I decide to write this piece because I’m seeing literature starting to pop up around the internet; although well intentioned it is mostly incorrect.
What Is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus. A virus is a protein strand with a very specific shape and specific to a host cell. Ebola is classified as a hemorrhagic fever. Anytime that you see the prefix “hemo” it refers to blood. So, Ebola attacks the blood and its associated infrastructure.
Ebola is also not a living organism hence it does not respond to antibiotics. Medications designed to disrupt a virus by necessity also attack the host cell; therefore, viruses are not generally curable, like the common cold. Instead, the host or infected organism must rely on its immune system to develop the antigen needed to thwart off the virus; this is the role of a vaccine.
Ebola has no known cure, no effective prophylaxis and IN MOST CASES spreads from contact with bodily fluids. It has a mortality rate of 50 to 70 % depending on availability and quality of patient care.
Ebola has a 21 day incubation period dependent on the individual. This means disease symptoms will usually manifest themselves within a 21 day window.
Like all viruses, Ebola has several strains; it is subject to mutations all of which have the potential of altering the virus’s epidemiology.
Why Should I take Ebola Seriously?
When you are dealing with a virus that has the mortality rate of Ebola, what is unknown about the virus is as important as what is known. For example:
1. Are there individuals that can become carriers of the virus? A carrier is someone carrying the virus but is unaffected by it.
2. Can an individual while in an asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) condition transmit Ebola through bodily fluids – more specifically semen?
3. Can indigenous species of vectors (dogs, cats, squirrels, rats, insects) become carriers and spread the virus?
All of these are uncertainties; however, even if the chance of them occurring is below 1% (<.01) it has to be factored into the national strategy because of Ebola’s lethality.
Is Bio-Terrorism Possible?
Sadly, we live in a world where individuals are willing to wrap themselves up in ball bearings and explosives, and detonate such a device in a crowded store or on a street just to prove a point. Suicide bombs are dramatic with lots of carnage. The possibility exists that these individuals and/ or their handlers will look at Ebola with comparable appeal. Therefore, we need to be alert to the outside chance that Ebola will become a bio-terror tool. If this is the case, we need to be concerned about terrorist efforts to place infected individuals inside the United States and/or seed an epidemic in Mexico, Central or South America where the medical infrastructure is poor at best. Such a situation, would lead to waves of immigrants coming through our southern border as they flee in panic or come to seek medical care in the United States. The good news is that my last scenario is being discussed at US Southern Command.
What Should I Do or Not Do?
1. You will not find yourself being overrun by hordes of people trying to get to your food supply or steal your F150. So, forget the carbine battles with fast mag changes as you make your way to your F150 to grab your GO BAG. NOT HAPPENING!
2. Don’t Panic! Be Focused!
3. If you’re in the woods hunting or camping stay covered up and use insect repellents. If possible, have the meat from a kill tested to make sure it is safe to consume.
4. Wash your hands regularly.
5. Be alert to health issues and report them to the management. Not too long ago, I was using a public rest room at a mall when I observed a food worker leave a stall after a bowl movement without washing his hands.
6. Avoid, or reschedule, non-essential travel.
7. Ask your elected officials to impose temporary travel bans to and from afflicted areas. The CDC’s statement that it would hamper a medical response to the West African crisis is quite frankly moronic.
8. Ask elected officials to work with our NATO partners to impose similar temporary travel bans to afflicted regions.
9. Talk with your elected officials and get them onboard with controlling our borders. Interestingly enough, the Center for Disease Control published a report about 5 or 8 years ago in which they identified a resurgence of previously eradicated disease in the United States. In that report, they attribute the resurgence to illegal immigration.
Don’t panic and keep sweat pumps in low speed