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Ebola outbreak, and other potential epidemics
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the comments to a (not very good) article on "I f*cking love science" mentioned that it might by now have become airborne.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, a sudden die-off of a significant portion of humanity might well be our last best chance of wresting control from the elites and, indeed, might be our last best chance of survival as a species. Bring it on.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not seeing anything except rumours. I'm no expert on Ebola, but is there any science beyond speculation of it (or genetically similar virus) ever having been airbourne ? Different strains of Ebola have different mortality rates, as it basically overwhelms the immune system and enters all the major organs, presumably including the lungs. However, how easy is it to become infected via the lungs? I just don't know.

It is becoming a possibility for an individual case to escape from Africa and spread to any part of the world via aviation, does anyone want to bet on when or if that will happen? I'm sure it will cause panic and trigger a dramatic fall in discresionary flying for a few weeks.
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
I'm not seeing anything except rumours. I'm no expert on Ebola, but is there any science beyond speculation of it (or genetically similar virus) ever having been airbourne ? Different strains of Ebola have different mortality rates, as it basically overwhelms the immune system and enters all the major organs, presumably including the lungs. However, how easy is it to become infected via the lungs? I just don't know.


If it is transmitted via "bodily fluids" then it is probably at least potentially airborne. If you're coughing up blood then infected blood "mist" will be thrown into the air, although probably won't stay there for long.

In the cramped conditions of an aeroplane, on a long-haul flight, it could definitely be transmitted.

No bets on when/if this will happen though. I think the most important thing, as Steve pointed out earlier in the thread, is that relatively large and persistent outbreaks like the current one give the virus a chance to mutate into something that is better at spreading itself around and sustaining the outbreak. That's what evolution does, and viruses evolve fast if they get the chance.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Orders

Quote:
Following a series of Iranian-backed terrorist attacksincluding the release of a genetically-enhanced Ebola strainthe UIR declares war on both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Meanwhile, China "accidentally" shoots down a Taiwanese airliner.

As a result of the Ebola attack, Ryan declares martial law and enforces travel restrictions in an effort to contain the virus. However, the attack becomes only a limited success for the UIR, since the virus is so deadly that it cannot spread effectively.


A truly horrifying virus. Read Tom Clancy novel in my youth and it has left a deep impression on me. Ebola is a horrible way to die.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More reports here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28558783

Now on the front page of a major news site.[/url]
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me that Ebola is far more likely to reach European shores on a boat filled with illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Apart from the longer trip time in close proximity to the carrier, very few of the migrants will want to seek medical help if they fall ill if they face deportation again.

Passengers on flights will be largely self-funded and legal. They will seek help and be quickly isolated.

Ebola will hit Italy before the UK.
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Lurkalot



Joined: 08 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard mention of this before leaving for work this morning. Thankfully a false alarm but at least the action was prompt.
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/health/birmingham-airport-passenger-ebola-virus-7531042
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
It occurs to me that Ebola is far more likely to reach European shores on a boat filled with illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Last time I checked, Sierra Leone was not on the Mediterranean.
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
PS_RalphW wrote:
It occurs to me that Ebola is far more likely to reach European shores on a boat filled with illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Last time I checked, Sierra Leone was not on the Mediterranean.


No, but there are established migration routes from West Africa across the Sahara to Mediterranean ports. The tarmacing of the road down through Morocco and Western Sahara into Mauritania has further facilitated this.

It strikes me that it would be unlikely for an infected person leaving, say, Sierra Leone to make it all the way to the Med, but one could imagine the chain of people along this route becoming infected and the disease therefore passing along the chain.

(I'm no epidemiologist though!)
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The really worring thing IMHO is that so little is known about Ebola. Transmission, vectors and infection rates are all relatively vague. The film Twelve Monkeys is a rather good plot and all too believeable. Substitute a group of infected but symptomless people rather than a globe trotting madman and....

Respect to the late Dr Sheik Umar Khan who died attempting to make a difference.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevecook172001 wrote:
Good, a sudden die-off of a significant portion of humanity might well be our last best chance of wresting control from the elites and, indeed, might be our last best chance of survival as a species. Bring it on.


Another view of the Ebola outbreak from Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-ebola-outbreak-teaches-us-an-important-lesson-about-aid-9640741.html
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
Good, a sudden die-off of a significant portion of humanity might well be our last best chance of wresting control from the elites and, indeed, might be our last best chance of survival as a species. Bring it on.


Another view of the Ebola outbreak from Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-ebola-outbreak-teaches-us-an-important-lesson-about-aid-9640741.html


Quote:

We are all implicated in this, and not just through history, but recent behaviour: the actions of multinational companies prepared to bribe their way to massive profits at the expense of honest governance, that fail to pay fairly for the resources they remove, or provide for the people they displace;


I'm implicated in that, am I? No I am not. I am as much a victim of the behaviour of those multinational companies as the Africans are. They don't act in my interests, or those of the British people in general. They act in the interests of their own senior management, and their shareholders.

Quote:

the failure to provide effective aid for development


I'm not sure that's actually our fault either, given that most of the aid that does get there is wasted or eaten up by corruption. The biggest enemy of the poor in those regions is the rich in those regions, but it's not politically correct to say that. Malgovernance, corruption, lack of political and cultural leadership and resistance to change among the general population are all important factors. The solution to these problems is not bigger handouts from the developed world.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I'm implicated in that, am I?


I take it to mean how we, as voting blocks, constantly and reliably put into power people who lie as part of their job. Laughing

UndercoverElephant wrote:
The biggest enemy of the poor in those regions is the rich in those regions, but it's not politically correct to say that.


It is with me.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody with a stake in pension fund is pretty directly implicated and the rest of us benefit from exploitation of the poorer parts of the world by the affluence we enjoy, however drippy the trickle down effect may be.

I've never heard say it's politically incorrect to expose corruption and bad governance in African countries. It's less easy to know how to deal with it in practice.
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