Sunday, October 5, 2014

Some Thoughts About Ebola

The government is telling us the ebola threat isn't something to worry about. The more conspiracy minded, believe that the government is purposely spreading disinformation to keep us from panicking. Whatever the reality is, I think we need to be informed in order to best protect ourselves. Part of self reliance is of course to weigh in on various sources on a given subject and through critical thinking decide the best course of action for ourselves. So it is with this in mind, that I write this article.
A great place to begin your study about Ebola would be the book “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston. It is a fast paced fascinating book which reads like an action novel. You'll read about it's origins, it's earliest victims and the aftermath of the first wave of this epidemic. This book will give you a thorough grounding in the early history of Ebola. Some of which contradicts some of the current information being put out by the media.

Here's the wiki on it:

Here's a very informative interview:

The authorities initially informed us, the likelihood of it reaching us was unlikely. Yet, at the time of this writing, there is a confirmed patient in Dallas, Texas and a possible patient in Washington D.C. They are also telling us that if we had an outbreak locally, they could contain it. Though they had to put armed guards to keep the family of the Dallas patient under quarantine after they tried to escape. We are also aware of various cases being caught in various airports around the world. We are being told it isn't airborne and not likely to become so. Yet American health workers in Africa, despite being trained and equipped to handle such emergencies still contracted this disease. We are told Ebola has been so bad in Africa because of the widespread poverty. The poverty has lead to poor sanitary conditions, lack of quality food and poor health care resources. I wonder if this wouldn't be an incentive for the infected, to try to make their way to the U.S. To possibly save their lives from this known killer. Specially with the lack of control we are currently experiencing at our borders. Many real causes for concern are seemingly being ignored. Could this possibly be for our own good?

People have survived. My observation of the numbers seem to have about a 50 percent mortality rate. Factors which improve the odds so far seem to be early treatment and having a good immune system. The people which are surviving are the ones who's immune systems are strong enough to fight off the virus. Still a couple of therapies including IV hydration and oxygen have shown to be beneficial. Also in use, are blood transfusions from survivors into patients with the same blood type. An experimental drug has been used but the authorities still aren't sure if it worked or if the patients would have survived anyway. Lots of stuff seems to be in the works, but nothing readily available yet. It seems to me that a good start in any pandemic preparedness effort would be to make sure your immune system is working optimally. This can be as simple as improving our diet and making sure we are properly hydrated. The authorities are telling us to wash our hands often and this is probably good advice.

While I like to consider myself an apocaloptimist I still believe we should prepare for the possibility of having to self quarantine. Having food, water and medical supplies to carry us for some time is a very good form of insurance should this become a reality. For the time being, I don't believe we'll need to resort to this. I am concerned, however that every time I look at the news, I see something that makes me wonder about the competence of those in charge of protecting us. Below are three examples:

I guess that my whole point is that if like the cliché says we “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” we'll all be a little better off. Lets keep our eyes and ears open. Put that information through the filter of common sense and wisdom and do what we can to protect our selves, our families and our communities. Don't let the panickers make you paranoid and don't let the nay sayers make you complacent.

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