Ebola, a topic that is everywhere today. I had the longest single post I have ever written ready for you on Ebola. I had links to newspaper and magazine articles, and I had links to talks & speeches by government officials. I also had links to information from doctors who have actually worked with Ebola going all the way back to 1973, when this virus was discovered. I deleted that article. You don’t want to sit reading an article for an hour; you want to know what is going on. Here is the best I can give you.
This virus is deadly, and the experts really do not know exactly how this particular strain of the Ebola virus is transmitted. Originally you had to have a transfer of body fluids (sneezing on someone was enough to transfer the virus).
As we all know, viruses change over time, almost always becoming deadlier. What our government is doing is “politics as usual.” Each side playing to its base. If the republican politicians truly believed their own families were at risk from this virus they would not hold press conferences to say we need quarantine, they would have already created a quarantine. We have an Ebola Czar with impeccable political credentials. But, I would feel better if he at least had a Boy Scout first aid merit badge.
They tell us that a quarantine would actually make matters worse, because then we could not get medical workers into and out of the countries in Africa that most desperately need our help. Bullsh**. Enact a quarantine that restricts commercial and private travel to and from the worst areas. Then fly the needed experts and supplies in and out of the country using military planes. It has been done before.
The expert who wrote the recently published book on Ebola gave an interview saying a quarantine would make the virus spread faster, he said you can’t quarantine a neighborhood, a city, or a nation. He continued saying we can’t have a quarantine because we would be turning our back on Liberia, a country started because of slavery. And that action just would not be right. A very politically correct answer. But, this is not about being politically correct; this is about life and death.
So, once again I call BS. Quarantines have been used for hundreds of years. They have been used to reduce the spread of scarlet fever, the plague, polio, leprosy (which was just announced as being discovered in the Ohio prison system this week), chicken pox, mumps, the flu, and a whole host of other illnesses. It has been done and it works. Even more, for hundreds of years, the individuals quarantined were still given the best medical treatment available at that time. Thirty countries (mostly in Europe) have already enacted quarantines because of the Ebola virus. The politicians can write laws quarantining smokers to areas away from the general public, even outdoors, but they cannot do the same with the Ebola virus? Cigarettes take a lot longer to kill you than the Ebola virus does.
The CDC keeps trying to find ways to blame the two nurses for contracting the Ebola virus. They were wearing bio-suits and following the protocols in place at the time. Before Mr. Duncan, no one in this country had the Ebola virus. And, Mr. Duncan did not tell hospital personnel that he had just recently been to Africa. His systems were flu-like, and that was how he was treated when he first came to the hospital. This should have kept them from getting the disease from Mr. Duncan, it did not. So, obviously this virus has evolved, as viruses have done in the past. Also it is the CDC that gave the travel green light to the medical personnel who were involved in Mr. Duncan’s treatment, even though it was still less than the 21 days the CDC says is the incubation period. One of the researchers who first worked with this virus forty years ago says that a safer period for quarantine is 31 days, not 21 days.
It is my unqualified opinion that the current Ebola virus has evolved and is now infecting people by a means of transmission never before seen in the Ebola virus.
What to do?
This is what I am going to do. I wash my hands several times a day in very warm (not hot) water with plenty of soap.
I avoid people I know are sick, as best as I can.
If I am around someone who is sick, I wash with warm water and soap as soon as I can.
I use chlorine bleach to clean the surfaces of inanimate objects that also may have come into contact with that person.
The best person for you to talk with about this virus is your own doctor.
Listen to government officials (both left and right), but remember that none of them will get truly serious about this until they feel their own families are at risk.
The most important thing to do is to NOT panic.
Our doctors and nurses may not have all the answers, but they will tell us what they know. Doctors and nurses routinely put themselves in danger to provide aid to their patients. If they are not sure, they will choose the more cautious answer for you.
I wish I could tell you more. But I do not have a medical degree. What I can tell you is that I want you safe, healthy, and I do not want you to panic. Panicking will not make you any safer and could put you at risk.
I am going to give you one article to read. Nigeria has not had a new case of the Ebola virus in 42 days. Read the article and see what you think. (I think it is safer in Nigeria right now than Columbus, Ohio).