico City or Delhi.
Yes, it seems very unlikely we will avoid the situation of hundreds of thousands of cases in West Africa, which changes the dynamics of 'spread' a lot. It then seems inevitable it'll become established wherever authorities aren't super resourced and capable.
UndercoverElephant wrote:The "nightmare scenario" is described by Orlov - 3 to 4 billion human deaths and the descent of the modern world into massive economic and political chaos. And at the end of that process a majority of the remaining human population will be immune to ebola, the virus will have morphed into capable of being endemic in a human population and the world as we have known it will be gone.
The unique thing about this "nightmare scenario" as opposed to climate change, peak oil etc... is that if it's going to happen, it'll play out literally in the next year or two. Interesting times.
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Post by adam2 »

Second case in USA, healthcare worker who treated the previous case.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29587803[/url]
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Post by biffvernon »

I appreciate Orlov's mention of the forests in his first paragraph:
continuing deforestation and natural habitat destruction in the areas where the fruit bats that carry the virus live make future outbreaks quite likely
Some of us said cutting down the rainforest was a bad plan about 40 years ago. Did they listen?
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Post by madibe »

Thoughts about medical and care-workers...

What's your opinion regarding the deployment?

i.e. the vast number of casualties amongst them. Is it wise to deploy them against such a risk? I know they are angels - but they can also be messengers of death by becoming infected themselves and spreading the virus far and wide by being repatriated to their home countries.

The 160 cuban medics, the 4000 US troops, the UK ship load and of course all the others... they could all well end up in deep trouble.

Studying pictures of the hot spots the scene are seriously worrying. Poorly equipped locals and slightly better equipped westerners, all scrabbling about in muddy filthy conditions with a bottle of bleach for protection.

The 'streets' are disgusting, with really no hope if someone has recently emptied the contents of their stomaches on the 'road', which is happening.

How can they possibly stay clean and therefore heathy?

Why are level 3 suits being used when only level 4 will suffice? Possibly because the infrastructure / conditions would make the level 4 suits unviable (they need external air supply / hepa filters).

So, I ask again. What is the wisdom of this?

There will come a point where the west simply suspends all activities I'm sure. Air drops only.

Long picture... perhaps the West African Countries will get their shit together in the future and realise you can not have millions of people living in mud, puke and poo, living under corrugated iron with no concept of personal and public hygiene.

I know this sounds harsh, but just check out the recent images of the areas. Shocking.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -land.html
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Post by adam2 »

It certainly seems that hygienic disposal of the dead is a serious problem when significant numbers are involved.
Shallow graves are not suitable lest the bodies be disturbed by scavenging animals.
Hand digging deep graves is very labour intensive, and the degree of physical effort required is not conducive to the grave diggers wearing proper protective gear.

It seems to me that earth moving machinery would help, a single mechanical excavator with fuel and a skilled operator can dig numerous deep graves in a short time.

Alternatively thorough high temperature cremation should be more used. This does not need expensive western style gas fired crematoria, but does need a lot of fuel. The fuel used per body is much reduced if a number can be cremated together.
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Post by fuzzy »

I don't know why I am giving out free consultancy to the clowns who run the show, but..

We are told that some people have immunity. I have read from 10 - 30% quoted. Surely a priority is identifying these people? If you are going to work in ebola territory, you employ people who cannot catch it.
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Post by madibe »

Hi Fuzzy - yes I read an article about 'once you are in, you are in' i.e. survivors must be the ones to help out - there is no 'out' until it is over.
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Post by madibe »

Adam 2

Totally agree .... big earth movers. Dig big hole. Dump Bodies. Incinerate. Fill in. Rinse and repeat until job done.

+ (people are not going to like this) destroy all domestic dogs on sight as they are amplifiers of the virus. Dispose as above.

:shock: but required.
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Post by clv101 »

This documentary gives an idea of what the situation on the ground is like:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=yout ... NUI4uT3xJI
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