Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Pathogens and their impacts  (Read 122898 times)

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #150 on: August 24, 2014, 03:26:46 PM »
Everything I've read about this spread (I agree. It is not primarily a global warming story.) suggests that the main difference with this outbreak is that it did not occur in an isolated region of a country. Since the most effective method for limiting spread is to isolate the sick, the fact the disease has established itself firmly in urban areas makes it very difficult to gain the upper hand.

DoomInTheUK

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 221
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #151 on: August 25, 2014, 11:02:04 AM »
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.

Although some hemoragic fevers are transmitted by mosquito, it would appear that Ebola is not.

Due to the initial sysmptoms of Malaria and Ebola being very similar a lot of patients are choosing to stay at home and self medicate. This lack of isolation is the driving force behind the current spread of the disease.

Infected people are only contagious once symptoms appear, infection requires direct contact with infected body fluids and the incubation period is quite short.
Once it becomes culturally acceptable to isolate patients and not come into close contact with the dead then this Ebola outbreak's days are numbered.

There's no doubt that many thousands more will die in the coming months, but Ebola will almost certainly burn itself out in Africa.

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #152 on: August 25, 2014, 05:39:34 PM »
I've actually read that it can be up to 21 days before someone becomes symptomatic.

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1849
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 399
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #153 on: August 25, 2014, 10:55:59 PM »
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.

Although some hemoragic fevers are transmitted by mosquito, it would appear that Ebola is not.

Due to the initial sysmptoms of Malaria and Ebola being very similar a lot of patients are choosing to stay at home and self medicate. This lack of isolation is the driving force behind the current spread of the disease.

Infected people are only contagious once symptoms appear, infection requires direct contact with infected body fluids and the incubation period is quite short.
Once it becomes culturally acceptable to isolate patients and not come into close contact with the dead then this Ebola outbreak's days are numbered.

There's no doubt that many thousands more will die in the coming months, but Ebola will almost certainly burn itself out in Africa.

As long as the infection incidence curve stays on an exponential trajectory, I don't think anyone should be sanguine.  And as for the epidemic "buringing itself out in Africa" -- well, there's a billion people there.  I think it more likely to become a new chronic African problem than simply die out.

I do agree, though, that people in advanced countries don't have much to fear directly.  Past outbreaks have resolved with contact tracing, quarantines and isolation procedures.  This means that societies in which these measures can effectively be put in place are unlikely to have widespread infection. 

But people in overcrowded, poverty-striken urban areas, like the West Point slum in Monrovia, Liberia may be in grave danger.  That slum has been cordoned-off, with all 50,000 residents facing a raging epidemic with no medical care or public health measures at all.  If they don't die of thirst or hunger, the population there could suffer from this epidemic for years and years.

Add to this the wild cards of the upcoming Hajj in Mecca, and future viral mutations, and we may learn all too well how homo sapiens behaves under the worst stresses of fear and social disruption.

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #154 on: August 28, 2014, 09:26:35 PM »

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #155 on: August 29, 2014, 10:47:43 PM »

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #156 on: September 01, 2014, 12:07:57 AM »

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #157 on: September 02, 2014, 10:03:09 PM »
Ebola response lethally inadequate, says MSF
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29031987

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3339
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #158 on: September 03, 2014, 05:54:53 AM »
From L's link above:



Stupid mathematical question: What kind of equation or function gives you an upward curve on a logarithmic/linear graph like that. It's like it is super-exponential growth, if there is such a thing.

Anyone want to try fitting that curve and making a projection (not a prediction) of how many cases there would be by next summer if this curve were to extend that far?

ETA:

I see they are using a log scale for cumulative cases and deaths at the wiki site, too:




« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 12:55:54 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #159 on: September 03, 2014, 09:47:46 PM »

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3831
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 489
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #160 on: September 04, 2014, 02:21:21 AM »
Grim news:
Nigeria's Ebola outbreak spreads
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/nigerias-ebola-outbreak-spreads

Quote
The hopes that Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak could be quickly stamped out have evaporated. The World Health Organization (WHO) this afternoon issued its first detailed report of the spread of the virus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub. Last week, authorities announced that a doctor there had died of the disease, after secretly treating a diplomat who had been infected in Lagos by a traveler from Liberia.

The doctor had close contact with family, friends, and health care workers during his illness, but he did not disclose his previous exposure to the virus. His infection wasn’t confirmed until 5 days after his death. Experts are now following hundreds of the doctor’s contacts, 60 of which had “high-risk or very high-risk exposure,” WHO says.
...
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Theta

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 174
  • Grips
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #161 on: September 06, 2014, 11:30:44 AM »
Engineer under observation for Ebola goes missing

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/engineer-under-observation-for-ebola-goes-missing/article1-1259570.aspx

I can't really imagine the potential for this individual to spark off a chain reaction in a tightly packed hub in this area.
Can't think of a signature

Jim Hunt

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 4795
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 517
  • Likes Given: 45
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #162 on: September 06, 2014, 09:33:48 PM »
Pandora's box was also mentioned at a conference I attended at Exeter University on Thursday. Professor Sarah Gurr's speciality is plant pathogens. Here's a recent open access paper:

"The global spread of crop pests and pathogens"

and here are the slides from her presentation two days ago:

http://www.existexeter.co.uk/includes/documents/Sarah%20Gurr.pdf

The bullet points that grabbed my attention the most were:

"Fungal infection of plants and wild creatures outstrips the threat posed by all other diseases combined"

"Fungi are moving polewards at 7.6 km per year in the Northern Hemisphere, and accelerating"

"The complete life cycle of some fungi takes just 3 days"
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #163 on: September 08, 2014, 09:47:06 PM »
Ebola crisis: Liberia 'faces huge surge' says WHO
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29115298

Breaking news: Liberia's Ebola problem far worse than imagined, says WHO
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/breaking-news-liberias-ebola-problem-far-worse-imagined-says-who
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 09:58:55 PM by Laurent »

LRC1962

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #164 on: September 09, 2014, 05:23:50 PM »
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.
See
Quote
But at least part of the explanation for the current dilemma may be found in how Africa has changed since the first known outbreaks of Ebola in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan.
For one, this outbreak is taking place in parts of Africa that are "much more densely populated, much more urban in their nature and those populations are much more mobile," says Olds. Also, "these were populations that had never seen Ebola before."
Location is not the problem it is urbanization., plus deforestation bringing carriers of ebola into closer proximity of man far more often.
area infected.http://www.ibtimes.com/where-ebola-outbreak-updated-map-ebola-virus-outbreak-death-toll-tops-2000-1680308]http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-outbreak-it-s-not-the-virus-but-africa-that-s-changed-1.2729264/url][quote]But at least part of the explanation for the current dilemma may be found in how Africa has changed since the first known outbreaks of Ebola in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan.For one, this outbreak is taking place in parts of Africa that are "much more densely populated, much more urban in their nature and those populations are much more mobile," says Olds. Also, "these were populations that had never seen Ebola before." [/quote]Location is not the problem it is urbanization., plus deforestation bringing carriers of ebola into closer proximity of man far more often.area infected.[url]http://www.ibtimes.com/where-ebola-outbreak-updated-map-ebola-virus-outbreak-death-toll-tops-2000-1680308
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3339
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 409
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

LRC1962

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

LRC1962

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #167 on: September 16, 2014, 04:11:32 PM »
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #168 on: September 16, 2014, 11:04:16 PM »
CBC update http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-cases-may-be-kept-within-tens-of-thousands-who-s-bruce-aylward-says-1.2767583

That headline is misleading. It looks like the statement was:

Quote
"Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, this health crisis we're facing is unparalleled in modern times. We don't know where the numbers are going on this," he said.

When the WHO had said it needed the capacity to manage 20,000 cases two weeks ago "that seemed like a lot", Dr Aylward said.

"That does not seem like a lot today," he added.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29224752

edited for complete quote.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 11:10:19 PM by ritter »

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #169 on: October 02, 2014, 05:58:22 PM »
Ebola outbreak: Texas checks 100 for exposure
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #170 on: October 02, 2014, 06:16:20 PM »
Ebola outbreak: Texas checks 100 for exposure
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431

Yep. And now we get to see if our healthcare system is up to the task.

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #171 on: October 02, 2014, 08:11:59 PM »
Yep. And now we get to see if our healthcare system is up to the task.

If it got into the wrong section of the population - I doubt it would be.

The mathematics points to this not being a one off, as long as infections are spiralling upwards in the countries where containment has failed, one can expect travel infections to be in approximate proportion (moderated only more effective responses).

Get an infection into a sector of society where people don't care and where contact tracing would be hard to impossible (drug users, homeless, etc) and I think the complacent attitude many have about western nations will be shaken, even if one wouldn't necessarily predict catastrophic spread.

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3339
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #172 on: October 02, 2014, 08:17:45 PM »
ccg, add undocumented to that list--about 2 million in Texas alone.

All of our idiocies and poor policies could be coming home to roost on this one.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #173 on: October 03, 2014, 10:34:45 AM »
All of our idiocies and poor policies could be coming home to roost on this one.

I think the handling of the single case in the US so far is testament to just how poorly prepared the country is for Ebola. Sure - they have the contact tracing and the modern medicine and all the rest of it, and yet - they can't even work out how to dispose of the hazardous waste expeditiously (including in the apartment where the infected man was and where several other people still are living!), they don't appear to have a co-ordinated policy for handling those exposed - everything points to at least several more cases being likely, and some of them could easily be directly due to poor handling of the single case (one wonders if the legally enforced confinement of the parties in a location with hazardous materials would provide a later legal basis to sue the authorities if some of those parties became ill or died). Not to mention their failure to register the travel history of the person (it can't help that until now a lot of Americans probably couldn't have told you Liberia was a country, let alone where it is).

The other thing I note is that despite constant reassurances in Ebola not being that contagious, requiring direct contact with a symptomatic individual - the person who travelled to the US allegedly did no more than help to move a person. From what I've read every person who helped move that person is now dead. That's a pretty impressive effectiveness for something I thought required direct contact - blood to blood, ingestion, inhalation, whatever. It would suggest a pretty low bar for infection, as would the significant number of healthcare professionals that have got the disease (who it should be noted are taking precautions and understand how the infection vector works...).

The media has made far too much fuss about African "behaviours" that are a convenient way to reinforce the complacency of western nations. The same complacency that allowed the disease to spiral out of control in Africa in the first place (and I suspect the official counts are very much too low now, and in any case there is at likely almost one more doubling of committed cases that aren't symptomatic yet - so one should probably double the figures just to reflect infected but not detected yet). Also, if there aren't enough treatment beds (by a very significant amount now) - is anyone even trying to keep proper count?

With respect to the US case, had there been a comprehensive plan one presumes the questions of waste disposal, clean up, exposed parties, etc would have been taken into account in advance. We're making some heroic assumptions in the affluent nations about a situation that we've never encountered before (as this is the first time this disease has broken out properly into major population centres).

I'm afraid to say though that in theory a pandemic of Ebola (although I'm still far from certain it can wholly escape containment in countries with more coherent healthcare systems and effective governance) could do for us what people have consistently failed to do voluntarily - cut our emissions and resource consumption. Something like that could buy us a little more time, presuming natural feedbacks aren't close to causing dramatic changes.

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #174 on: October 03, 2014, 10:59:16 AM »

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #175 on: October 03, 2014, 11:31:37 AM »
Hard facts clear the air about catching Ebola from a cough
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/hard-facts-clear-air-about-catching-ebola-cough

Those sample sizes are much much too small to get good information from (or in most cases, any information at all).

Neither of these two seems sure how they were infected (though the doctor seems to identify inadequate PPE as a likely cause)

http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-ii-nancy-writebol-we-just-dont-even-have-clue-what-happened
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-i-senga-omeonga-every-day-i-m-still-thinking-when-was-i-contaminated

The infected person in the US supposedly carried (by the legs) a person with symptoms. So did he get it from sweat? Blood? Fecal material? Vomit? It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume he would have had at least some standard of hygiene and avoided ingesting or contacting most bodily fluids if present in visible amounts, does it?

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3339
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #176 on: October 03, 2014, 01:14:45 PM »
When they say that you can only get it from bodily fluids, we all think--"Hey, bodily fluids are most always inside the body, so how could anybody catch this thing?"

But what they don't tend to point out is that a fully symptomatic ebola victim is oozing and spewing large quantities of every kind of bodily fluid out of every orifice and pore.

Handling anybody in such a condition is extremely hazardous--basically a death sentence--without extreme protection, and sometimes even then, based on the number of well trained, top medical workers who have gotten it even though they presumably knew and followed strict protocols.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #177 on: October 03, 2014, 08:01:07 PM »
But what they don't tend to point out is that a fully symptomatic ebola victim is oozing and spewing large quantities of every kind of bodily fluid out of every orifice and pore.

I think the amount of virus required for infection is probably tiny. Visible bodily fluids one should easily be able to avoid. But if there is just a trace - too small to see with the eye - and you transfer it to the mouth, eye, respiratory system, any other mucous membrane, open wound - presuably that's all it takes. I don't see any other way to account for the high infection rate in even trined personnel who are adequately equipped. Supposedly it can remain infectious for hours on a dry surface and days at room temperature in fluid environments (or at least moist ones, and since viruses aren't really alive, I have to wonder why it couldn't survive almost indefinitely in a moist friendly environment - does something eat it...?).

Handling anybody in such a condition is extremely hazardous--basically a death sentence--without extreme protection, and sometimes even then, based on the number of well trained, top medical workers who have gotten it even though they presumably knew and followed strict protocols.

Maybe? Hard to say for sure - Nancy's partner cared for her for some days without contracting it, before they knew she had it (and she was symptomatic, just assumed to have only malaria). Obviously luck is a factor, and maybe he didn't move her at all - but it strikes me one probably can care for a person with it provided their location is constrained and one is very careful in it.

Where it seems to me the nightmares start is when symptomatic people are moving around dispersing infectious fluids (note above about how long those are risky for) into situations such as public transport. By dispersing, one doesn't just mean obvious amounts - one has to assume trace amounts could be a problem too (and even with obvious amounts - who cleans it up and how?).

You simply cannot contact trace all such scenarios if any significant number of people are involved. Again, they say people won't spread it a lot as mostly people are too ill to travel - but someone desperate for treatment will do whatever they can to get it (one reason we should expect an explosion now that treatment facilities are so comprehensively overwhelmed - whether due to fear and trying to escape those regions, or desire to survive and seeking treatment - it seems relatively rapid dispersal is likely to happen now).

icefest

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 258
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #178 on: October 04, 2014, 06:24:40 AM »
since viruses aren't really alive, I have to wonder why it couldn't survive almost indefinitely in a moist friendly environment - does something eat it...?

Usually because the virion cannot survive getting dried, exposed to varying pH, heat, cold, oxidisation, reduction, or radiation.

If I recall correctly from microbiology, this is mainly due to denaturation of proteins or the disruption of genetic viability.
Open other end.

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #180 on: October 06, 2014, 04:56:13 PM »

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #181 on: October 07, 2014, 10:20:33 AM »
Inside Sierra Leone's Ebola clinics
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29507673

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #182 on: October 07, 2014, 02:42:33 PM »
Ebola outbreak: Spain investigates new case
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29516882

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #184 on: October 08, 2014, 10:39:06 PM »

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #185 on: October 08, 2014, 11:10:40 PM »
There's another scare in Texas--a  deputy that was in Duncan's apartment without protective gear.
http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/10/08/patient-frisco-ebola-suspect/16922477/

If you look at the photos at the end of the article, emergency resoponders will be hard pressed to turn out this way for every (hopefully) false alarm or on-plane puking as flu season starts up. It's going to be an interesting winter.

viddaloo

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #186 on: October 08, 2014, 11:33:16 PM »
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic? Seems people are dying and getting infected in America, Europe and Nigeria after being allowed to fly freely. What's Obama's grand plan here?
[]

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #187 on: October 08, 2014, 11:44:48 PM »
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic?

Too much impact to the global economy. You see, nothing can disrupt the flow of spice.*

As for Obama's (or any other leader's) plan, I hope they are not the deciders on this. Talk about unqualified! In reality, I think the best we can humanely do is hope that containment works. If it does not, then we move on to the questionable ethics of area quarantines. If it truly gets out of hand, most of us will get sick and approximately half of those will die. Just like species have been dealing with pathogens for eternity! Feel better now?  ;)



*Dune reference

viddaloo

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #188 on: October 08, 2014, 11:54:38 PM »
Strange. I always thought 'containment' meant keeping the deadly virus on at least the same continent where the infection happened? But my first language isn't English, so bear with me.
[]

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #189 on: October 09, 2014, 12:03:34 AM »
Strange. I always thought 'containment' meant keeping the deadly virus on at least the same continent where the infection happened? But my first language isn't English, so bear with me.

Your English is just fine! You're correct. But one must also have a fallback position. ;D

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #190 on: October 09, 2014, 12:49:40 AM »
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic?

Too much impact to the global economy. You see, nothing can disrupt the flow of spice.*

Actually I think the logic that attempting to isolate the region too aggressively will disrupt the flow of support and manpower and guarantee a much worse outbreak is pretty sound - given air travel isn't the only way for spreading to occur.

It would seem a theoretically rational approach for those few places able to isolate themselves by air (and sufficiently by sea) to do so in the event of any risk of them failing to contain internal outbreaks though.

I think the secondary infections in Spain (and probably also the US) are testament to just how infectious this really is - and how misleading the advice being given to reassure the public might just be. If it was just the US or Spain, one might write it down as a one off - but with both of them apparently failing to contain properly - indeed making simply and stupid errors in a low stress context (ie a single case, for crying out loud) - that's not a good omen. I wouldn't be sanguine now about the risks of a true pandemic outbreak (I wasn't before, but I view it as a bit more likely now than I did).

I'm even a bit torn on the climate impacts - initially I thought a sufficiently large die off would lighten resource pressure - and so it might - but giving the world a different emergency to deal with for a few years would also be a very serious setback to progress on the climate (er, what tiny smatterings we have seen), not to mention the recovery period from a pandemic.

viddaloo

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #191 on: October 09, 2014, 01:19:57 AM »
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.
[]

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #192 on: October 09, 2014, 02:12:53 AM »
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.

Er, from what? There are plenty of very effective distractions from all sorts of real world issues without needing to add a deadly disease into the list.

JimD

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #193 on: October 12, 2014, 07:48:04 PM »
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #194 on: October 12, 2014, 08:15:09 PM »
Ian Welsh on Ebloa

http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-ebola-is-a-threat/

and once again. 

http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-africa-cant-handle-ebola-the-destruction-of-the-3rd-world/

NOTE:  for those who get confused when Ian is talking about neo-liberal policies this is the formal terminology for conservative economic ideology.  Note also that this link could easily have been posted in Global Economics or the  Empire threads.  Third note:  There are a few things that Orlov and Welsh missed or were not public knowledge when they wrote the several pieces I have posted.  1. Ebola victims ARE infectious before becoming symptomatic, just not as much or 100% of them.  2. Ebola CAN be spread via air transmission via sneezing or coughing in close quarters as medical experts have been trying to say since the beginning though it is not common.  Enjoy!

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #195 on: October 12, 2014, 08:19:37 PM »
Orlov on Ebloa.  An interesting read.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/ebola-and-five-stages-of-collapse.html

The incubation period is up to 3 weeks - it can be as little as 2 days, is my understanding. He's mispresenting that bit somewhat.

Nigeria managed to contain their initial import of the disease (and there will no doubt be further imports in approximate proportion to the caseload, with scope for a big spike if the affected states collapse as functional states), but the lengths they went to were extraordinary.

Both the US and Spain - the only two imports so far - failed to prevent their oh so superior health care facilities from transmitting the disease to workers in protective gear. The affluent nations are complacent, and that is the main threat there - as Nigeria clearly demonstrates you can contain with serious effort and lots of discipline.

Clearly it is too late to contain in the affected African nations, and the disease will probably have to burn itself out there. Best chance is to contain all imports of the disease elsewhere. On balance it seems there ought to be reasonable chances of success in most nations in that respect, though the scope for large problems is still present.

The nightmare scenario - and I think really quite credible - is bioterrorism attack using the disease (I can think of multiple simple scenarios where a single actor would likely be able to infect hundreds or potentially even thousands). It would be a very cheap and effective terrorist attack in the absence of an effective and mass produced vaccine or treatment. Orlov is quoting a 50% mortality rate, but I think that's wrong - the caseload is always higher as the mortality figures quoted by CDC necessarily lag the caseload (it takes time to die). Actual mortality, if I'm not mistaken, is more like 70%. In any event - it seems to me the main factor in the mortality rate is the quality of supportive treatment keeping the patient alive to give their immune system time to regroup. To that extent a mortality rate of up to 90% is probably perfectly credible during a mass outbreak where healthcare facilities are unable to deliver care to the infected. On the other hand, affluent nations (and even (Nigeria) have a pretty respectable track record of keeping patients alive with plenty of medical resource.

Past outbreaks of Ebola have been small enough for heavy concentration of medical resource (as is the case in import nations currently) and in isolated communities where it burns out.

Whether or not this disease is contained this time, the risks of such pandemics in general continues to rise with increasing population, increasing stress factors upon those populations, and increasing population density as people coalesce into cities. Personally though, I think a high mortality global pandemic somewhat of a sideshow in terms of our final destination, and one could even buy us more time as well as significantly cutting resource consumption and pollution (not just because of the direct mortality, but also the economic impacts).

ccgwebmaster

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1085
  • Civilisation collapse - what are you doing?
    • View Profile
    • CCG Website
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #196 on: October 12, 2014, 08:23:23 PM »
1. Ebola victims ARE infectious before becoming symptomatic, just not as much or 100% of them.  2. Ebola CAN be spread via air transmission via sneezing or coughing in close quarters as medical experts have been trying to say since the beginning though it is not common.  Enjoy!

To restate from previous posts - it can also be transmitted through infected dry surfaces (at least up to several hours) and remains viable in moist environments potentially for days (upper limit not known but depends somewhat on temperature I suspect).

Direct contact with infected person not required. Not to mention infection with only a few virus particles can be enough - an amount invisible to the human eye.

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #197 on: October 13, 2014, 01:46:59 PM »
Ebola infection in Dallas nurse underscores critical need for proper training
http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/10/ebola-infection-dallas-nurse-underscores-critical-need-proper-training

Some interesting informations about what does Ebola actually do.
http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/what-does-ebola-actually-do

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3339
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #198 on: October 13, 2014, 03:35:25 PM »
http://www.women24.com/News/West-Africans-flee-Ebola-head-to-SA-20141013

West Africans Fleeing Ebola Head to South Africa

Quote
there is a considerable number of people attempting to reach SA, most trying to reach it overland - a 5 000km trek.

One man said he alone knew of at least five people who were on their way.

If this is the case, the main threat is to the countries along the way, since anyone who was infected would likely be dead or too sick to travel further before they got all the way to South Africa.

(Google maps tells me it's an over 9000 km drive from Monrovia to Capetown, not the 5000 mentioned in the article.)

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

viddaloo

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #199 on: October 13, 2014, 04:11:16 PM »
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.

Er, from what? There are plenty of very effective distractions from all sorts of real world issues without needing to add a deadly disease into the list.
True, but any good psychiatrist will tell you a live, fatal, short-term threat will serve as the best distraction from more long-term threats. Human beings are not laidback geniuses, and will swallow the bait 9 days out of 10.
[]