Tag Archives: outbreak

Ebola II – An Ignorant View

 Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

ebola

 

 Ebola is back on the top of the list of news stories today, mostly it seems because of the news of another infected American doctor, Rick Sacra. According to his family, he is in good spirits and was able to isolate himself as soon as he felt a fever coming on and got himself to an Ebola clinic.

 

 

Debbie says she is surrounded by friends and family who are “praying fervently” for Rick’s recovery.

“Rick would want me to urge you to remember that there are many people in Liberia who are suffering in this epidemic and others who are not receiving standard healthcare because clinics and hospitals have been forced to close,” Sacra said in the statement. “West Africa is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis and the world needs to respond compassionately and generously.”

 From <http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/09/03/rick-sacras-brother-prayers-needed-for-ebola-recovery/>

This humanitarian crisis is in danger of becoming of epic proportions, if it has not already done so. Everything I just read cries out for help that would have been there six months ago if this had happened anywhere besides West Africa.

Unlike the SARS crisis of 2003, which struck countries in Asia and elsewhere that had strong governments and ample money to spring to action, the Ebola outbreak has waylaid nations that often lack basic health care, much less the ability to mount big campaigns to stamp out epidemics.

To aid the fight, wealthy individuals offered the W.H.O. “literally hundreds of millions because their businesses were affected,” said Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank and a former director at the W.H.O. “But as SARS burned out, those guys disappeared, and we forgot very quickly.”

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/africa/cuts-at-who-hurt-response-to-ebola-crisis.html?_r=0>

 Just read a blog raising some very serious issues, the one standing out the most to me is that this strain of Ebola is basically identical to the one that  broke out in the initial 1976 outbreak. But once that outbreak “went away”, so did everyone’s attention to Ebola. Just think if research had continued on a vaccine for Ebola, this would not be an issue today. But we all know that there is not enough funding and that cuts to the WHO (World Health Organization) have basically kept some of these diseases alive

The W.H.O. hoped to balance its budget cuts by strengthening the ability of countries to respond to public health threats on their own. It put out new regulations for nations to follow to help contain outbreaks. But by 2012, the deadline it set, only 20 percent of nations had enacted them all. In Africa, fewer than a third of countries had programs to detect and stop infectious diseases at their borders. The W.H.O.’s strategy was often more theory than reality.

“There never were the resources to put those things in place in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Scott F. Dowell, a specialist formerly with the C.D.C.

 From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/africa/cuts-at-who-hurt-response-to-ebola-crisis.html?_r=0>

Nancy Writebol spoke to the media for the first time since returning to the United States for treatment of Ebola.

Shortly before SIM released details of Sacra’s condition, Nancy Writebol, a missionary with SIM, spoke to reporters for the first time, describing her own “dark days” with Ebola. Writebol was brought back to the United States for treatment in August and has since recovered.

Writebol said she is often asked what she believes saved her — whether it was returning to the U.S. for treatment, an experimental medication, her deep faith, or the supportive care she received from doctors in Liberia.

“My answer to that question is all of the above,” she said.

“God uses means. God uses doctors, and I can tell you again, amazing doctors. God uses experimental drugs. We don’t know whether the ZMapp helped. We don’t know. We don’t know if it was the supportive care. The supportive care was very, very necessary,” she said.

“All of those things played a part in saving our lives.”

 From <http://www.webmd.com/news/20140903/ebola-third-american-sacra?page=2>

Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put out a cry for help.

In an impassioned call to action, he urged American doctors, nurses, and health care professionals to join Africa in its fight. “This isn’t just the countries’ problem,” he said. “It’s a global problem.” With vivid detail, Frieden painted a gruesome picture of overcrowded isolation centers in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, where health care workers are struggling to keep up with “basic care.” He mentioned deficiencies not only in the number of doctors, nurses, and health managers available, but the protective gear needed to keep them safe. Without an immediate change in the current landscape, he said, the worst is yet to come. “The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined,” Frieden said.

At one particular 35-bed facility, Frieden described the chilling sight of more than three-dozen Ebola patients without beds, left with no other place to fight their infections but the floor. The health care workers, too, face “distressing” conditions. “Roasting hot” personal protective gear including robes, masks, boots, and goggles, make simply drawing an IV a near impossible task. “It is very difficult to move…sweats pours into goggles, [the health workers] see the enormous need but the great risk, too,” he said.

But even more alarming than the disturbing images, was the lack of outside support. “The most upsetting thing I saw was what I didn’t see,” he said. “No data from countries where it’s spreading, no rapid response teams, no trucks, a lack of efficient management,” he said. “I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.”

From <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/02/cdc-window-is-closing-on-containing-ebola.html>

 I hope and pray that the International community wakes up very soon and pours some help into West Africa. Ignorance of Ebola will not make it go away. From what I have learned, it can be controlled but they need help. Supplies, volunteers and money are all needed. Here is a link to a blog by a very inspired individual that is trying to help. There are other ways to help. Even if you can’t send money or volunteer, spread the word of this terrible situation until people ARE talking about it.

I saw a comment to one of the articles that really puts things in perspective to me

Ebola tends to spread rapidly in areas where poverty is widespread and large swaths of the population don’t have access to modern health care. In other words the U.S. is ripe for an Ebola pandemic to take hold

From <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/02/cdc-window-is-closing-on-containing-ebola.html>

Take care

Mark

Ebola – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Again, I remind myself definition of ignorance is lack of knowledge or information.

Before today, when it became the #1 story on Google News, I knew little about the Ebola virus and the outbreak affecting West Africa. I still only know a very little about it, but what I have read is very disturbing.

The outbreak apparently was first reported to deaf ears in March, almost 6 months ago. But it really did not get much notice as far as I can tell here in the United States until a report that an infected person actually flew into Atlanta, and even then it was hidden behind reports on Gaza Strip, Ukraine and any political bull crap that was going on.

This is scary, scary stuff, and that is an understatement. Some statistics:

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease.

The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the oubreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The death toll stands at 1,552.

 From <http://diamondcelebrities.com/2014/08/28/ebola-outbreak-could-strike-20000-people-who/>

If half the people that contract Ebola die from it, and WHO is saying that 20,000 people are going to possibly be infected, it seems to me that more people will die from this than both Ukraine and Gaza combined, yet it took 6 months for it to be the top story? I read many accounts from people in Africa who are scared for their lives. Accounts of medical personnel packing up and leaving rather than having to help treat the sick. But there are also accounts of volunteers willing to help for NO pay because they want to save their country’s people.

Top story today seemed to be a Doctor in Nigeria dieing from Ebola, with Nigeria joining Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as infected countries. Many reports are saying that the help is finally starting to arrive from the International community, even though there are still stories of medical aid being delayed.

Our “freight forwarder” collected the pallets on August 18 for consolidated air freight service, which normally means airport-to-airport delivery within three to five days using space available on commercial (passenger) airlines or dedicated cargo flights to the destination. By consolidating cargo from various shippers, freight forwarders reduce the cost of air shipment significantly from express services, which is important when shipping multiple pallets.

And here is the rub. In spite of repeated statements from the World Health Organization (WHO) advising against travel bans to and from affected countries, commercial airlines have suspended service. Clearly this constrains the ability for the international humanitarian community to send aid workers. But due to the role passenger flights play in providing air cargo capacity, these travel restrictions are effectively quarantining critical medical supplies outside Ebola-affected regions.

From <http://supplychainmit.com/2014/08/28/commerical-air-cancellations-quarantine-ebola-supplies/>

Unfortunately the conditions of the medical centers that are fighting this outbreak are dismal at best, but some of the stories of the heroes that have stayed and are doing everything that they can are amazing. One such story is below with a link to the entire story with some more mind numbing statistics

Anja Wolz is in the latter group of people. A nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Wolz is working at Kailahun, Sierra Leone. She has written a first-person account of the grueling and relentless work the national and international health-care workers fighting the outbreak face day after day after day.
She says the worst thing about the work is dealing with the children — orphaned, confused, sick and a heartbreak to caregivers whose instincts are to offer consoling hugs. The PPE — personal protective equipment, a.k.a. layers of head-to-toe coverings — the health workers must wear make hugging and even talking to the children difficult.

From <http://globalnews.ca/news/1531783/a-nurses-view-fighting-ebola-one-day-at-a-time-in-sierra-leone/&gt;

My ignorant view is this. First I cannot believe that this has not been the top news story before today. Second I hope and I pray that the international community turns its attention away from the pointless wars elsewhere and devotes as much time and money into combating this true war before it is too late. I guarantee that if an Ebola outbreak had occurred anywhere besides in Africa, that this would have been the top story back in March.

Vaccines are being tested now in US and in Canada, what the hell have they been waiting for? I guess the appropriate funding was not available or else everyone was too busy watching War TV. My hopes and prayers go out to all in West Africa along with the heroes that are en route now to help combat this, just hope it is not too little, too late