Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New York Times Update On Ebolaland -- And It's Not Good -- December 30, 2014

There are two interesting stories coming out today about Ebola. Remember: these stories need to be taken into context. The Obama administration has an embargo on Ebola information coming from the CDC. Not all information is embargoed, but he has strict rules about what may be released, and how it may be released.

When you read these two stories, remember that the Obama administration has not addressed this issue in quite some time.

First, a most concerning story, because it is likely occurring in the United States but we are not hearing about it. CNN is reporting: an Ebola patient has been moved from Scotland to London, and two more possible cases are suspected:
A health care worker who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after returning to Scotland from Sierra Leone was transferred early Tuesday to the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The woman was working with Save the Children at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, according to Michael von Bertele, humanitarian director at that organization.
She traveled via Casablanca, Morocco, and London Heathrow Airport before arriving at Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight late Sunday night, the Scottish health agency NHS Scotland said.
After feeling unwell on Monday, she sought medical attention and became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola within the United Kingdom. 
 She has been named by British media outlets as Pauline Cafferkey, a public health nurse in Scotland's South Lanarkshire area, who was part of a 30-strong team of medical volunteers deployed to West Africa by the UK government last month in a joint endeavor with Save the Children.
She was reportedly transferred to London in a military aircraft fitted with an isolation pod.
The Royal Free Hospital is equipped with a high-level isolation unit, with access restricted to specially trained medical staff. A specially designed tent, with controlled ventilation, is set up over the patient's bed.
A British volunteer nurse, William Pooley, was successfully treated in the unit after he was brought home from Sierra Leone in August having been diagnosed with Ebola there.
The second story is from The New York Times. It requires a subscription, or going through google with exact phrasing from the lede, you should be able to access it. I am reading the entire story without a subscription through google. I think using the link above will require a subscription. Googling this should get you to the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/30/health/how-ebola-roared-back.html

This is an incredibly long article. It does not explain, at least in my mind, why this outbreak is different than all the rest. As good as the article is, it fails to put into perspective exactly how much bigger this outbreak is and how much longer this outbreak is. To do that, use the data in this NYT article and compare it to past outbreaks delineated by wiki.

I'm not in the least worried about an Ebola outbreak in this country. What irritates me is being told by POTUS that the disease "is not easy to catch." That's why health care workers wear HAZMAT suits when treating these patients, I guess. The second thing that concerns me is the POTUS embargo on news coming out of the CDC regarding the current Ebola outbreak. 

We last heard that the Pentagon now has a military mission in Ebolaland but I haven't heard a thing about how that mission is going. Something tells me the deployed military members have also been advised to stay quiet on the subject. 

I think it's a fascinating story on so many levels. This NYT article is incredibly long, and incredibly good. 

I do think that a photograph of a tired, exhausted Dr Pierre Rollin would have been more appropriate rather than the smug, book-jacket photograph that was provided. Something tells me he is being handsomely rewarded for his efforts. He looks like a celebrity in his own time. An Albert Schweitzer? Probably not.

In Anticipation Of New Year's Eve -- Be Safe Out There

With the holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with you all about drinking and driving after a "social event" with friends.

This past Friday, I was out on a post-Thanksgiving evening with several friends. I had a few cocktails, followed by several glasses of wine. Despite my jolliness, I still had the sense to know that I was over the limit. That's when I decided to do what I have never done before: I took a cab home.

Sure enough, there was a police road block on the highway but, since it was a cab, they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident.

This was both a great relief and surprise because I had never driven a cab before. I don't even know where I got it from and, now that it is in my garage, I don't know what to do with it.

Be safe out there.

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