Ebola is a virus that in most cases very quickly brings the host to an extremely excruciating and horrific death. The incubation period can be up to 21 days so it can be carried all over the globe before there is any warning of spread. There is no known cure nor vaccine to combat it and it is out of control in west Africa.
Doctor Sheik Umar Khan who was leading the fight against it west Africa contracted it himself and died. Nurses in one town there went on strike after three nurses in their facility seemed to have died from it. Two Americans (one of whom is also a doctor) have contracted it there and, under very sterile conditions, are being brought back to the U.S.
There is a suspected case of it in New York to which the sick individual recently returned from a trip to west Africa.
The U.S. is supposed to be treating the Americans that are being brought back with an experimental serum.
Without an effective serum to combat it there might be a great need for isolation units and organ supporting equipment.
A second American doctor has contracted Ebola In Liberia. He was not treating Ebola patients but was working as an obstetrician there. Also in Liberia a civil servant with dual American - Liberian citizenship recently died from the disease. Per the article:
A second US physician has contracted the deadly Ebola virus while treating patients in Liberia, an aid group confirmed on Tuesday. The infected American doctor was treating obstetrics patients at a hospital in the Liberian capital, Monrovia....A fourth American, a civil servant with dual American-Liberian citizenship, died in Monrovia last month....The WHO warned last week that the number of Ebola cases could rise to 20,000 in the next six months as the outbreak accelerates in west Africa....
A fourth American doctor has contracted Ebola in West Africa and has been brought back to the U.S. for treatment in the same facility in Georgia that the first two were treated. The third is being treated in a different facility. Doctors are repeatedly being infected (and some are dying) despite taking full protective precautions and the virus is known to be mutating rapidly. Per the article:
The World Health Organization, however, said one of its doctors who has been working in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the disease. It said the doctor was in stable condition Monday in Freetown and will be evacuated. The State Department said the doctor was from the U.S.
Obama is going to send 3,000 military troops to Monrovia Liberia to help set up seventeen 100 bed hospitals and train 500 health care providers a week there to treat Ebola victims. The down side is that some of the 3,000 troops are bound to contract the disease and be brought back to the U.S. for treatment. This of course will increase the probability that there will be an outbreak of Ebola in America.
This is indeed troubling. Surely they will do all they can to prevent the disease from spreading across the U.S.
Returning soldiers brought back "The Spanish Flu" in 1918.
"World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history."
That was 96 years ago. Both sets of my grandparents took in whole families of children whose parents died. Descendants of those children are part of our families today.
One victim of this flu was the American story teller and novelist Katherine Anne Porter. She also had TB at a time, and I cannot remember which one caused her hair to change color from brown to ash-like platinum-grey. She survived both diseases and went on to write such stories as "Flowering Judas" and her novel, Ship of Fools.
She must have been one strong lady. I wonder if there was a genetic component to her ancestry that gave her immunity?
"I have not much interest in anyone's personal history after the tenth year, not even my own. Whatever one was going to be was all prepared before that."
~ Katherine Anne Porter
Hush! Don't give those 8th century zealots any ideas!
The USA and allied powers think we are so smart and strong, we can bomb their cities off the face of the Earth. Well, are we smart enough to keep them from bombing us with a virus, leaving everyone dead and the virus-bombers get all the infrastructure that remains.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could explode to between 550,000 and 1.4 million cases by January if there are no additional interventions nor changes in community behavior there. Per the article:
The number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could rise to between 550,000 and 1.4 million by January if there are no "additional interventions or changes in community behavior," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Tuesday. The estimate was derived from a new forecasting tool developed by the CDC.