How should the US handle the Ebola outbreak?

moonman239

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 27, 2009
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Here are a few ideas:

1) The FAA could ban all flights from third-world countries.
2) People coming in from third-world countries could be quarantined until it is confirmed that they will not help spread the virus. We could just quarantine only those who may be ill.
3) All international terminals could receive a more thorough cleaning.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
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Shady Dale, Georgia
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.

Once they were on the plane, they were quarantined. When driving to the airport in West Africa they were in a truck with a blue tarp covering the back. How many people may have been exposed on that move?

This disease takes up to three weeks to manifest symptoms. What happens if some suicide bombers go to West Africa get it and travel into the USA prior to showing any symptoms? How many people could they kill? How big could the outbreak be?
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
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St. Louis, MO
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.

Once they were on the plane, they were quarantined. When driving to the airport in West Africa they were in a truck with a blue tarp covering the back. How many people may have been exposed on that move?
Zero because Ebola does not spread by an infected person on the bed of a pickup truck driving past you. It is extremely difficult to catch Ebola from someone.

This disease takes up to three weeks to manifest symptoms. What happens if some suicide bombers go to West Africa get it and travel into the USA prior to showing any symptoms? How many people could they kill? How big could the outbreak be?
Curious you mention suicide bombers, I guess no one would ever have a legitimate purpose for going to that part of the world? :rolleyes:
 

Happybunny

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2010
1,752
1,351
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.

Once they were on the plane, they were quarantined. When driving to the airport in West Africa they were in a truck with a blue tarp covering the back. How many people may have been exposed on that move?

This disease takes up to three weeks to manifest symptoms. What happens if some suicide bombers go to West Africa get it and travel into the USA prior to showing any symptoms? How many people could they kill? How big could the outbreak be?
I think he added that so he could justify Stigmatising black people.:(
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
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Here are a few ideas:

1) The FAA could ban all flights from third-world countries.
2) People coming in from third-world countries could be quarantined until it is confirmed that they will not help spread the virus. We could just quarantine only those who may be ill.
3) All international terminals could receive a more thorough cleaning.
We have more than just Ebola to worry about. But let's say that we do this.

We still have to worry about the drug-resistant malaria going around Southeast Asia right now. Thanks to the military factions in Afghanistan/Pakistan, polio is making a comeback. We have a lot more to deal with from those alone, and while trying to cover for one, we'll get nailed by the other, unless we play isolationist, which effectively puts us in quarantine from the rest of the world.

BL.
 

edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
701
709
FL
We have more than just Ebola to worry about. But let's say that we do this.

We still have to worry about the drug-resistant malaria going around Southeast Asia right now. Thanks to the military factions in Afghanistan/Pakistan, polio is making a comeback. We have a lot more to deal with from those alone, and while trying to cover for one, we'll get nailed by the other, unless we play isolationist, which effectively puts us in quarantine from the rest of the world.

BL.
You missed one. How about the 10's of thousands of illegals flooding over our borders with everything under the sun. That is our current biggest threat of an outbreak of a disease.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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You missed one. How about the 10's of thousands of illegals flooding over our borders with everything under the sun. That is our current biggest threat of an outbreak of a disease.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the diseases at hand. There are plenty of threads here to talk about that.

BL.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.

Once they were on the plane, they were quarantined. When driving to the airport in West Africa they were in a truck with a blue tarp covering the back. How many people may have been exposed on that move?

This disease takes up to three weeks to manifest symptoms. What happens if some suicide bombers go to West Africa get it and travel into the USA prior to showing any symptoms? How many people could they kill? How big could the outbreak be?

Just more fear mongering from the right. You should read up on how ebola spreads.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
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Shady Dale, Georgia
Zero because Ebola does not spread by an infected person on the bed of a pickup truck driving past you. It is extremely difficult to catch Ebola from someone.

Curious you mention suicide bombers, I guess no one would ever have a legitimate purpose for going to that part of the world? :rolleyes:
I'm not saying that anyone could have got it from just going past them. But if they used such little containment as just transporting, how many people were exposed prior?

People may have legitimate purposes for going to that part of the world but what if someone deliberately wanted to spread this or any other infectious disease. A disease, like this could do more damage than 9-11 did.

I think he added that so he could justify Stigmatising black people.:(
Wow! Accusing me of being racist. I think you owe me an apology on that one. I don't have anything against people of color. Suicide bombers are a real threat in the world. Can you imagine what a suicide infector could do to the US? Once this thing hits our country unchecked, what would the results be? More deaths than Osama Bin Laden ever dreamed of.

How did the doctor and nurse brought back to the states get infected with Ebola in the first place?
Working with people that had Ebola. It's a noble purpose, no doubt but I don't think they should have let them back into the USA. Better to keep the outbreak in one area.

----------

Just more fear mongering from the right. You should read up on how ebola spreads.
By direct contact with an Ebola patient's blood or other bodily fluids like urine, saliva, and sweat. The highest concentration of virus is thought to be in blood, vomit and diarrhea.

The most vulnerable people are health care workers and family members or others who care for the sick. Because of the deadly nature of the disease, health workers should wear protective gear, especially when handling things like contaminated syringes. Such equipment is not commonly available in Africa, and the disease isn't always quickly recognized. Symptoms are similar to other diseases like malaria and cholera.

Someone can also get infected by handling soiled clothing or bed sheets without protection, and then touching their nose, mouth or eyes. People can also catch the disease by eating infected bushmeat, as Ebola can sicken animals including bats, chimpanzees and antelopes. Scientist think fruit bats might be the source of the virus, but aren't certain.
How well protected is our water supply? What about someone ill going into a meal packaging plant? I'm not trying to spread fear, I'm trying to have a conversation about what could happen. Yes, I happen to be from the right but does that mean everyone from the right is saying it?
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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Scotland
I can just see it now... a terrorist vomit bomb. :rolleyes:

Ebola is bad in areas in which there is poor health care and sanitation because it is transferred by fluids expelled by the body. It is deactivated by soap and hot water, so simply wash your hands before eating, as you always should. The panic stories I have seen on some news networks are ridiculous.

If it becomes airborne through some sort of mutation, then I might be more worried. Until then I am going to worry about the flu's and cold's the students will bring back with them at work when term starts. Ugh...

EDIT:

I....
How well protected is our water supply? What about someone ill going into a meal packaging plant? I'm not trying to spread fear, I'm trying to have a conversation about what could happen. Yes, I happen to be from the right but does that mean everyone from the right is saying it?
The water treatment typically includes chlorination, heat and/or UV sterilisation. These attacks the bonds that make up the molecules of bacteria and viruses, so I doubt seriously that Ebola could be transmitted by the water supply. Toxins, rather living organisms and viruses, are the issue with water supply (just ask some folks in Ohio).
 
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aerok

macrumors 65816
Oct 29, 2011
1,488
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Sincerely doubt that Ebola would be used as a form of bioterrorism...
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
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According to this article, they were given an experimental drug called "ZMAPP" that resulted in a very rapid recovery. The treatment was given in Liberia, their condition had stabilized before they got on the plane. Lack of symptoms does not mean they are not infectious, but that is why they are being isolated.

So what the US ought to do about ebola is to redouble the effort on certifying this treatment. So that, if/when it gets here, at least we will have the means to fight it. And maybe be able to knock it down over there as well.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
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Shady Dale, Georgia
I can just see it now... a terrorist vomit bomb. :rolleyes:

Ebola is bad in areas in which there is poor health care and sanitation because it is transferred by fluids expelled by the body. It is deactivated by soap and hot water, so simply wash your hands before eating, as you always should. The panic stories I have seen on some news networks are ridiculous.

If it becomes airborne through some sort of mutation, then I might be more worried. Until then I am going to worry about the flu's and cold's the student will bring back with them when term starts. Ugh...

EDIT:

The water treatment typically includes chlorination, heat and/or UV sterilisation. These attacks the bonds that make up the molecules of bacteria and viruses, so I doubt seriously that Ebola could be transmitted by water.
Okay, let's say that you were a terrorist and you wanted to do harm to Americans. You set up as a food vendor at any major sporting event. Does anyone wash their hands before eating that hot dog that the vendor just gave you? A small group of people brought down a few airplanes and killed thousands. Now imagine a small group of people, who don't care about their own lives serving food in any venue.

Then once contracted it begins to spread to the spouse or child… Also think of the panic it would cause. Sure, it isn't practical but neither is strapping a bomb vest on and blowing yourself to smithereens along with a bunch of strangers.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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Bioweapons programmes are enormously expensive because most viruses and bacteria degrade outside the body, it is difficult getting past our barriers to infection (skin, sanitation, immune system, etc.), and it is difficult to create a delivery system that would infect enough people. Worse case scenario: a quarantine. For what it is worth, most viruses and bacteria become less lethal as they become more virulent. If I am not mistaken, the death rate from Ebola has dropped from 90% to 70%, possibly due to better treatment, but also possibly due to natural selection (viruses that kill their hosts before they have an opportunity to transmit the disease to other hosts get their own Darwin award).
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,914
1,596
New England, USA
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.

Once they were on the plane, they were quarantined. When driving to the airport in West Africa they were in a truck with a blue tarp covering the back. How many people may have been exposed on that move?

This disease takes up to three weeks to manifest symptoms. What happens if some suicide bombers go to West Africa get it and travel into the USA prior to showing any symptoms? How many people could they kill? How big could the outbreak be?

Perhaps some information about how Ebola is spread in the human population might help here...

Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.
(Emphasis added)

Source
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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If there is no threat of spreading it, why did the CDC transport these two individuals on board a private jet with special containment units. Then load them into special ambulances with everyone around them being in protective clothing?

I'm sure that all the people at the CDC and the hospitals know how hard this virus is to spread and that no one would get it through casual contact, yet they went to extremes to make certain that these people came into contact with no one.

According to the experts on this forum, no danger exists and I'm just nuts to think someone could spread it. Did our government then waste a ton of money taking all those measures?
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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I might be wrong, but I am pretty certain that the transport of the patients was undertaken by a private company, not the CDC, at the behest of the charity for which the patients worked. I believe that the company followed CDC guidelines so as to prevent infection spreading to the medical workers.

I guess it sounds to me like we should be vigilant, but not frightened. It would be said if our country put a stigma on those who fall ill to this virus. Sensible precautions are being taken. I admit I am no expert, but I know a little about the statistical analysis of risk and of biology, and it sounds to me that the true experts are not that worried.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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If there is no threat of spreading it, why did the CDC transport these two individuals on board a private jet with special containment units. Then load them into special ambulances with everyone around them being in protective clothing?

I'm sure that all the people at the CDC and the hospitals know how hard this virus is to spread and that no one would get it through casual contact, yet they went to extremes to make certain that these people came into contact with no one.

According to the experts on this forum, no danger exists and I'm just nuts to think someone could spread it. Did our government then waste a ton of money taking all those measures?
Key word being Secretions and mucus membranes.

That could be anything from sneezing to snot to as risky as a paper cut. Do you want to be sneezed on by someone who has been infected?

Also, at what point do you think they should just walk free? With something as big as this going on, it is okay to go overkill. You know.. better to be safe than sorry/dead.

BL.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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Shady Dale, Georgia
Key word being Secretions and mucus membranes.

That could be anything from sneezing to snot to as risky as a paper cut. Do you want to be sneezed on by someone who has been infected?

Also, at what point do you think they should just walk free? With something as big as this going on, it is okay to go overkill. You know.. better to be safe than sorry/dead.

BL.
But Brad, some in this forum think that I'm nutso because I think that someone could use a disease like this to deliberately hurt our population. That I'm terribly mistaken because this disease is very hard to spread.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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SD, there are far more deadly ways of killing people than viruses. Bullets come to mind. Perspective...
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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Shady Dale, Georgia
SD, there are far more deadly ways of killing people than viruses. Bullets come to mind. Perspective...
That is true. So do you VulchR, think that we have nothing to worry about with the possible spread of Ebola to the USA either on purpose or accident? It's all good, no worries?
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,011
1,291
If there is no threat of spreading it, why did the CDC transport these two individuals on board a private jet with special containment units. Then load them into special ambulances with everyone around them being in protective clothing?

I'm sure that all the people at the CDC and the hospitals know how hard this virus is to spread and that no one would get it through casual contact, yet they went to extremes to make certain that these people came into contact with no one.

According to the experts on this forum, no danger exists and I'm just nuts to think someone could spread it. Did our government then waste a ton of money taking all those measures?
Containment protocols, until you (the doctor treating the patient) know for a fact all the issues and problems of the patient, you want to take as many precautions necessaries.
 

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,666
1,279
One serious thing is that the two Ebola patients shouldn't have been brought back to the USA. While it is true the USA is the best equipped to handle it. You do not bring the disease into the country. You treat it where it is and contain it where it is. Right now, they are forced to deal with multiple containment areas.
Sending workers to the source and having them work there is no good either. You'd be sending aid workers into a spot for which we have no control. Getting them quarantined and then into the CDC facility at Emory was way better than potentially exposing workers and trying to transport equipment to west Africa.

I think he added that so he could justify Stigmatising black people.:(
Oh good grief.

I'm going to seriously hope that was something tongue-in-cheek that I just didn't get.

If there is no threat of spreading it, why did the CDC transport these two individuals on board a private jet with special containment units. Then load them into special ambulances with everyone around them being in protective clothing?

I'm sure that all the people at the CDC and the hospitals know how hard this virus is to spread and that no one would get it through casual contact, yet they went to extremes to make certain that these people came into contact with no one.

According to the experts on this forum, no danger exists and I'm just nuts to think someone could spread it. Did our government then waste a ton of money taking all those measures?
Its not that there is no threat of it spreading, just that it isn't as easily spread as something that is transmitted through the air. The folks working to transport the two patients were covered head to toe because of the threat of them possibly being coughed/sneezed on or something similar where fluids could be transferred. If these two were walking around Lenox Mall it would be a much bigger problem. But in the isolation unit they are in at Emory they are no tangible threat to the country.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
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Scotland
That is true. So do you VulchR, think that we have nothing to worry about with the possible spread of Ebola to the USA either on purpose or accident? It's all good, no worries?
I think the risk is low in the US, perhaps a little higher in the UK since we are closer and have a major hub (Heathrow). I am not worried, but if I am wrong I guess you get to tell me 'I told you so'. :)