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Ebola outbreak

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Does this disease scare the daylights out of anybody else? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6990759.stm Maybe it's just Africa's proximity to Europe (where I live), and the incredible amount of global air traffic, but every time I read about it, I get shivers up and down my spine.
Maybe I've just read too many books like these,

http://www.amazon.com/Ebola-William-...9627164&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Zone-Terri...9627279&sr=1-2
http://www.amazon.com/Band-Played-Po...9627355&sr=1-1

but sometimes I really believe nature is fighting back in its own horrific ways. Horrific for humans, that is, with their terrible overpopulation and exhaustion of resources.

Avian flu is another example.
post #2 of 24
It is definitely scary - even more so since we all travel so much more and viruses and all that good stuff are more easily carried throughout the world.

You comment on nature I also believe. Look at all the new illnesses and diseases we have now that didn't exist some years ago. Yes, we've nearly eradicated some things like polio, smallpox, etc, but even uglier diseases pop up to replace them.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Does this disease scare the daylights out of anybody else? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6990759.stm Maybe it's just Africa's proximity to Europe (where I live), and the incredible amount of global air traffic, but every time I read about it, I get shivers up and down my spine.
Maybe I've just read too many books like these,

http://www.amazon.com/Ebola-William-...9627164&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Zone-Terri...9627279&sr=1-2
http://www.amazon.com/Band-Played-Po...9627355&sr=1-1

but sometimes I really believe nature is fighting back in its own horrific ways. Horrific for humans, that is, with their terrible overpopulation and exhaustion of resources.

Avian flu is another example.
This is my nightmare....

TS Eliot said it the best:

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.
post #4 of 24
When I was a teacher (eons ago OK about 10 years ago), The Hot Zone was THE book that they were into. There was about 5 copies that probably were read 20 times each by different people. And boy did they LOVE talking about the gory details about how Ebola kills you.

Yes, Tricia...it's scary as heck. And yes, I do think that Mother Nature is fighting back. Nature controls every other species so the population doesn't get out of whack, either through the predator/prey population rates or disease. Bubonic Plague occurs somewhere in Colorado every year to keep the prairie dog population in check if not done by other means. Once again, we humans are awful egotistical to think that we can beat nature or otherwise make ourselves immune to nature's population control.
post #5 of 24
That's very scary!! I have a few friends that are working in the Congo as contract pilots

Diseases like this are so interesting. It shows up and kills a few hundred people and then goes away for a couple of years. The thought of something like ebola hitting a major city of millions is frightning
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
When I was a teacher (eons ago OK about 10 years ago), The Hot Zone was THE book that they were into. There was about 5 copies that probably were read 20 times each by different people. And boy did they LOVE talking about the gory details about how Ebola kills you.
We have a collection of books in various languages at school, and I added "The Hot Zone" to it after I'd read it.Yes, it was probably about a decade ago. It's still popular, and is only topped by "Helter Skelter" (I guess we can thank Marilyn Manson for that).

Unfortunately, gorilla populations in that area also seem to be dying from Ebola.
post #7 of 24
Ebola (and other viruses of that nature) scares the bejeezus out of me. But, so do plenty of other things, and if I take the time to think about/worry about them, then I would become a complete agoraphobic and NEVER leave my house.
post #8 of 24
A lot of the 'details' we think we know about Ebola are purely hyped up fiction (100% mortality rate - untrue; massive haemorraging - untrue). It's a nasty disease, but it a lot of the reality about it has been turned into modern myth. I don't find it that scary tbh.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
A lot of the 'details' we think we know about Ebola are purely hyped up fiction (100% mortality rate - untrue; massive haemorraging - untrue). It's a nasty disease, but it a lot of the reality about it has been turned into modern myth. I don't find it that scary tbh.
I agree. The media love to hype up stuff. You have to be in direct contact with the virus. If you keep yourselves aware of the disease and you believe someone you know has the disease, take all the necessary precautions.

I personally would be more worried about man-made chemicals than viruses.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
A lot of the 'details' we think we know about Ebola are purely hyped up fiction (100% mortality rate - untrue; massive haemorraging - untrue). It's a nasty disease, but it a lot of the reality about it has been turned into modern myth. I don't find it that scary tbh.
Also, don't you have to come in contact with dead bodies that have it?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Also, don't you have to come in contact with dead bodies that have it?
I'm not 100% sure on that, but it isn't as bad or contagious as references in popular culture would have us believe - I mean sure it's not great either, but I'd be more frightened if smallpox made a comeback. Ebola has a short incubation compared to a lot of other diseases - so is easier to contain. Not an expert on it mind you, I worked more with animal health and zoonoses (diseases that can spread from animals to humans) that are more likely to strike UK agriculture/public health when I was working in epidemiology, so I don't have that sort of comprehensive knowledge of Ebola!
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I'm not 100% sure on that, but it isn't as bad or contagious as references in popular culture would have us believe - I mean sure it's not great either, but I'd be more frightened if smallpox made a comeback. Ebola has a short incubation compared to a lot of other diseases - so is easier to contain. Not an expert on it mind you, I worked more with animal health and zoonoses (diseases that can spread from animals to humans) that are more likely to strike UK agriculture/public health when I was working in epidemiology, so I don't have that sort of comprehensive knowledge of Ebola!
I was wrong... it's fluid contact like the flu.

I'd hate to see my work log of what I look up when I'm here. I'm sure it's something like: Cat toys, Ebola virus, Election issues, pictures of hedgehogs.....
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
I was wrong... it's fluid contact like the flu.

I'd hate to see my work log of what I look up when I'm here. I'm sure it's something like: Cat toys, Ebola virus, Election issues, pictures of hedgehogs.....
Oh god tell me about it.... I found myself in a quiet work moment the other day and realised I'd managed to look up 5 notifiable diseases and 3 serial killers on wikipedia - please please no-one ever please look at my internet log or I'll be locked up
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
We have a collection of books in various languages at school, and I added "The Hot Zone" to it after I'd read it.Yes, it was probably about a decade ago. It's still popular, and is only topped by "Helter Skelter" (I guess we can thank Marilyn Manson for that).

Unfortunately, gorilla populations in that area also seem to be dying from Ebola.
I have a copy of that book, and I even did a speech about Ebola at one point for a class in college. I threw in a theory that some people believe that not all the deaths attributed to the plague were the plague. Some scientists believe that there were Ebola breakouts then, and they believed that because you couldn't quarantine the plague (since it was spread by the rats' fleas), but there were several cases where quarantine was successful. *shrug* It's an interesting theory. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...53C1A9679C8B63)

Anyway, I have a *slight* obsession with infectious diseases, especially Ebola, as well as HIV/AIDS.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Ebola (and other viruses of that nature) scares the bejeezus out of me. But, so do plenty of other things, and if I take the time to think about/worry about them, then I would become a complete agoraphobic and NEVER leave my house.
x2!! I agree!!!
post #16 of 24
Stuff like that scares the heck out of me. Things are so easily spread these days due to airplanes.

I posted something similar about a scientist who recreated the 1918 influenza virus so he could study it and merge it with other viruses to see what happens!

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=136755
post #17 of 24
I agree with the consensus here. The spread of epidemic illness in today's world is definitely a serious concern. The anxiety about bird flu from a couple years ago has died down, so this issue is again pretty much out of the public spotlight. But whether it's ebola, bird flu, or some other yet unknown disease, I believe that we ARE going to experience some kind of epidemic at some time. You just can't prepare for the outbreak of some new illness because it takes too much time to develop a new vaccine.

Another thing to think about: the world's population is growing at an incredible rate. Are there already too many people for the world to sustain them? An epidemic is one way nature might take to reduce the overburden and "thin out" the human race.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
The anxiety about bird flu from a couple years ago has died down, so this issue is again pretty much out of the public spotlight.
It hasn't died down here - 200,000 ducks had to be killed here last week, and the week before it was 120,000 at another farm. Cats in the two areas are under house arrest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona
A lot of the 'details' we think we know about Ebola are purely hyped up fiction (100% mortality rate - untrue; massive haemorraging - untrue). It's a nasty disease, but it a lot of the reality about it has been turned into modern myth. I don't find it that scary tbh.
One of those books I linked to was written by a physician (actually actress Glenn Close's father) who worked directly with Ebola victims in Africa. The third book (And The Band Played On) is about the early days of the AIDs epidemic and the race to identify the virus, but includes the experiences of one Centers for Disease Control's doctors in Africa with Ebola. They were horrific enough for me.

As far as mortality rate is concerned, I believe it depends on the strain, e.g. Marburg, but usually rates of 60% - 90% are quoted, not 100%.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I'm not 100% sure on that, but it isn't as bad or contagious as references in popular culture would have us believe - I mean sure it's not great either, but I'd be more frightened if smallpox made a comeback. Ebola has a short incubation compared to a lot of other diseases - so is easier to contain. Not an expert on it mind you, I worked more with animal health and zoonoses (diseases that can spread from animals to humans) that are more likely to strike UK agriculture/public health when I was working in epidemiology, so I don't have that sort of comprehensive knowledge of Ebola!
Just wondering if Ebola isn't that dangerous, why does the Army keep it in a Level 4 Biosafety Level? So far it hasn't mutated to where we can catch it like the common cold, but you never know. Whether it is media hype or not, it is still scary & I agree with the people who think that it's a planetary defense. There are just waaaaay too many people on this planet, it's getting worse & people are going places that they don't belong. Why can't we leave anything alone? It's already a fact that the planet's population is going to reach levels that are unsustainable. Nature always finds a way to balance itself. Why do humans always take the arrogant stance & automatically assume that it can't possibly happen to us? Weak creatures that we are, separated only by our brains & an opposable thumb...and lots & lots of garbage. If it came down to man vs. the animals, I'd pick the animals.
post #20 of 24
I think the most dangerous thing about Ebola is that they still cannot find a common host animal in order to prevent the spreading of the virus. In almost every case, by the time people are dying, it's too late to trace it all back to the original source before they've passed. Even in cases where the original human source lives, they cannot prove where that person contracted the virus from. Scientists have searched and tested animals, plants, etc. trying to find a common source, and have come up empty-handed each time. Sure there are theories, but that's all they have.

I also think it's dangerous because people do die from the virus before anyone can figure out what is going on. Not sure how that would play out in a major city, but in remote areas, entire towns can be infected (and many die) before help is even queried.
post #21 of 24
That virus reminds me of the movie :Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman Kevin Spacey and Rene Russo.
I feel for those people who have that awful disease in their community/country.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loubelia View Post
That virus reminds me of the movie :Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman Kevin Spacey and Rene Russo.
I feel for those people who have that awful disease in their community/country.
That movie was created because of the Ebola outbreaks taking place. I also think it was influenced by the primate outbreak of Ebola that took place in Texas and Virginia, many years ago. Check out The Hot Zone. It's non-fiction and a great read. It gives details about the outbreak in Virginia.
post #23 of 24
The Hot Zone is a good read!
But the Outbreak is so totally corny...especially at the end..
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopCat View Post
The Hot Zone is a good read!
But the Outbreak is so totally corny...especially at the end..
You should read The Hot Zone, then go and watch 28 Days Later, and THEN try watching Resident Evil...yeah...couldn't finish RE because I had enough of the "fluid spreading disease" thing. *shudder*
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