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CDC Chief: U.S. in 'perfect storm health emergency' "Concerning Ebola" by MadMark
Started on: 08-07-2014 04:05 PM
Replies: 7 (125 views)
Last post by: MadMark on 08-07-2014 11:08 PM
MadMark
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ON CAPITOL HILL
CDC chief: U.S. in 'perfect storm health emergency'

Admits to Congress Ebola-infected traveler could slip in undetected

author-image Jerome R. Corsi About | Email | Archive
Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter. He has authored many books, including No. 1 N.Y. Times best-sellers "The Obama Nation" and "Unfit for Command." Corsi's latest book is "Who Really Killed Kennedy?"
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CDC Director Thomas Frieden

CDC Director Thomas Frieden

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress Thursday the current Ebola outbreak is the largest of the disease ever, developing into an international crisis that “has now come to the United States.”

“It is inevitable someone will fly from West Africa to the United States with Ebola symptoms,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden acknowledged in a rare congressional hearing held during the August recess.

He affirmed a repeated concern of the United Nations’ World Health Organization that the virus has up to a 21-day incubation period, meaning an infected person could get on an airplane in West Africa before symptoms appear and the person becomes contagious.

Whistleblower’s special report “The New Plagues” presents in compact form what you need to know about the increasingly troubling crisis

The two American health workers that contracted Ebola in West Africa and were flown back to the U.S. for treatment are unlikely to be the only cases, he acknowledged.

“It is possible people who have contracted Ebola in West Africa can travel here to the United States and infect others here,” Frieden said. “This is why we need those who have traveled to West Africa and begin to show symptoms after they get back to the United States to get medical treatment immediately, fully reporting their recent travel history.

“We here are experiencing here in the United States are experiencing a perfect storm health emergency,” he said.

Frieden said the CDC raised its emergency operations center to Level 1, the highest possible alert in an effort to better coordinate a surge of medical health professionals and equipment being rushed to West Africa in an effort to contain the Ebola outbreak.

In an interview last week with WND, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl admitted the risk of the virus spreading remains as long as air travel from West Africa continues.

Hartl said that to stop Ebola from spreading by air travel, the WHO had to rely on “a person doing the right thing” by presenting himself immediately to a medical facility in the destination country once Ebola symptoms began to appear and saying, “I’ve just returned from West Africa.”

WHO Director General Margaret Chan held a five-hour emergency meeting last week with the heads of state of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, who agreed to use military forces and police to isolate the region responsible for more than 70 percent of the growing Ebola epidemic.

CDC preparing for Ebola patients in U.S. hospitals

Apparently anticipating more Ebola patients in U.S. hospitals, the CDC published guidelines Thursday for the “Safe Management of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in U.S. Hospitals.”

“The recent EVD outbreak in West Africa has increased the possibility of patients traveling from the impacted country to the United States,” the guidelines read.

“Additionally, two American citizens with EVD were medically evacuated to the United States to receive care at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.”

The CDC advisory recommended that U.S. hospitals isolate the patient in a proper room and implement standard contact precautions.

Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, explained the Ebola virus plaguing West Africa today is a mutated form of the virus originally detected crossing over from bats to humans.

Bisa Williams, deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. State Department, confirmed the State Department has issued guidelines for screening airline passengers traveling to the United States from the impacted countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and now Nigeria.
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MadMark
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Report this Post08-07-2014 04:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

MadMark

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I have no idea whether this is an escalation of the threat concerns or if it is foreshadowing something that the CDC figures has a high probability. I think one of the keys is that we have people coming in from Africa all the time. The second key is that it takes a while for Ebola symptoms to show up. So someone could come in contact with Ebola, become infected and not show it for a long enough time for them to get on a plane and come to America. Once here they would likely come in contact with a whole lot of people before being treated.

Who knows? Only time will tell.
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Report this Post08-07-2014 04:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
not to dismiss his concerns - but - that is his job to worry about worst case scenarios.

anyways, Ebola seems to be just slightly more contagious than AIDS/HIV, and way less that the Flu or a Cold/Rino Virus But, yes, a airplane in flight for several hours with a Ebola carrier would likely land with several Ebola carriers. And with the slow incubation rate - it would be some time before any actions would be taken.

At this point, all the Ebola vaccine in the world would fit into a beer bottle. and large scale production is not any time soon, if even possible.
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Report this Post08-07-2014 06:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FatsClick Here to Email FatsSend a Private Message to FatsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MadMark:


Admits to Congress Ebola-infected traveler could slip in undetected


Fortunately it slipped in announced.

Brad
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Report this Post08-07-2014 06:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Red88FFSend a Private Message to Red88FFEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I read earlier that he said the outbreaks here in the US would probably be small.

Now that just makes ya feel all fuzzy.
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Report this Post08-07-2014 10:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I believe that the sad truth is that the CDC is probably right.

I live near, and work in, Atlanta and I am not worried about the two Ebola patients here.
Based upon the 21 day incubation period (if that's true... first I've heard that) I think that they are possibly going to prove to be the least of our worries.

But since they're here, I really hope that the researchers do their very best to develop a vaccine. (Which seems to be what they're doing.)

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MadMark
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Report this Post08-07-2014 10:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

I believe that the sad truth is that the CDC is probably right.

I live near, and work in, Atlanta and I am not worried about the two Ebola patients here.
Based upon the 21 day incubation period (if that's true... first I've heard that) I think that they are possibly going to prove to be the least of our worries.

But since they're here, I really hope that the researchers do their very best to develop a vaccine. (Which seems to be what they're doing.)


Raydar, I think the worst part of this outbreak is the latency of this strain of Ebola. If someone can have Ebola for up to 3 weeks without really knowing it, it makes it a whole lot easier to spread. Someone could go and get infected, come back to the US and not even know they have it. Two weeks after they are back they start to get sick. Anyone who is in physical contact is at risk of infection. The one good thing is that there is now enough information out that people will have this on their mind if they start getting sick.
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Report this Post08-07-2014 11:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another article:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/...ld-look-like-in-u-s/

What Ebola outbreak would look like in U.S.
Doctor warns whole cities could be shut down
Published: 3 hours ago
author-image Leo Hohmann About | Email | Archive
Leo Hohmann is a news editor for WND. He has been a reporter and editor at several suburban newspapers in the Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, areas and also served as managing editor of Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina.


quarantine

According to a senior health fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the world has no strategic plan to contain the worst Ebola outbreak in history while scientists are saying an outbreak on U.S. soil would require sweeping measures.

Total quarantine of cities or sections of infected cities and restrictions on air travel could be expected.

“We’re now in a perfect storm,” Laurie Garrett said in a CFR conference call Thursday in which she described the United Nations World Health Organization as “bankrupt” and drowning in debt. “There is no strategic plan for how this epidemic will be brought under control.”

The same term, “perfect storm,” was also used to describe the Ebola outbreak Thursday by the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden, in testimony before Congress.

If the statements are true, each nation must come up with its own plan to protect its people.

In the United States, that job falls to the CDC in Atlanta. As Frieden testified Thursday, the CDC raised its emergency operations center to Level 1, the highest possible alert in an effort to better coordinate a CDC-organized surge of health professionals and equipment being rushed to West Africa in an effort to contain the Ebola outbreak.

Nearly 900 people have died of Ebola in four west African countries since February.

Frieden also told Congress that it’s “inevitable” that someone with Ebola will get on a plane and fly to the United States, risking an outbreak here.

If, or when, Ebola does show up in the United States, the only way to combat the virus is through strict quarantines, said Dr. Arthur Robinson, a biochemist with Oregon-based Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.

“I don’t want to contribute to scaring everybody but at the same time, you’re dealing with total quarantine,” Robinson said. “You might have to quarantine entire small cities. Hopefully that doesn’t happen but it could.”

Robinson, who stresses that he has no inside knowledge of the government’s plans other than what he’s already seen play out, says he doubts the United States would be adequately prepared for a major outbreak of Ebola on its soil.

“I’ve spoken to people who are experts on African diseases and they are not very sanguine about CDC’s ability to deal with things like this,” Robinson said. “Their experience in dealing with bacterial warfare is almost zero, but that’s almost what you have here.

“We know almost nothing, this is a world we’ve barely scratched the surface in,” he continued. “We are probably not prepared. We have nothing that stops a virus other than quarantine and hoping it dies out. It has its own DNA, a code that is also able to penetrate a living cell. The virus takes over the living cell. The cell pops and then those viruses infect other cells. But by itself it is inert. It has the DNA but it does not have the machinery to reproduce itself without a living cell (as its host).”

Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, vomit or feces. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, high fever and diarrhea and there is no known cure. The death rate of the strain now infecting people is about 70 percent. The disease has up to a 21-day incubation period and the virus can live outside of an infected CDC-Quarantinable diseasesperson’s body for hours, possibly days. As a viral hemorrhagic fever, it is one of nine diseases which the federal government has the authority to forcibly quarantine.

A living victim of Ebola “is alive with viruses and their cells are making more virus-infected cells at a tremendous rate,” Robinson said. “If you have contact with the bodily fluids of that person you’re getting a big dose. You get little tiny assaults with viruses all the time and your body is able to overcome them but once it’s in the body it’s a huge dose. People rubbing their eyes or putting their hands in their mouth, it breaks out. And a person infected is just a huge reservoir of the virus and cells that are supporting that virus.”

The very nature of a virus makes it hard to combat without a vaccine and Robinson pointed to the polio virus as an example.

“The thing that worries me is this is a virus and viruses are notoriously hard to combat, very difficult to beat because they are not alive most of the time,” said Robinson. “It does not live by itself, but it uses the living thing in which it is embedded to wake up and do its damage. There are viruses all over the place, we live in a sea of viruses, but when one wakes up you’re in a lot of trouble.”

According to a CDC statement released Wednesday, U.S. hospitals can safely manage patients with Ebola. “The key factors are isolation of patients, diligent environmental cleaning and disinfection, and protection of healthcare providers,” the statement said. “Providers in U.S. hospitals should wear gloves, fluid resistant/impermeable gown, and eye protection. In certain situations involving copious body fluids, additional equipment may be needed (for example, double gloving, disposable shoe coverings, and leg coverings).”

The CDC has 20 known quarantine stations throughout the U.S. but it is not known if those would be adequate to contain a full outbreak. A CDC press officer told WND she would have someone “get back with you” Thursday on this issue but no one from the agency followed up.



CDC-map-2

And other questions abound: Would there be enough testing sites, testing labs and hospitals capable of handling an outbreak? Screening stations would likely be set up at all international airports. For more details on how an Ebola outbreak might affect the United States, see this White House document drafted by the Clinton administration during a less severe Ebola scare in Africa.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in July it was issuing $840 million to upgrade the emergency preparedness of state and local medical facilities.

But Dr. Jane Orient, M.D., a practicing physician in Tuscon, Arizona, and member of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, wonders if it will be too little, too late.

“The fear is they would put people suspected of being infected, but who are actually healthy, in with people who do have the virus, so the threat is you would get it once you’re in quarantine (even if healthy to begin with),” Orient said.

She said the more sensible strategy would be to quarantine people in their homes.

“That is what was done with my grandfather’s generation, and then the family members can take their precautions and watch their symptoms,” Orient said.

She said recent articles about Obama’s executive order giving him authority to quarantine sick people and those suspected of being sick “is really nothing new.”

The U.S. has used governmental quarantine powers dating back to 1878.

“We always have to be worried about government overreacting and quarantining healthy people with sick people and people quarantining themselves and not going to work,” Orient said. “The situation is always going to be exacerbated CDC-history of quarantineif the population thinks their government is not telling them the truth, or is covering up.”

She said the vast majority of citizens living under the old Soviet Union believed in UFOs “and the reason they did was because the government said UFOs didn’t exist and the government must be lying like it always does. So the risk is that even if the government is telling the truth, for a change, the people just won’t believe it.”

Orient said there is no evidence the Ebola virus can be spread by airborne germs such as a sneeze, but nor is there any proof that it can’t, “so maybe we’ll find out late in the game.”

She said body fluids such as sweat or saliva could be found on any city surface.

“I don’t know (about Ebola) but some viruses can live for a couple weeks, and then the question arises, is it possible Ebola could develop air-born mutation,” Orient said. “So I would say, don’t panic, but people need to be aware this is a possibility. Unfortunately it starts off like a bad case of the flu.”

She said the CDC has put out communications that the disease can only be spread by direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, “but that looks so contradictory to the way they transported these two patients to Atlanta, with extreme caution. When people in space suits are telling you ‘oh don’t worry, there’s no danger of this spreading,’ they have no credibility.”

Frieden, meanwhile, continues to try to tamp down any concerns. He exuded confidence that everything is under control in his latest press release, issued on Wednesday.

“The bottom line with Ebola is we know how to stop it: traditional public health. Find patients, isolate and care for them; find their contacts; educate people; and strictly follow infection control in hospitals. Do those things with meticulous care and Ebola goes away,” Frieden said the release. “To keep America safe, health care workers should isolate and evaluate people who have returned from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the past 21 days and have fever or other symptoms suggestive of Ebola. We will save lives in West Africa and protect ourselves at home by stopping Ebola at the source.”

Robinson is less cheery about the CDC’s capabilities. He said there is no denying the fact that there are some cultural practices in west Africa that help the disease spread that are not present in American culture. That’s the good news.

“A person dies in Africa and the culture of poverty helps a disease like this spread because they don’t bury their dead right away, they don’t take certain precautions,” he said. “But if it appears in the U.S., if we get a couple of cases I think people would be looking for places to hide. These things are not trivial. We’ve just scratched the surface there’s so much we don’t know about these diseases.”
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