Just another ...
Maddie gets ready to pounce

Maddie gets ready to pounce

Ms. Yellen knows me!

Ms. Yellen knows me!

Will Ebola become an epidemic? Is it the start of the end of the world?

Terrible disease, but not a pandemic candidate … flu or smallpox, yes … but not Ebola …

Answer by Shelby Buttimer:

This is NOT the end of the world.  As deadly as Ebola is, it’s actually rather terrible at spreading itself.

1.  It is only contagious via bodily fluid.  The best pandemic virus are spread through the air.  It’s the most efficient way to get a whole plane full of people sick.  You have no more chance of catching Ebola from sitting next to someone on a plane or a train than you would of catching Herpes.  Not gonna happen.

2. It is only infectious once you are showing symptoms.  So even in the incubation period, the person carrying it can’t spread it.  And when the carrier starts showing symptoms, they’re incapacitated within hours.  This is a terrible way to spread disease.  A really efficient pandemic virus would give the person the sniffles and slight headache for a week or so before taking them out so that the person will ride the train, go out to dinner, go to work, etc.    Diseases don’t spread well when the person is at home sick in bed while they’re infectious.

3. The only reason Ebola has spread as much as it has is because it started out in ideal disease-spreading conditions -  poor countries with poor medical care, among people who have little trust for their governing authorities, who generally aren’t sufficiently educated to understand the importance of quarantine, and who have funeral rituals which involve touching the dead body.   Ebola would never survive in the United States or any other first world country with good medical care and with the ability to quarantine as needed.

Edited to add:

Can Ebola be transmitted by mosquitoes?  Nope.  Mosquitoes aren’t a natural host.  Sure, mosquitoes can bite people who have Ebola, but the virus will die inside the  mosquito.     Same with ticks and other biting insects.

Will Ebola become airborne? Almost certainly not.  The virus is incredibly delicate.  Even if you just dry out a bloody rag contaminated with Ebola, the virus will die.  And the virus hasn’t mutated significantly since it was found in 1976, so the odds of it mutating to be able to survive in the air are pretty darn slim.  Not to mention that Ebola doesn’t cause coughing and sneezing, two of the best ways for an airborne virus to spread, even if it does become airborne on some off chance.

Ebola is not intelligent, folks.  Is it dangerous?  Sure.  Is it deadly?  Absolutely.  Is it intelligent?  NO.  Nor is it malicious.  Ebola is not plotting world domination any more than that cold that’s going around your office.  It’s just a virus.  And we know how to deal with it.    The only reason its survived this long is that it’s popped up in the best possible place for it to survive - a place with terrible healthcare and with poor sanitation.   It will die out again and it won’t take over the world. 

Don’t panic. :o)
Will Ebola become an epidemic? Is it the start of the end of the world?

itswalky:

how the hell is andrew jackson still on our money anyway, surely we can find some american lady who is somewhat less of a amazingly racist, imperialist jackass to replace him on the twenty

Really … we already have George on the quarter, and Andrew Jackson, while cutting a dashing figure on the $20, was a racist, imperialist, genocidal, … (name your favorite adjective for dead white generals with unfortunately mixed morals).

I was at an Air Force ROTC summer training at Forbes Field near Topeka, trying to avoid being drafted into fighting a war that I hated. They let us stay up and watch. I had always been something of a space kid, watching every launch that was broadcast and building zillions on plastic model rockets … even watching Star Trek first run. This was a special night, and I was so excited that I could not sit still. I paced back and forth while the other cadets lounged around watching Walter Cronkite narrate the action. “The Eagle has landed” and “one small step…” will always be in my memory. It was good.

I’m invited to participate in a study to investigate “The Incidence of Air Regurgitation through the Eyelid in Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Mask Users” … Hmm. Air regurgitation?

Ms. Yellen knows me!

Ms. Yellen knows me!

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

Trying to make galloping noises while riding a broom across a gravel parking area in Kentucky.

Cleaning out some stuff in my office today … I ran across this bit of silliness from 1990. My younger brother Douglas R. Teener called me at the office at Apple complaining that my number was not in the phone book (remember those, #oldfarts?) … when I got home I looked, and sure enough, I wasn’t there under the T’s … but on a hunch, and knowing TPC [from The President’s Analyst, another OFism], I checked the M’s … and there I was. I used to joke that I was the only person in the phone book with their name printed correctly.

Cleaning out some stuff in my office today … I ran across this bit of silliness from 1990. My younger brother Douglas R. Teener called me at the office at Apple complaining that my number was not in the phone book (remember those, #oldfarts?) … when I got home I looked, and sure enough, I wasn’t there under the T’s … but on a hunch, and knowing TPC [from The President’s Analyst, another OFism], I checked the M’s … and there I was. I used to joke that I was the only person in the phone book with their name printed correctly.

Mike Maihack has a new book, get yours now … Also check out his MRVL cat print, “Catvengers”