Ebola All Over The Place

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Ebola All Over The Place

Post by sheddi » Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:53 pm

If you've been following the story for the past couple of weeks you'll know Guinea is suffering an Ebola outbreak. So far it has infected 80 and has killed 59. Eight of the victims are reported to be healthcare workers.

Today it has spread from the rural towns and has reached the capital Conakry, a city of almost 2 million. It may also have crossed the borders into Liberia and Sierra Leone (two countries better known for political instability and violent insurrection than for public health measures).

Guinea confirms deadly fever is Ebola virus
http://www.france24.com/en/20140322-gui ... -epidemic/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Guinea has received confirmation that a mysterious disease that has killed up to 59 people in the West African country, and may have spread to neighboring Sierra Leone, is the hemorrhagic fever Ebola, the government said on Saturday.

Cases of the disease - among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent - have been recorded in three southeastern towns and in the capital Conakry since February 9. It has never before been recorded in Guinea.

“It is indeed Ebola fever. A laboratory in Lyon (France) confirmed the information,” Damantang Albert Camara said. He updated the death toll, which had previously stood at 29.

Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a statement it would strengthen its team of 24 doctors, nurses, logisticians and experts in hygiene and sanitation already in Guinea.

MSF said it was sending around 33 tonnes of medicines and isolation, sanitation and protective equipment in two planes leaving from Belgium and France.

Dr Sakoba Keita, Guinea's chief disease prevention officer, told AFP, "We are overwhelmed in the field, we are fighting against this epidemic with all the means we have at out disposal with the help of our partners, but it is difficult. But we will get there."

World Health Organisation officials said that cases showing similar symptoms, including fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding, had also been reported in an area of Sierra Leone near the border with Guinea.

A Sierra Leone health official said on Saturday that authorities there were running tests to determine if the cases were part of the epidemic in Guinea.

The highly contagious disease, which is transmitted between humans through contact with organs, blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids, is most commonly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan.

To date, no treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola.

The French embassy in the Liberian capital Monrovia released a travel advisory warning French citizens against travel to the affected parts of Guinea or areas of northern Liberia near the border between the countries.

It said anyone who had to travel to southern Guinea should "strictly respect the hygiene rules, not consume the meat of animals killed by hunting and stay away from areas of high density of population like markets and football grounds".
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:27 pm

"...is most commonly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan."

Well crap. At least we know where it likely came from. My first thought was to wonder where it came from and is there maybe some secret lab being run by some government or organization.

Not all that close to the DRC, Uganda, or Sudan though. It had to travel quite a ways. Maybe in some meat?

Thanks for sharing. I sure hope it does not cross the ocean, though it sounds like it is not likely to. If they have already been containing it in several other countries for a while.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by duodecima » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:01 pm

There's no need at all to postulate a secret lab or something. Ebola's got an animal reservoir (i.e. an animal that doesn't get sick, or not so sick very fast, that carries it) that hasn't been confirmed yet, and multiple species of animal are also made sick by Ebola. Rarely, there's a cross transmission into humans - almost always these outbreaks trace back to somebody who'd handled a gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker (gazelle-like thing) corpse, and it's person-to-person spread there. There hadn't previously been human Ebola in this region, but a type of Ebola had been documented in chimpanzees in that area. The possible Sierra Leone outbreak is directly tied to someone who went to guinea to attend the funeral of one of the known Ebola victims, who then went home, got sick and died.

This is an awful, awful disease to catch, and I'd be limiting my contacts and preparing to bug in if I lived in that part of the world - but it generally requires relatively close contact. This stuff still doesn't scare me as much as flu does.

Anybody know which strain of Ebola it is? They keep saying it was confirmed Ebola, but I can't find any technical info in the news, nor an official release. They have different mortality rates, so it will be interesting to see which it is, or if it's a novel strain.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by JayceSlayn » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:41 pm

I saw this headline yesterday or sometime. 59/80 dead/infected sounds like one of the "near-clean slate" strains to me. :shock: Like duodecima stated, usually transmission of Ebola requires fluid contact, and it has proven fairly easy to contain in the past, so in places where isolation protocols are well-enforced, I would expect its spread to stall out pretty quickly. Nonetheless, the fact that is is approaching major population centers is not a good sign. It will be interesting to see how it is handled there, since most other outbreaks I've personally heard of have been pretty rural and contained that way.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:38 pm

And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by JayceSlayn » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:34 pm

woodsghost wrote:And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
Ebola has a strong history of being an incredibly fatal virus. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_viru ... #Prognosis - see next section too) I would not be surprised that the numbers are correct so far, but I have heard of some people being relatively asymptomatic carriers. I think most people exposed still need aggressive treatment to survive though, and that would make it difficult to miss the majority of infected, at least as long as it isn't confused with something else by using lab cultures.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by ineffableone » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:53 pm

Interesting that Wiki article doesn't mention the Ebola in the US at all, but this one does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ebola_outbreaks
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by spanningtree » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:55 pm

Ja, scary shit. If your interested give this a read:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hot-Zone-Terr ... e+hot+zone

I followed that up with this:

http://www.amazon.com/Biohazard-Chillin ... Biological

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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by duodecima » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:26 pm

woodsghost wrote:And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
Not that funky, Ebola Zaire averages 83% case-fatality, up to 90% in some outbreaks.

And fortunately, Ebola Reston seems not to make the leap from monkeys to humans very easily.

The Hot Zone is a great book, just keep in mind it's like 20 years old, and I don't know if there's an updated edition? The science on the virus has advanced slightly since then. I hadn't read Biohazard, I'll put it on the list.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by SRO1911 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:01 pm

The extremely high mortality rate, coupled with the rapid onset is actually a blessing. The main reason there has not been a global pandemic of ebola is because victims die before they have the opportunity to spread it very far.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by shrapnel » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:23 pm

duodecima wrote:
woodsghost wrote:And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
Not that funky, Ebola Zaire averages 83% case-fatality, up to 90% in some outbreaks.

And fortunately, Ebola Reston seems not to make the leap from monkeys to humans very easily.

The Hot Zone is a great book, just keep in mind it's like 20 years old, and I don't know if there's an updated edition? The science on the virus has advanced slightly since then. I hadn't read Biohazard, I'll put it on the list.
My understanding, as gathered from 'Spillover', a book about zoonotic infections, is that The Hot Zone really exaggerates some of the more horrific symptoms of Ebola. Not that it still won't kill you dead, but, just, enough artistic license was used that what people think of as Ebola is somewhat more dramatic than how it actually is.

(add Spillover to your list too, should you want an interesting book that happens to be nightmare fuel)
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by spanningtree » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:46 pm

shrapnel wrote:(add Spillover to your list too, should you want an interesting book that happens to be nightmare fuel)
Thanks for the recommendation, I just nabbed a copy.

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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:30 pm

This makes me have second thoughts about that extended TDY to West Africa.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by duodecima » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:35 pm

shrapnel wrote:
duodecima wrote:
woodsghost wrote:And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
Not that funky, Ebola Zaire averages 83% case-fatality, up to 90% in some outbreaks.

And fortunately, Ebola Reston seems not to make the leap from monkeys to humans very easily.

The Hot Zone is a great book, just keep in mind it's like 20 years old, and I don't know if there's an updated edition? The science on the virus has advanced slightly since then. I hadn't read Biohazard, I'll put it on the list.
My understanding, as gathered from 'Spillover', a book about zoonotic infections, is that The Hot Zone really exaggerates some of the more horrific symptoms of Ebola. Not that it still won't kill you dead, but, just, enough artistic license was used that what people think of as Ebola is somewhat more dramatic than how it actually is.

(add Spillover to your list too, should you want an interesting book that happens to be nightmare fuel)
Having been blessed to never actually see a case, I can't really say. (HAS anyone on ZS seen a case? We've got people with experience there, I wouldn't rule it out...) I guess it's fair to say that I find ALL of the various kinds of hemmorhagic fevers to be dramatic enough. I mean, multi system organ failure caused by infectious agents that have no specific treatment, with some bonus bloody bodily fluids thrown in? Not as gory as they'd make it look in the movies, sure, but still pretty damn impressive for something that's not even technically alive, and has to hijack your body's own cells to do this to you....

Wait, I think I'm failing at explaining why this stuff isn't the zombie apocalypse... :lol:

*adds Spillover to list*
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by Towanda » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:46 pm

Is there any way to find out exactly where in Guinea the outbreaks have been?
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by shrapnel » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:17 am

duodecima wrote:
shrapnel wrote:
duodecima wrote:
woodsghost wrote:And 59/80 = a 73.75% mortality rate. I'm sure those numbers are funky somehow. Like maybe there are more sick that are unreported or something. But that is still a fairly high mortality rate.

The whole Ebola virus really freaks me out.
Not that funky, Ebola Zaire averages 83% case-fatality, up to 90% in some outbreaks.

And fortunately, Ebola Reston seems not to make the leap from monkeys to humans very easily.

The Hot Zone is a great book, just keep in mind it's like 20 years old, and I don't know if there's an updated edition? The science on the virus has advanced slightly since then. I hadn't read Biohazard, I'll put it on the list.
My understanding, as gathered from 'Spillover', a book about zoonotic infections, is that The Hot Zone really exaggerates some of the more horrific symptoms of Ebola. Not that it still won't kill you dead, but, just, enough artistic license was used that what people think of as Ebola is somewhat more dramatic than how it actually is.

(add Spillover to your list too, should you want an interesting book that happens to be nightmare fuel)
Having been blessed to never actually see a case, I can't really say. (HAS anyone on ZS seen a case? We've got people with experience there, I wouldn't rule it out...) I guess it's fair to say that I find ALL of the various kinds of hemmorhagic fevers to be dramatic enough. I mean, multi system organ failure caused by infectious agents that have no specific treatment, with some bonus bloody bodily fluids thrown in? Not as gory as they'd make it look in the movies, sure, but still pretty damn impressive for something that's not even technically alive, and has to hijack your body's own cells to do this to you....

Wait, I think I'm failing at explaining why this stuff isn't the zombie apocalypse... :lol:

*adds Spillover to list*
Well when you put it like that... :lol:
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:35 am

duodecima wrote: Having been blessed to never actually see a case, I can't really say. (HAS anyone on ZS seen a case? We've got people with experience there, I wouldn't rule it out...) I guess it's fair to say that I find ALL of the various kinds of hemmorhagic fevers to be dramatic enough. I mean, multi system organ failure caused by infectious agents that have no specific treatment, with some bonus bloody bodily fluids thrown in? Not as gory as they'd make it look in the movies, sure, but still pretty damn impressive for something that's not even technically alive, and has to hijack your body's own cells to do this to you....

Wait, I think I'm failing at explaining why this stuff isn't the zombie apocalypse... :lol:

*adds Spillover to list*
Zombies walk around and bite you. Possibly eat you too. I'm not aware that Hemorrhagic fevers cause that. If they start,, let me know!

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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by Tater Raider » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:48 am

woodsghost wrote:
duodecima wrote: Having been blessed to never actually see a case, I can't really say. (HAS anyone on ZS seen a case? We've got people with experience there, I wouldn't rule it out...) I guess it's fair to say that I find ALL of the various kinds of hemmorhagic fevers to be dramatic enough. I mean, multi system organ failure caused by infectious agents that have no specific treatment, with some bonus bloody bodily fluids thrown in? Not as gory as they'd make it look in the movies, sure, but still pretty damn impressive for something that's not even technically alive, and has to hijack your body's own cells to do this to you....

Wait, I think I'm failing at explaining why this stuff isn't the zombie apocalypse... :lol:

*adds Spillover to list*
Zombies walk around and bite you. Possibly eat you too. I'm not aware that Hemorrhagic fevers cause that. If they start,, let me know!

I take my zombie apocalypse very seriously. :crazy:
You're thinking Rabies then?

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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by TacAir » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:03 am

This outbreak isn't all that uncommon - this is from 2012 and talks about Marburg and Ebloa. It is a bit unusual as to the location.

http://trackingebola.wordpress.com/
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by crowdaddy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:45 am

Yahoo News, from a link on the Drudge Report is reporting a possible case in Canada. It involves a man returning to Canada from Liberia. It states he is seriously ill in a Canadian hospital after experiencing symptoms consistent with the Ebola virus, (health officials said). They did not give any location on the report I read. just saying...

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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by ineffableone » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:05 am

crowdaddy wrote:Yahoo News, from a link on the Drudge Report is reporting a possible case in Canada. It involves a man returning to Canada from Liberia. It states he is seriously ill in a Canadian hospital after experiencing symptoms consistent with the Ebola virus, (health officials said). They did not give any location on the report I read. just saying...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-26726745
He is in isolation in critical condition in Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan province.
They also suspect Lassa fever, which actually is treatable unlike Ebola.

*Edit to add, Best most in depth article on the Canadian from Liberia I found is here http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatche ... -1.2584762

Seems they are acting fast taking a lot of quick protocols, anyone who was in contact with him before diagnosis is self isolating. Sounds like they are doing a great job of making sure if it is ebola it ain't going far.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:55 am

Grisly as it may sound, there are two thin silver linings to this:

1) the different (known) strains of Ebola virus, while very lethal (85+% lethality in most outbreaks) tend to be very fast-acting. From what I've seen, the incubation period is pretty short (like 2-4 days in most cases, though a very small number have gone up to 21 days), and time from first onset of symptoms to recovery or death is generally less than a week. While that sounds really bad (and it is, from a micro perspective), it makes a full-on epidemic/pandemic scenario a bit less likely. Now, if it had the incubation period of something like rubella or chicken pox (usually minimum of 14 days), that would be some seriously scary shit.

2) it's not very contagious from person to person. It's only spread through bodily fluids/secretions. This is good, as air-to-air contact isn't going to spread it around, making quarantine much easier than something like, say, smallpox. On the flip side, it's been recorded that the virus was found in semen up to 7 weeks after clinical recovery, so preventing re-infection means keeping people quarantined a lot longer than normal.

Overall, it's a nasty bug (especially if it turns out to be the Zaire strain) and definitely worth keeping an eye on, but it's unlikely to become a major pandemic (thankfully).

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ebola-hemorrhagic
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by sheddi » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:28 am

Some good news, of sorts, from Conakry. It seems the two haemorrhagic fever deaths there weren't due to Ebola. (It's debatable whether an outbreak of an *unknown* fatal haemorrhagic fever is really better than it being Ebola.)

Virus in Guinea capital Conakry not Ebola
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26717490" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Tests on the suspected cases of deadly Ebola virus in Guinea's capital Conakry are negative, health officials say.

On Sunday, United Nations officials said that the virus had spread to the capital, a port city of up to two million, from remote forests in the south, where some 61 people have died. The government has sent out text messages, urging people to stay calm and wash their hands with soap.

Ebola is spread by close contact and kills between 25% and 90% of victims. There is no known cure or vaccine. Symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Neighbouring countries such as Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone are said to be on high alert in case the disease spreads. Five people are already reported to have died in Liberia after crossing from southern Guinea for treatment, Liberia's Health Minister Walter Gwenigale told journalists. However, it is not clear whether they had Ebola.

The BBC's Jonathan Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Liberia says the country's health facilities are closer and more accessible to Guineans living on the border than those in big Guinean cities. Cross-border trade is huge between the two countries, which share some cultural and linguistic ties, he adds.

Mr Gwenigale confirmed tests were being carried out on those who had died. He also urged people to avoid close contact with people, such as shaking hands and kissing.

Guinea is also currently grappling with epidemics of measles, cholera and meningitis. It is said to be the first time Ebola has struck Guinea, with recent outbreaks thousands of miles away, in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. There have been 87 cases so far, with 61 deaths, according to Guinea's health ministry.

After two people died from a haemorrhagic fever in Conakry, samples were sent to the Pasteur Institute in neighbouring Senegal for testing. WHO spokesman Collins Boakye-Agyemang told the BBC these had shown that the victims had not been infected with Ebola. It is not known what killed them.

Outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests, the World Health Organization says.
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Re: Ebola in West Africa

Post by sheddi » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:33 pm

More deaths reported, not all confirmed (or even tested) as Ebola. 62 in Guinea, 5 in Liberia, 1 in Sierra Leone.

Guinea Ebola outbreak: Bat-eating banned to curb virus
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26735118" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Guinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, its health minister has said. Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the "main agents" for the Ebola outbreak in the south, Rene Lamah said.

Sixty-two people have now been killed by the virus in Guinea, with suspected cases reported in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is the first time Ebola has struck Guinea, with recent outbreaks thousands of miles away, in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Lamah announced the ban on the sale and consumption of bats during a tour of Forest Region, the epicentre of the epidemic, reports the BBC's Alhassan Sillah from the capital, Conakry. People who eat the animals often boil them into a sort of spicy pepper soup, our correspondent says. The soup is sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol. Other ways of preparing the bats to eat include drying them over a fire.

Certain species of bat found in West and Central Africa are thought to be the natural reservoir of Ebola, although they do not show any symptoms. Health officials reported one more death on Tuesday, bringing the number of people killed by Ebola to 62, our correspondent adds.

The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it had set up two quarantine sites in southern Guinea to try to contain the outbreak, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Sierra Leone's health ministry said it was investigating two suspected cases of Ebola, the AFP news agency reports. "We still do not have any confirmed cases of Ebola in the country," its chief medical officer Brima Kargbo is quoted as saying. "What we do have are suspected cases, which our health teams are investigating and taking blood samples from people who had come in contact with those suspected to have the virus," he added.

Mr Kargbo said one suspected case involved a 14-year-old boy buried in a Sierra Leonean village after he apparently died across the border in Guinea two weeks ago, AFP reports. The other patient was still alive in the northern border district of Kambia, he added.

"This is the first time such a national health threat has come to our borders. In any case, we are prepared and on the alert in readiness in case the disease is diagnosed in Sierra Leone," Mr Kargbo was quoted as saying by AFP.

Five people are reported to have died in Liberia after crossing from southern Guinea for treatment, Liberia's Health Minister Walter Gwenigale told journalists on Monday. However, it is not clear whether they had Ebola.
Some things are the same the world over; drunks will eat almost anything when the munchies set it :)
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
Behave!


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