Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ebola spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

Number one off the bat with this Ebola business---  I haven't taken it seriously, but I am now.  It is said to be infectious after the onset of symptoms.

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.[emphases added]

The onset of symptoms are the trouble spot, it seems to me.  If you are in contact with people after the first symptoms, you can potentially spread the disease far and wide before you are finally diagnosed and quarantined.

Downplaying this risk is gravely irresponsible.  What makes America different from Africa is the higher mobility in this society.  If an infected person with the first symptoms makes contacts and spreads the disease, any number of people could then become infected and will become infectious themselves before being diagnosed.  Because of this mobility factor, and the easily confused symptoms, it creates a situation favorable to an epidemic.  For example, fever, headache and sore throat can be confused with a cold or flu.  Not everybody stays home in such cases, you know.

People should be warned to beware of getting sick with any of these symptoms even it if only appears to be a cold.  Extreme care should be taken to keep clean and to avoid contact with other people if they are showing any kind of symptoms at all.  This is, of course, a problem.  People don't like to be treated like lepers, but what else can you do?

Besides watching yourself, and others, it may be a good idea to keep as clean as possible.  This may not help much, but if you can destroy the virus early on, maybe this thing can blow over.

Finally, the border should be closed.  Africa should be quarantined.  Movement needs to be minimized.

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