The United States is woefully unprepared for an Ebola outbreak. If a pandemic were to erupt, the very limited number of hospital labs and isolation units that we currently have would be rapidly overwhelmed. Yes, we may be able to provide "state of the art care" for a handful of people, but if thousands (or millions) of Americans get the virus you can forget about it. Our health industry is already stretched incredibly thin, and we simply do not have the resources to handle a tsunami of high risk Ebola patients. And of course conventional medicine does not have a cure for Ebola anyway. The "experimental drug" that is being used on the two American health professionals with the disease seems to be helping them, but even if it does turn out to be safe and even if it is approved for the general public it will still be a long time before there is ever enough of the drug for everyone. So let us hope that we do not see a full-blown Ebola pandemic in this country. Because if we do, we could potentially see millions of people die.
On Wednesday we learned that the global Ebola death toll has increased to 932. As you can see from this article, cases of Ebola are now spreading at an exponential rate. If you project how many cases we could be looking at in just a few months if Ebola keeps spreading at the same pace, it becomes quite frightening.
In the United States, the CDC is refusing to tell the media the locations of the people that have been tested for Ebola in this country. But we do know that the CDC has told Time Magazine that it has received "several dozen calls" regarding "people who are ill after traveling in Africa."
If you get Ebola, there is a very good chance that you are going to die. The mortality rate during this current outbreak is over 50 percent. It is a killer that is both silent and brutally efficient.
But what makes Ebola so dangerous is that you can be carrying it around for up to three weeks before you ever know that you have it. In fact, one doctor that has been working on the front lines fighting this disease says that Ebola victims can "look quite fit and healthy and can be walking around until shortly before their deaths."
So the person sitting next to you at work or that you walk past in the supermarket could have the virus.
You just never know.
And there is a lot of misinformation about Ebola out there right now. There are a lot of people claiming that it "does not spread easily" and that you basically have to exchange bodily fluids with someone in order to get it.
Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the truth. As Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, the Public Health Agency of Canada says that Ebola "can survive in liquid or dried material for several days..."
Even worse, Ebola is a strong survivor outside a host. Here's what the Public Health Agency of Canada says:
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days. Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4 C for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70 C. Infectivity can be preserved by lyophilisation.
This clearly states that Ebola viruses can survive for several days on common objects such as door knobs or household surfaces. If an infected Ebola victim runs around touching such common objects after cleaning blood or mucous from his nose, another innocent victim can easily infect himself by touching the same objects and then eating some food that places the virus in his mouth.
When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.
The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.
Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.
Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.
If Ebola truly is "not something that is easily transmitted," then how in the world have more than 100 health workers been infected so far?
Were they not being careful?
And if you think that our "advanced technology" is going to keep health workers from getting Ebola in this country, you might want to think again.
As Mike Adams pointed out in a different article, we can't even stop the spread of "superbugs" such as MRSA in our own hospitals...
How can U.S. health authorities claim there is zero risk from Ebola patients being treated in U.S. hospitals when those same hospitals can't control superbug infections? "Many hospitals are poorly prepared to contain any pathogen. That’s why at least 75,000 people a year die from hospital infections. If hospitals can’t stop common infections like MRSA, C. diff and VRE, they can’t handle Ebola."
Yes, the United States has a far superior health system when compared to nations such as Liberia and Sierra Leone.
But it does have limitations.
Earlier today, I was reading something supposedly written by someone who works in a hospital laboratory. I wanted to share three quotes that I found particularly sobering...
#1 "Even in the United States, out of all the various hospitals I have worked at, there is no hope of containing anything like this. One of the largest hospitals I worked at only had two reverse flow isolation rooms. TWO, let that sink in for a minute."
#2 "Patients only show up to the hospital when they go symptomatic. So by the time they get there, they've already infected their entire family, their work group, and anyone they got within a few feet of on the way to the hospital. When they get there the ER nurses would treat it either like Flu, or Sepsis. But the whole time the patient is infecting all of them. And all of them, in turn, begin to infect everyone else in the exact same way. If this is as virulent as the WHO thinks it might be, by the time people realize what is going on, there will be more sick people than there would be beds available at every hospital in the US combined."
#3 "So don't expect miracles from front line hospital staff, we don't have the tools, and we certainly do not have the manpower. Ask anyone in the medical field how much overtime they could work if they felt like it, don't even get me started on how thinly stretched people in the industry are. Though I suppose if this does turn into something, that will become apparent very, very fast."
There is no way in the world that our medical professionals are going to be able to handle a full-blown Ebola pandemic.
Therefore, if one does break out, you are going to need to be prepared to stay at home as much as possible.
That means that you will need enough food and supplies to last for at least a couple of months, and it could potentially be a lot longer than that.
Just think about it. If Ebola is spreading, you certainly would not want to go to places such as grocery stores that large numbers of people circulate through every day. But if you do not have any food, eventually you would be forced to leave your home. And that decision could end up costing you dearly.
Hopefully this crisis will blow over and we won't have to worry about any of this. But if Ebola does start sweeping across America, the key will be to isolate yourself and your family as much as you can.
For now, our top officials are making it sound like we have nothing to worry about.
For example, the head of the CDC told CBS News that "we can stop it" and that the spread of the Ebola virus will probably not reach this country...
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he is confident that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa can be stopped and likely won't reach the U.S.
"The plain fact is, we can stop it. We can stop it from spreading in hospitals and we can stop it in Africa [which] is really the source of the epidemic and where we're surging our response so that we can control it there," Tom Frieden said in an interview Sunday.
And Barack Obama says that Ebola is "not something that is easily transmitted" and that everything is under control...
Personally, I am going to file away those quotes for future reference.
Let us hope that they are right.
Let us hope that we don't have anything to be concerned about.
But with each passing day this Ebola outbreak is getting even worse, and if it continues to grow at an exponential rate it won't be too long before the entire world is facing an absolutely horrific health crisis.
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