Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

While they ignore the IPCC report . . .

the corporate media are getting all excited about Ebola virus, which ABC news is now telling us may come to the U.S.

Puh-leeze. People contract Ebola virus from wild animals in remote places in Africa. It is highly unlikely any of those people are going to get on an airplane, and if one of them were to do so, even more unlikely that she or he would be headed for Kennedy Airport. Ebola virus is a problem for people who live where it is likely to be encountered, but it doesn't have to be our problem for that to be true.

Here are the true facts, from the WHO.

Yes, it's a really awful disease. The case fatality rate is 90% and there is no effective treatment or vaccine. And people can be contagious during the incubation period in which they are not symptomatic. But . . .

The virus is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If somebody sitting next to you on the plane happened to be infected asymptomatically, you would be very unlikely to contract it. The virus spreads when health care workers take insufficient precautions -- gloves and gowns and masks and all that -- and through funerary practices in which people come into contact with the corpses of victims. People in the acute phase of the illness bleed through every orifice, so yes, there are plenty of bodily fluids to avoid, but they aren't walking around and they definitely aren't flying on airplanes! (And, it is present in semen.)

What all that means is that we will continue to see these isolated outbreaks, but unless it somehow mutates to become more contagious, this is not going to become the next Black Death. And don't worry about it coming to the U.S.

Why the "journalists" just can't avoid these temptations is beyond me.


Wesley Walker said...

Nice to have read this. As it may be difficult in somehow to keep down the spread, I wish for this disease to not exist anymore. Being a person that does pray for others, in the name of Jesus I ask that those of Africa be cleansed of it.

Cervantes said...

Yeah, I'm not saying it isn't a bad deal for people affected by it, it's a really terrible disease. But not really a threat of a large-scale epidemic, in my opinion.