World Health Organization: Latest Ebola Outbreak Moving Too Fast to Control

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World Health Organization: Latest Ebola Outbreak Moving Too Fast to Control

According to the W.H.O., the latest Ebola virus outbreak was "caused by the most lethal strain in the family of Ebola viruses."

In what could be a worrying statement, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the latest Ebola virus outbreak around the world is moving faster than it can be stopped, with a potential for the virus to have a "high risk" of spreading. Speaking to leaders of the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) in Guinea's capital Conarky, Dr. Margaret Chan, W.H.O. director general made the following assessment:

"This is an unprecedented outbreak accompanied by unprecedented challenges. And these challenges are extraordinary...This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries."

According to W.H.O numbers, the outbreak has caused 729 deaths and has left over 1,300 people with confirmed or suspected infections. Chan mentions that the outbreak was "caused by the most lethal strain in the family of Ebola viruses," and that the virus seemed to be spreading in ways never seen before. "It is taking place in areas with fluid population movements over porous borders, and it has demonstrated its ability to spread via air travel," Chan adds. Not helping matters to curb the virus has been what Chan calls a lack of public awareness, which she calls "invisible" chains of transmission. One example of this is people who choose not to go in isolation wards and seek professional medical aid in favor of receiving care at home from family members, which the disease can be transmitted to.

Even with this bad news, Chan reminds people that Ebola is "not an airborne virus. Transmission requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, also after death. Apart from this specific situation, the general public is not at high risk of infection by the Ebola virus." And while there's still no vaccine or curative therapy for the virus, Chan notes that it can be contained. "Bedrocks of outbreak containment include early detection and isolation of cases, contact tracing and monitoring of contacts, and rigorous procedures for infection control."

The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, and has an alarming mortality rate of up to 90 percent among those infected. Symptoms for the virus include fever, muscle pain, and a headache, before it worsens to vomiting, diarrhea, internal and external bleeding, which will then lead to death.

While Chan's statement is a little worrying -- especially for those in affected countries, it's important to note that the virus can be contained. Just remember: Don't worry about airborne germs, but close contact with bodily fluids of an infected person are what you need to keep an eye out for.

Source: World Health Organization via The New York Times, The Verge

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uuh. apocalypse anyone?

And America brings back 2 ppl to treat them. Not to be a dick but thats a pretty dam high risk.

AstaresPanda:
And America brings back 2 ppl to treat them. Not to be a dick but thats a pretty dam high risk.

Not really. Two people can be easily managed. The risk factor comes down almost entirely to competence of the people that are treating them. As long as they do everything by the book, and they don't have a reason not to, it will be fine.

Hoo boy... methinks perhaps I should start looking at tickets to Madagascar. Then again they've probably already closed their borders..... bah.

Outbreak around the world? Um...stretching things a bit there.

Also, the most lethal strain might not actually be the worst, less chance of people to spread it around before dying.

Chessrook44:
Hoo boy... methinks perhaps I should start looking at tickets to Madagascar. Then again they've probably already closed their borders..... bah.

Good ol' two ship Madagascar.

Worrying that I just went down with symptoms very close to those... Then again, I've recovered at this point, so I doubt that was it. (It was the worst that I've been ill for a long while though.)

On a more serious note, I do hope WHO catches up with this. An epidemic with a 90% mortality is the LAST thing we need.

The_Darkness:
Worrying that I just went down with symptoms very close to those... Then again, I've recovered at this point, so I doubt that was it. (It was the worst that I've been ill for a long while though.)

On a more serious note, I do hope WHO catches up with this. An epidemic with a 90% mortality is the LAST thing we need.

An epidemic with a 100% mortality is the last thing we need. But at 90% this comes close :P

Adam Jensen:

The_Darkness:
Worrying that I just went down with symptoms very close to those... Then again, I've recovered at this point, so I doubt that was it. (It was the worst that I've been ill for a long while though.)

On a more serious note, I do hope WHO catches up with this. An epidemic with a 90% mortality is the LAST thing we need.

An epidemic with a 100% mortality is the last thing we need. But at 90% this comes close :P

Yeah, but we've already got THAT one. That's the one with such a high mortality rate that they just called it 'mortality'. :P

So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how terrified should I be right now?

-Ezio-:
uuh. apocalypse anyone?

Sure, and eventually, when humanity is nearly wiped out and fragmented, sentient apes will take over the planet.

Before everyone locks themselves down in their bunkers, the numbers presented above are misleading. Lethality rate is not 90%, the Zaire variant is between 50 and 90%, with the next lethal variant being between 54 and 68%. The next lethal variant is sitting at 34%.

So enhance your calm.

What they are not emphasising is the fact that while its still not an "airborne" virus it can be spread by aerosol transmission, thats still considered to be "direct contact" but its worse than only being able to catch it by handling a patient or their bodily fluids.

That is going to cost lives, its as simple as that even if they are only doing it to avoid panic.

Before everyone freaks out (a bit late but eh), the only way you can contract this is if you decide to come into direct contact with the person's bodily fluids. So yeah, chill. You're fine. Unless you do plan on doing that in which case I'd advice against it.

Kmadden2004:
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how terrified should I be right now?

Depends where you live. If you're outside the affected nations, probably like 3 or 4. And if you're in a first-world nation, then 1 or 2. The virus isn't airborne, and can only be passed through close bodily contact with the the infected's bodily fluids. So, really, you're fine.

Kmadden2004:
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how terrified should I be right now?

1.

It is likely to horribly kill lots of people in parts of Africa where people are being killed horribly in much greater numbers by other things already.

If the same number of people were being, say, hacked to death, it'd probably not make the news.

It's an awful thing at the bottom of a very long list of horrible things.

Tbh im not worried in no offence to Africa there health care is not the best and plus certain people there still believe in old healing like herbs ect . Plus they still do old fashioned burials of people who had the illness best course of stopping this is educating the people first .

This strain would appear to be less lethal than typical; I read a few sources claiming a 60% mortality rate. This would make it more dangerous overall, though, as it helps the disease spread- if everyone who gets it dies, it won't spread very far, will it?

You shouldn't be too worried about this unless you live in one of the affected places, and even then you only need to be moderately aware of your surrounding to avoid coming into contact with infected people. Giving you a very good chance of not getting it anyway. One of the best things we can do to stop the spread of the virus is to educate people about it.

The thing with Ebola is that it limits it's own spread naturally. Outbreaks burn them selves out before they have a chance to spread too far. The virus is found in remote villages close to rain forests, where it's thought to be contracted from contact with the blood or organs of infected animals. Typically individuals are infected by handling raw bush meat.

With the advent of modern air travel and the relative ease with which people can travel greater distances these days increase the chances that the virus could turn into a pandemic are increased, it's not actually that much of an increase as you may expect. Yes the chances of the virus 'getting out' is increased but only by a very small amount. The people doing the international traveling required to spread the virus across the globe are on the whole health workers and doctors. They are the people most aware of the containment protocols and infection control procedures. So in short the people who are most likely to be the ones who could spread the virus the are the same people who are most aware of it and are actively looking for it.

The story also mentions that there is currently no vaccine for Ebola which sounds a bit odd but in reality we could have a vaccine for Ebola quite easily by now. The sad part is that no one has really bothered to make one because it's not profitable. Too few infections, so too little incentive to invest the millions it takes to develop a new drug/vaccine, but hopefully that attitude might change now.

TL:DR Remember what the guide says, Don't Panic! about Ebola causing the apocalypse anyway, it's the Flue virus that you should be terrified of.

Oh, great. I needed something to be terrified about today. Thanks for that.

It would be Ebola, some strains of that thing have wiped out small African communities.


THE END IS NIGH!

This isn't enough to worry me but it is enough for me to keep a close eye on. I am in a heavily populated area and if this thing escalates further, I am getting the hell out of dodge no matter what the circumstances. I have always known that I could die in a multitude of ways but I am not going to let "virus" be one of them.

008Zulu:
Before everyone locks themselves down in their bunkers, the numbers presented above are misleading. Lethality rate is not 90%, the Zaire variant is between 50 and 90%, with the next lethal variant being between 54 and 68%. The next lethal variant is sitting at 34%.

So enhance your calm.

Even 34% is still pretty bad odds when you're talking about lethality. People are rightly concerned about this. Don't minimize it just because it "only" kills between 1/3 and 2/3 of infected people.

008Zulu:
Before everyone locks themselves down in their bunkers, the numbers presented above are misleading. Lethality rate is not 90%, the Zaire variant is between 50 and 90%, with the next lethal variant being between 54 and 68%. The next lethal variant is sitting at 34%.

So enhance your calm.

And we're dealing with the Zaire variant, where it drops down to 50-60% mortality, provided that you're receiving proper care. That's still pretty extreme, considering that the Black Death "only" had around 33% mortality rate, back in the days of medieval healthcare and is recognized as one of the deadliest plague in known history.

The good thing about this disease is that you don't become infectious until you start showing signs and once that happens, you become sick so quickly that the window of infection is relatively short. Main reason why this epidemic is spreading so readily in the affected countries is the tradition of having your family take care of you instead of hospitals, which places all the family members at great risk, and funeral rites where people approach and touch the deceased.

yayforgiveaway:
729/1300 ~= 0,56

That's 1300 infected, of those 729 are already dead. The remaining people haven't all recovered, so the full number of dead hasn't been realized.

Adam Jensen:

The_Darkness:
Worrying that I just went down with symptoms very close to those... Then again, I've recovered at this point, so I doubt that was it. (It was the worst that I've been ill for a long while though.)

On a more serious note, I do hope WHO catches up with this. An epidemic with a 90% mortality is the LAST thing we need.

An epidemic with a 100% mortality is the last thing we need. But at 90% this comes close :P

I would say a pandemic with a 100% mortality rate would be worse but then I'm just being pedantic.

OT: Not to self, stop eating dead orphans.

How the fuck do enough people come in to contact with the bodily fluids of corpses to the point a virus outbreak spreads via this method. The hell is going on in these countries? >_>

LazyAza:
How the fuck do enough people come in to contact with the bodily fluids of corpses to the point a virus outbreak spreads via this method. The hell is going on in these countries? >_>

A long standing tradition of having your family take care of you, instead of going to hospitals.

Also, some tribes hold funeral rites, where you approach and touch the deceased, as a way to say goodbye (which has killed entire villages in the past), although the Ebola virus has caused allot of places to suppress that tradition.

You're also highly contagious, once you become sick, so healthcare workers often get infected, even when following basic quarantine rules, which makes this disease so hard to treat.

LazyAza:
How the fuck do enough people come in to contact with the bodily fluids of corpses to the point a virus outbreak spreads via this method. The hell is going on in these countries? >_>

In the countries affected, ill people are cared for mainly at home, and not in hospitals, which are often basic compared to hospitals elsewhere. Contact with the individual's saliva, vomit, or other excretion is a huge possibility. This is also coupled with the notion that many with the disease will rather submit to the care of their family, and not go to a doctor. According to the Beeb, the number of infected is under-reported. Furthermore, general ignorance about the disease and it's transmission contributes to people being infected.

CAPTCHA: "I can fix it". No I can't! I study Immunology, but I ain't got no cure.

Smolderin:
This isn't enough to worry me but it is enough for me to keep a close eye on. I am in a heavily populated area and if this thing escalates further, I am getting the hell out of dodge no matter what the circumstances. I have always known that I could die in a multitude of ways but I am not going to let "virus" be one of them.

Same, I'm in Britain and if it reaches here and David Cameron doesn't stop upping breaking promises and hating on UKIP to shut down all flights from Africa (which is likely knowing him) I'm dropping everything and fleeing to my grandparents in rural Wales. I'm not taking the risk, I'd rather have a temporary setback to my education and social liife than die a horrible, painful death from a virus that would almost certainly infect my close family too

Irridium:
Before everyone freaks out (a bit late but eh), the only way you can contract this is if you decide to come into direct contact with the person's bodily fluids.

Wrong, there is strong evidence for aerosol transmission I.E microscopic particles of virus fluid spread through the atmosphere. It lodges in the nasal cavity and/or lungs and can infect the host from there, its still consider direct contact rather than "airborne" but the fact remains you can have an infected victim pass through an area exhaling the virus and someone can pass through a few minutes after the person has left and potentially catch the virus.

Source

This research shows how separated animals where infected without direct physical contact and shows the lungs and nasal membranes as the initial point of infection.

yayforgiveaway:
729/1300 ~= 0,56

729 dead of 1300 infected so far. Also according to the WHO it's 1440 cases with 826 dead.

Remember the infected figure doesn't mean those people have recovered it just means they haven't died yet.

The needless alarmism and apocalyptic doom-saying in this article is ridiculous... I shake my head in shame at the standard of journalism here.

Wow, there are days that I thank my lucky stars that I was born in a 1st World Country like the U.S., where our most serious health problem is people eating too much.

This is horrible for the people in Africa. I really hope WHO can get a handle on this.

Product Placement:

And we're dealing with the Zaire variant, where it drops down to 50-60% mortality, provided that you're receiving proper care.

Except there is no cure or treatment available, the most they can do is pain management.

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