Senate So it looks like the Ebola outbreak is getting more serious

Discussion in 'Community' started by Space_Wolf, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Space_Wolf Force Ghost

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    Mar 13, 2007
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    I don't normally contribute to Senate discussions, but it looks like the Ebola crisis in Africa has now become a serious problem. I thought it would be a good idea to share this so that people can keep themselves safe from the disease.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28558783
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    You mean it becomes serious as soon as it kills somebody besides a sub-Saharan African.


    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jul 30, 2014
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  3. G-FETT Chosen One

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    Aug 10, 2001
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    The good news with Ebola (assuming you can have any good news with a virus that kills 90% of it victims and seems to be spreading) is that it's not ***THAT*** easily spreadable.

    The worst epidemics/pandemics are always the one's that spread through the respiratory system via coughing and sneezing. Having such a high mortality rate also means that Ebola outbreaks should also burn themselves out in time.

    Given these factors it should always be relatively easy to contain an outbreak of Ebola. It's hard to know what's gone wrong with particular outbreak and why it wasn't contained in it's earliest stages.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
    Last edited by G-FETT, Jul 30, 2014
  4. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

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    Somebody needs to tweak that virus and make it a REAL threat.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    This outbreak doesn't seem to be killing 90% of its victims. More like 60-70%. I'm sure the death toll will rise a bit and maybe the numbers aren't accurate, but it doesn't seem to me that the death toll has really risen that much in the last few weeks - despite the big news of the American dying after flying to Nigeria, the outbreak seems to be on the decline.

    The outbreak started in Jan/Feb in Guinea, spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia by the end of March. Through April the outbreak was killing an average of 1.25 people/day. By the end of April that number had risen to 2.2. By the end of May it was 1.85. Then it spiked in June to 4.5, and hit a peak of about 10 people a day by early July and became the biggest ebola outbreak ever. Since then, if the numbers are accurate, it has dropped a bit to less than 8 people a day. The latest news cycle hopefully will spark international spending to help end the epidemic in the three countries.

    This is just reported deaths on a given date divided by the number of days since the previous report. Obviously, this isn't how people get infected and die of ebola. That tends to happen in clusters as someone gets sick and gets handled by family members/neighbors/health care workers. What's a mystery to me is how the big June/July cluster or group of clusters was able to happen after the epidemic had already been going on in those three countries for months. At that point is seems like a major policy failure of some kind.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jul 30, 2014
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  6. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Apr 27, 2005
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    I would avoid going anywhere that currently has an outbreak of a virus that could liquiefy you that has no known cure, right now.
  7. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I thought this said "twerk the virus".
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  8. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

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    You would, wouldn't you? :p
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  9. G-FETT Chosen One

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    LOL!

    Well, something else that we have in our favour with Ebola is that it doesn't have the ability to mutate and become a contagious, airborne a virus.

    Not sure if it could ever be genetically mutated in a Lab though?

    It's one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind so obviously it is a real threat, but we're lucky it doesn't have the abilities of influenza virus, for example.

    Interesting.

    I wonder if the slightly lower death toll has made this outbreak more spreadable?
    Last edited by G-FETT, Jul 30, 2014
  10. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    My mind is an NC17 John Waters production.
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  11. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    I was thinking that too, but my friend pointed out that perhaps there are people infected who haven't reached the critical stage yet where death is probable.
  12. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

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    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    It would be hard to make Ebola airborne, because it's such a simple virus. It has less than ten genes, each of which code for a single protein, unlike, say, HIV, which had hundreds of genes and a proportionately higher number of proteins.

    The way to make Ebola more lethal is to remove the single gene responsible for its pathogenicity (absent in the Reston strain, subject of Richard Preston's 'The Hot Zone'), and splicing it into something airborne, like H1N1 or SARS. Such an action would produce something that would be not only be highly contagious, but kill very quickly as it stripped the endothelial lining from the alveolar capillaries of its victims' lungs. Death would result from literally drowning in one's own blood.

    And it's not hard to do; I learned to splice genes in college, both in molecular biology and tissue culture/virology class. It's an alarmingly simple procedure. The limiting factor are the containment protocols needed to prevent accidental exposure. Biosafety Level 4 labs are expensive and hard to come by, which is probably why no-one has done it yet.

    Tom Clancy wrote a couple books on the subject: 'Executive Orders' (the more realistic scenario of Ebola being deliberately spread to the US) and 'Rainbow Six', somewhat less plausible but still very frightening.

    If the disease did show up in America or Europe, effective isolation and quarantine procedures would likely stop it before it got very far. Still...

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, Jul 30, 2014
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  13. G-FETT Chosen One

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    Fascinating (and slightly scary) post Vaderize. :)
  14. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    Tom Clancy also wrote a book about a Zaibatsu-controlled Japanese government going to war with the United States because of a car crash involving Japanese vehicles and the ensuing trade restrictions.
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    LostOnHoth recommended Frank Herbert's The White Plague
  16. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Well guys it looks like V03 is probably going on some sort of watch list.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  17. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    He doesn't need a watch though. :confused:

    He uses his smartphone to tell time.
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  18. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
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    What makes you think I'm not already on one? [face_devil]
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  19. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
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    Scared me to write it, dude.

    Take home point: there are too many people on Earth, and germs are nature's way of trying to cull the herd. I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet, but the biosphere is trying. The viruses I named are glaring examples of this.

    Birth control should be in the water, IMHO; it's the only way to reduce the risk of pandemic.

    Peace,

    V-03
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  20. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
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    Just so long as Jabba and V03 never meet in person, we'll all be fine.

    Of course, even if they did, no less than 5 pre-planted sniper teams would probably spring into action, lead by all the versions of Jack Ryan. (well, at least 2 of them. The "Sum of All Fears" version can probably stay home)
    Last edited by Mr44, Jul 30, 2014
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  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    True, if we combine my knowledge of splicing viruses together with V03's level of knowledge, we'll have V03's level of knowledge and will be virtually unstoppable.
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  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    LOL.

    That was funny, Jabba.

    And 44, that's why I have a personal force field, not to mention a golden ring with hidden writing that makes me invisible when I put it on.

    Hehhe....

    Peace,

    V-03
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  23. Lord Vivec Chosen One

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  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Interesting you should mention the Hot Zone; I read his follow up book, "Demon in the Freezer", about variola major or smallpox. The book focused on the weaponisation of anthrax and possible weaponisation of smallpox, noting the scenarios around a global outbreak (and that stores in Iraq and Russia had disappeared).

    @Vaderize03, correct me if I'm wrong because it's roughly 12 years since I read this book but he was saying something about geneticists splicing the interlukin-4 gene into mousepox, and the effect of this change was that the pox virus was able to cut through an immunised test sample like "a bullet through butter". The theory was that any vaccination against smallpox would be undone by a similar process on the smallpox virus.

    As you can tell, the book affected me as I'm recalling these details 12 years on.
  25. DantheJedi Force Ghost

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    Aug 23, 2009
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