Ebola / Virus

After the death of the first Ebola patient in American today, one really has to look at this with an objective, forensic attitude. We need to take a  pragmatic approach when dealing with this.

Ebola came to this country via a man who became infected.  This man allegedly lied to get onto a plane and into this country to get medical help.  Further, when he knew that he was sick; he went to the hospital for help.  Not tipping his hand that he knew that he had contact with someone who had the disease, he told the people treating him that he had been in that area of the world, but did not offer up the fact that he indeed had contact with people who were victims of this outbreak.

The triage team missed his semi-obscure clue, misdiagnosed him, and sent him home with antibiotics, where he languished for a few days in an small apartment with other people.  The disease progressed to the point where this man had to go back to the hospital once again; this time by ambulance.

Had he been forthcoming on his first hospital visit, his outcome might have been better. The experimental drugs were showing signs of working.

Family members were exposed, paramedics were exposed, nurses and doctors were exposed.  People in the emergency room were exposed.  Anyone who came close to this person was exposed.

The clock is ticking, who next will show signs?  Was he contagious on the airplane? How about at any of the airports?

We now know that the virus can be viable for 6 (six) days on a surface. Any sneeze, blood, sweat, vomit or other bodily fluid from an infected person can contain this virus.

Today a man in Frisco Texas not feeling well went into a health clinic reporting symptoms of Ebola.  Are his symptoms psychosomatic? Did he just expose everyone in that clinic to his ailment? He is a deputy sheriff that was in the mans apartment.

This is how outbreaks start.  This is stage one.

The CDC really needs to amend their protocol in dealing with this for now.

Anyone who thinks that they have these symptoms “imagined or not,” should call 911 or some other special number where a CDC doctor will come to you, or they send a special ambulance to come get you.  Containment of this disease is paramount before it gets to stage two, or three. I would call on the CDC to change their protocol and make this happen before it is too late.

The simple facts are, we don’t fully know how virulent this virus is.  What we don’t know about this virus eclipses what we do know, and making mistakes now could cause the next pandemic.  People walking into clinics, doctors offices and alike who are infected, endanger the collective.

So what is a Virus?

It is interesting to note that a virus is neither dead, nor alive.  It does not eat, reproduce by itself nor defecate.  It is a parasite of sorts.  It contains genetic material that it “infects” a host cell with.  The host cell then is forced to do its dirty work.  The cell’s normal genetic instructions shut off, and it now creates proteins of a different sort, viral proteins, which make new viral particles.

The interesting thing about viruses is when they infect, they can obtain some of the host DNA in the process.  When the new virus’s proliferate into yet more cells, they may in fact bring with them some of the host original DNA.

MS and Hemophilia are two diseases which researchers believe are the result of this ‘transduction.”

Make no mistake; viruses are the original “replicators” (excuse the reference to Stargate).  These guys’ sole purpose is to reproduce or “replicate.”

Virus’s are either made up of DNA or RNA and are encased in something called a “capsid” which is made of protein and some also have an envelope which is made up of lipids.  One note of interest is that RNA viruses which make up 70% of all viruses mutate much more readily than DNA type Virus’s, due to the error rate of enzymes that are actually involved in the replication process.

“Look out Daniel Jackson!”  This must be where the writers of Stargate got their idea for the replicators… I digress…

Ebola is a member of the Filoviridae family of the RNA viruses.  Ebola can have a 90% mortality rate however; it should be noted that this number is derived from areas of the world with remote, substandard medical care / facilities.  This area of the world is filled with people who believe that this is a work of the devil; and frequently seek out their local witch doctor for assistance.  I am not being ugly, those are the facts.

We have a government that is downplaying this, and we have news agencies that are scaring the hell out of people, for ratings. Somewhere in this minutia, is the truth.

If this virus mutates to airborne, which it may already be; allowing unfettered access of people from that part of the world here in this country could be a huge mistake with dire consequences. All peoples from that part of the world should be quarantined until we get a handle on this outbreak in Africa. Their excuse might be, “who knew?”

The simple facts are we need to “Assume” that this disease is very catchy.  We need to assume that it can be spread by air, water, touch etc.  We need to assume that it can be spread by mosquitoes. Until there is hard scientific evidence that it cannot be, we need to assume that it can.  We need to assume that other animals including family pets can become carriers of this disease.  Assume the worst, and make your plans around it!

Update 10-14-14

Now with one of the care givers of Mr. Duncan testing positive for the Ebola virus, we have even more questions than answers.

How?

Immediately a breach of protocol was assumed.

It would be very interesting to examine the air handlers in that facility to see if there are any Ebola virus on any of the filtration systems or associated duct work, fans etc.

It was of particular interest to me that the ashes of the bedding and other things that were in Mr. Duncan s apartment are treated as hazardous waste, and being transported to a special facility for such, in Louisiana. Think about this for just a second.  Our government is telling us that one must come in direct contact with some bodily fluid of not only an infected individual but someone who is in the later stages of the disease; and yet we are not even comfortable with dumping the ashes in a regular landfill.

My guess is that there was no breach of protocol for the infected Nurse.  Again, there is more that we don’t know; than what we do about this disease.

Our heartfelt prayers are offered up to the caregiver who is affected.

This would be one prime use of robotics; we could remotely do what needs to be done via a robot, much like the robot assisted surgery that we have today. Our technology is probably not quite there yet but, I would call for some company that is already in such a field to get some “seed money” to make this happen faster, rather than at its usual pace.

Instead of sending humans into harms way; in this case highly infectious areas of the world, much less our own hospitals, we could send in a robot that was managed by a nurse.

If we can send a robot to Mars and have it do all sorts of scientific test, we should be able to come up with one that can do what needs to be done with extreme infectious patients.

Update 10/15/14

Another health care worker from Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the virus.

This health care worker traveled by commercial air with at least 139 other souls, not to mention the crew of the airplane.

What did they do and where did they go?  Who were they in contact with?

What about the taxi that she took to the airport, how about the ticket agents, what about anyone who she may have had contact with in the airport(s), bathroom(s) eating establishments? Did she stay in a hotel? What about the maid who cleaned their room or the person(s) who handled the sheets / towels from the room? You folks who enjoy playing with fire are woefully unprepared for what you are doing.

If we are treating the ashes of Mr. Duncan s sheets and so forth as toxic waste, which Louisiana has now stated they will not allow it to come there for burial; should we not be all over this?

It seems to me that anyone who is a health care worker, working with Ebola patients, should be quarantined as well; until such a time that it can be proven that they are not a risk to the general population.   We cannot afford mistakes, unless of course you are looking to witness another pandemic here in this country.

We need to error on the side of caution and not hubris.  You clearly don’t know what you are doing.

Update 10/17/14

The two Ebola infected Nurses have made their way out of Texas to two hospitals that are better equipped to deal with the situation.  The Dallas Hospital has a lack of nurses now because so many of them are on “Ebola watch.”

The nurse, Amber Vinson, who flew to Cleveland on the 10th may have made some very bad decisions in taking public transportation. Flying commercial with a fever, knowing that you had been taking care of an Ebola patient who died of the disease is not very smart.   At least she had sense enough to call the CDC and ask if she should fly and they gave her the green light.  This is really common sense and she should not have even had to call and ask.  If the CDC indeed gave her the green light as reported, than we have bigger problems than a nurse lacking common sense.

Besides all of the people on the plan for that one plane ride from Ohio to Dallas, we have to consider that the plane went on to fly several different places that day, each time with 139 souls on board.

Keep in mind that a Virus is neither alive nor dead.  This talk about it being alive for X amount of hours is really not telling the truth.  They are depending upon your ignorance of the facts so you don’t ask the real questions.  Is the virus viable?  How long is the virus viable on a surface or in fluids?

I am thrilled that Nina Pham is doing better and getting good care.  My heart goes out to the nurses and doctors who are on the front lines, taking care of people.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to both of the nurses Nina and Amber Vinson.

It looks like Frontier Airline is going above and beyond to ensure the safety of their customers.  Miss Vinson’s decision to fly home was ill advised, and has already cost millions.  We have no idea what the future holds for all of the other people who could have been exposed to her illness. Anyone from ticket agents to baggage handlers to people in public restrooms to janitors to the folks that work the restaurants and anyone who sat in close proximately at the airports.  The next two weeks should have the CDC and most hospitals on pins and needles.

The CDC is flailing around with this and they truly need to get a grip.  Anyone treating Ebola patients should not be allowed to be in public transportation until they have passed a date that they could not be a carrier of the disease.  Compensate them for what they are doing but they have a greater responsibility to sequester themselves until they are deemed clear of the disease.

Flight bans from countries with this outbreak should be observed now.  While I am always perplexed by this administrations aversion to the truth or lack of common sense, their number one priority it so protect the American People.  We currently are not doing that.  Travel bans to and from these countries are just common sense.

Our southern border needs to be closed now!  If this disease gets into South America those folks will come here by hook or crook for medical care and I don’t blame them.  The issue is that they will come in such a way that we will not be able to trace them, evaluate them and quarantine them.  By the time they make it to some ER room, or clinic for help, we will have no clue how many others that will have become infected.

Look at the chaos we have for just one person who came here under false pretense!

This wont stop at our southern border, Canada will be in line for this too.

Rapid response teams should be created now to be able to assist those south of our border should the need arise.  Looking into the future, this is not that hard to foretell. If they don’t need the help, great; but if they do I would much rather take the battle there than have people crossing our border under the cover of night hoping to get some sort of medical care.

If you are a praying person; keep these two nurses in your thoughts and prayers.

Update 10/30/14

Both infected nurses recovered from the disease.  While we are grateful for their recovery the CDC was totally not prepared for this.  The total cost of this is of course unknown, and I am certain that the taxpayers are paying for this too.

We have a nurse who just came home from that area of the world who currently is not exhibiting any symptoms and also is not quarantining herself either.  Even though she is a nurse she is not taking any precautions and is out and about as she sees fit.  This is course is making the news nightly and I hope for her sake that she remains symptom free as she is playing fast and loose with more lives than her own.  She is in violation of the orders she has been given, to self quarantine and test her temperature twice daily, but it appears that thwarting the rules is her current plan.  As a nurse she should know better.

Recently leaked information from the White House documents the planning and logistics bringing non-citizen Ebola patients to this country for treatment.

I am not sure (A,) how something like this gets leaked and (B,) why anyone thinks this is a good idea!

If you truly want to get the patient together with our technology; how about sending a hospital ship over there?  If things get too far out of hand you only loose the ship and the “volunteers” that are manning it.  If things get loose over here well, who knows how far it will go.  Do you really want to risk a pandemic to the entire North American Continent? Since we are a very mobile people you very well might be risking a world wide pandemic!  Someone needs to pull their collective heads out!

The CDC has continuously displayed incompetence dealing with this.  Their Ebola CZAR is nowhere to be seen and knows nothing of this in the first place so, “from me to you,” why not mitigate the risk?

As far as this nurse in Main is concerned, I would lock her butt up until she passes the quarantine period.   She has crossed the line!  When you do that you get your freedom taken away.  When you endanger the public you get stopped.  That is the way it works!

I am in hopes that I can stop updating this thread as there is nothing to report.  Lets pray that is the case.

-Best

c All rights reserved 2014

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