Posts by exDemMom

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  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 9:30:07 PM PDT · 2,284 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Smokin' Joe
    Without playing parsing games, this would be an act of terrorism, not an accidental infection.

    While it is possible to think up any number of scenarios by which terrorists would attempt to use Ebola, I will not engage in that exercise. I will continue to limit my comments to my area of expertise, the natural course of infection.

  • Sunshine tied to suicide risk: study

    09/20/2014 9:10:12 PM PDT · 2 of 33
    exDemMom to TigerLikesRooster

    This sounds so ridiculous, I have no idea how to even interpret it. Most people are exposed to sunshine on a daily basis...

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 9:05:00 PM PDT · 2,281 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Smokin' Joe; EarlyBird
    There are a few reasons I do not think we will see Ebola coming over the southern border.

    Keep in mind that the average incubation period of Ebola is 7 or 8 days, with the limits being 3 and 21 days.

    I have seen a few stories that suggest that it is very difficult to fly in or out of the affected countries right now: Fear spreads, borders close as Ebola restricts travel in West Africa, Travel restricted within Ebola-affected West African countries

    It is conceivable that illegal immigrants would try to stow aboard a cargo ship, but I think that those are being scrutinized, as well. Malta rejects ship with suspected Ebola case. I think it takes several days for a cargo ship to cross the ocean, so anyone infected with Ebola would probably start showing symptoms before the ship arrived.

    Illegal immigration is not going to bring Ebola into this country, IMO. If an Ebola victim arrives, it will be via air travel.

    EarlyBird, you should appreciate this. Yesterday, I was supposed to attend a VTC. I went to the VTC room with another PhD scientist and a Masters level colleague. We stared at the black VTC screen, looked at each other, asked each other what was wrong (Did we get the room wrong? What about the time?). Finally, the woman with a Masters called for IT support. The IT guy came and determined that the equipment had been turned off...

  • Here's a News IQ Test:

    09/20/2014 7:28:24 PM PDT · 84 of 102
    exDemMom to Vinylly

    I got two wrong, better than 91%, below 4%, same as 5%.

    The first time I took it, though, it said I got 9 of 13 correct, but when I went through the answers, it had scored them as unanswered, even though I had selected the correct answers. So I took it again, and marked all the answers the same as the first time around.

    I’m surprised. I don’t really follow news.

  • Feds funding efforts to create single Internet password

    09/20/2014 11:02:44 AM PDT · 35 of 37
    exDemMom to markomalley

    Would it be something like a CAC card and PIN? That system is quite convenient.

  • Freakin Jaw is killin me... (my vanity, my title)

    09/20/2014 10:47:01 AM PDT · 140 of 151
    exDemMom to Califreak
    The splitting headache on your end? Years ago a doctor told me sometimes you can get “rebound” pain after the meds wear off and that happened to me too a time or two but it was almost twenty years ago so I forgot what I did to deal with it.

    I was taking several narcotic pills a day for 2 or 3 weeks after I broke my arm. Sometime during that period, the headache started. I don't think it was a rebound headache, but rather was caused directly by the narcotic (Oxycodone or something like that). The headache took days to resolve. When I had the second surgery on my arm to remove the pins, I took one narcotic pill and immediately got a headache that lasted for days.

    I refuse to take narcotics of any kind now. I wish there were better means of pain management.

  • Veganism "Can Cause Serious Harm" Say Swiss Authorities

    09/20/2014 10:42:32 AM PDT · 121 of 128
    exDemMom to This Just In

    Well, if militant vegetarians/vegans could have their way, it would no doubt have a huge effect on population. If malnourished mothers carry children to term, those children would have permanent cognitive deficits, leading to a decrease in the average population IQ. Many of the children will not survive to term. I do not think it would be possible to force vegetarianism on a population, though. People would use whatever means possible to get protein—there would be black-market meat.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 10:32:33 AM PDT · 2,276 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Smokin' Joe
    The newly infected continue on, the coyote picks up more people, lather rinse, repeat.

    Or, more likely, the coyote is infected, and the travel of the group stops right there. The infection burns itself out as most, if not all, of the group dies.

    I have a hard time trying to come up with a believable scenario of how a potential illegal immigrant who has Ebola could survive the journey to this continent in the first place. I see news that air travel is restricted, so how else can they possibly come here within the 21 day window of incubation?

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 10:21:15 AM PDT · 2,275 of 2,287
    exDemMom to ElenaM
    Ah, the insult dodge. It won't work. Please provide a citation to support your assertion that Ebola cannot infect ciliated epithelial cells.

    Really? You claimed previously that you have read a substantial amount of the pertinent medical literature. I guess you haven't, after all.

    From a histology study of a chimp dead from the Taï Forest strain of Ebola (which used to be called "Ebola Côte d'Ivoire"): As described previously in experimental cases, lymphocytes and epithelial cells were apparently unaffected; the present case provides significant additional information confirming that the main target of viral infection is the macrophage system, which appears to be the most important site of viral replication.

    Here is an abstract from a paper describing experimental infection of rhesis monkeys with Ebola Zaire (the paper is behind a paywall; I think it shows tissue sections):OBJECTIVE: The source of infection or mode of transmission of Ebola virus to human index cases of Ebola fever has not been established. Field observations in outbreaks of Ebola fever indicate that secondary transmission of Ebola virus is linked to improper needle hygiene, direct contact with infected tissue or fluid samples, and close contact with infected patients. While it is presumed that the virus infects through either breaks in the skin or contact with mucous membranes, the only two routes of exposure that have been experimentally validated are parenteral inoculation and aerosol inhalation. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that aerosol exposure is not an important means of virus transmission in natural outbreaks of human Ebola fever; this study was designed to verify that Ebola virus could be effectively transmitted by oral or conjunctival exposure in nonhuman primates. Please note the bolded section: this is important. This paper was published 18 years ago; the epidemiological evidence still shows that Ebola is not transmitted through airborne routes. Also, I have to point out that an experimentally generated aerosol, involving virus-laden liquid dispersed by an atomizer directly into an animal's face, has no equivalent within the natural context. It shows that inhalation of virus can cause disease--virus that can be inhaled in the form of droplets--but it does not show that humans aerosolize virus.

    Here are some histopathology pictures: The top left picture shows the viral particles inside a lymph cell. The top right picture shows a section of lymph node. Various lymph cells show red in their cytoplasm, indicating that the virus has penetrated inside those cells. The big red crescent is a nodule of endothelial cells, many of which have been destroyed by virus. The picture at the bottom is a section of monkey lip containing epithelial cells on the top and endothelial and lymph cells on the bottom. Notice how the virus is oozing between the epithelial cells, but not penetrating them. You can be exposed to Ebola by physically touching someone; this could explain why. Of course, they could also be covered with drops of vomit or feces.

    In order for a virus to infect a cell type, it must be able to bind receptors on the cell surface. Ebola does not recognize epithelial cell surface receptors.

    Now, I could go on and on, linking to histopathology pictures and studies examining the tropism of Ebola virus, but the end result is the same. Ebola is not tropic for epithelial cells. It is tropic for fibroblasts, macrophages, and endothelial cells. The liver typically has a very high viral load, and from there, the virus enters the blood.

    If you are who you say you are (I have no way of verifying nor do I expect you to post personal information to do so), I'm not surprised that you cannot see outside your box to how the general public interprets what is coming out of the CDC/WHO/et al. Every scientist I've worked with has the same problem. That's why they hire people like me. They have the self-awareness to recognize their own blind spots and most aren't so supercilious they believe that anyone without their CV is automatically stupid.

    Of course, I am not about to publish my CV online. But the fact that I know what I am talking about should be pretty apparent, at least to people who are familiar enough with the scientific world to recognize the typical language use of an expert.

    Unlike you, I do not assume the general public is too stupid to understand complex topics. They can understand, if the topic is explained adequately and at their level. This is why I take the trouble to explain these things, instead of just assuming that overwhelming stupidity among the general public prevents them from understanding. Public health officials have always tried to explain the mechanisms of disease transmission to the public--because public understanding is crucial to stopping those chains of transmission.

    However, in your insistence that the public is incapable of understanding the nuances between droplet transmission and airborne transmission, what you are really telling me is that you do not/cannot understand the distinction. That does not mean that other members of the public cannot understand, however, so I will continue to explain.

    The message from the CDC and the WHO is pretty consistent, and is solidly based on the current knowledge about Ebola. Obviously, both the CDC and the WHO assume that the public is educable in this matter.

    BTW, claiming that scientists hire you means nothing. As far as I know, not a single administrative or IT person has ever become a scientist because they happen to work for us. I will say, however, that their services are critical to our ability to continue scientific work and I really do appreciate admin/IT support.

    Proven infection control measures aren't working.

    Infection control never works when it isn't used. That's the whole problem here.

    There's nothing "hysterical" in my posts because I'm not hysterical. Concerned?

    You have consistently insisted that Ebola must be airborne, and insinuated that the experts who actually read the scientific literature about it are either lying or do not know what they are talking about. Yet you cannot provide any data that would show that the experts are wrong. I believe that "hysterical" is an appropriate description of such behavior.

    In an earlier post you defended the deflections performed by the scientists at the Congressional hearing by asserting that much is unknown about this virus and its transmission vectors, therefore the scientists couldn't provide the requested information and hence provided what little they could without admitting they just don't know. You then turn around and insist that you know enough to assure the world that only direct physical contact with blood/vomit/etc. will result in H2H Ebola viral transfer (though to give credit where due you did express some concern about the persistence of the virus in semen.) Which is it?

    I know that you are looking for contradictions in what I have said, but there are none. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    The epi data is pretty consistent: the virus is spread through direct contact with viremic patients or infected bodily fluids. This has been demonstrated multiple times and is not debatable. Spread by fomites is not a concern in the health-care setting, since surfaces are disinfected frequently, but the epi data on fomite transmission outside of the clinical setting is inconsistent. Could you catch Ebola by gathering up the wet bloody sheets of someone who just died of Ebola? You almost certainly will. Could you catch it by gathering up the dried-out sheets a week later? Probably not. Could you catch it by being in the room with someone who later turns out to have Ebola? Almost certainly not (unless they touched a surface with their vomit-covered hands and you touched the same surface minutes later). But there are clear gaps of knowledge, which have not been systematically studied. Epi studies are, by their nature, quite limited, and leave many questions unanswered.

    Since you present yourself as the authority on the subject, please educate the rest of us on all possible transmission vectors. Perhaps you should offer to update the Congress since they didn't get the information regarding fomites from the scientists present.

    I have been attempting to educate people. Some people refuse to learn, or want to believe that Ebola is more transmissible than it really is--I can't educate people like that. And I'm pretty sure that Dr. Friedan already told Congress everything that is known about transmission, and will continue to communicate the current knowledge about Ebola.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 8:21:38 AM PDT · 2,274 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Thud
    Smaller particles hang around for longer and can go farther, which makes them really, really dangerous.

    The virus particles would have to survive. Ebola virus is very susceptible to drying out, which happens quickly in tiny particles.

    That CIDRAP article (which is not a study) looks a lot like a PAPR advertisement to me. This isn't to say that PPE isn't important for patient care providers--it is--but it is important to understand context.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/20/2014 7:59:56 AM PDT · 2,273 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Dark Wing
    When are you going to accept you are working from obsolete clinical information?

    I have been reading a huge number of medical journal articles about Ebola, many of them published this year. Although some of the articles are decades old, I hardly think my information is outdated.

    The current Ebola outbreak is so big we are now seeing many 1 in 100 and some 1 in 1000 clinical expressions of Ebola that don't fit that diagnostic protocol.

    I actually do not know what you mean with that.

    We already know that the early symptoms of Ebola are similar to symptoms of several other diseases. We also know that the severity of Ebola is highly variable. Some patients show minimal or no symptoms.

    The little boy described in the article obviously has a combination of immune system components that makes him less susceptible to the symptoms of Ebola. Being less symptomatic, he would shed less virus--that hardly makes him a superspreader. A superspreader is someone who actually passes a disease to more than the average number of other people, and the phenomenon of superspreading is caused by a number of factors, some of which have nothing to do with the pathogen itself. Since the boy was in an Ebola treatment facility, he was hardly spreading the disease.

  • Scouter's Updated Ebola Model (Vanity)

    09/20/2014 7:16:29 AM PDT · 83 of 85
    exDemMom to dangerdoc

    Ebola is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids. It can spread through droplets, but is not airborne. Fomites may be a means of transmission, but there is no good data on that.

    I could envision a situation where someone would have diarrhea, and flushing the toilet would propel droplets of Ebola contaminated liquid around the restroom, which might be highly infectious for a short period of time afterwards. I do not know if this is a plausible situation, however.

  • Scouter's Updated Ebola Model (Vanity)

    09/20/2014 7:06:18 AM PDT · 82 of 85
    exDemMom to Kartographer
    I have only one question did you or is there even a way to take in account situations in which because of the death rate in combination of the lack of and deterioration of health service allows for both the increase spread and even higher death rate because of the lack of support treatment?

    I am not sure what you are asking. However, I will throw some answers out and hope one of them addresses your question.

    In infectious disease, the paradigm is that the more deadly an infection is, the less likely it is to spread. That's because the infected person dies quickly without having a chance to infect others. I think that there have probably been sporadic Ebola (and Marburg) outbreaks for millenia, but it was never identified because until recently, Africans never traveled outside of their villages much. Thus, the whole village would die and the infection would stop there. Ebola is a problem now because it reached populated, highly mobile areas.

    The health care systems in the affected countries are horrible. Without care, the death rate is very high. With care, the death rate is somewhat lower (it is less than 60%, which makes it more mild than past outbreaks). With top-of-the-line care, the death rate would probably be far lower. This is strictly supportive care--electrolytes and treatment of complications.

  • Scouter's Updated Ebola Model (Vanity)

    09/20/2014 6:55:28 AM PDT · 81 of 85
    exDemMom to cuban leaf
    Which reminds me, I gotta call my stock broker. ;-)

    Invest in bleach companies while you're at it. A 10% solution of bleach disinfects surfaces (and the exterior of dead bodies) quite nicely.

    That's a 10% dilution of the bleach from the bottle, which is 6% solution. So the real dilution is 0.6%. I just want to be clear on that point. Another important point is that bleach should be diluted daily, because it is unstable. It is perfectly safe to pour used bleach solutions down the drain.

  • Scouter's Updated Ebola Model (Vanity)

    09/20/2014 6:51:03 AM PDT · 80 of 85
    exDemMom to scouter
    We just don't know how it will spread in a developed country.

    It's highly unlikely to spread in a developed country. Developed countries have a mechanism in place to isolate patients who come to the clinic with odd symptoms and a travel history.

    One of my co-workers told me of a man who got Marburg (which is related to Ebola and causes identical symptoms) while traveling. The staff treating him did not know he had Marburg, and it took a year to identify the disease. No one else got the disease from him.

  • Scouter's Updated Ebola Model (Vanity)

    09/20/2014 6:45:16 AM PDT · 78 of 85
    exDemMom to cuban leaf
    Kinda like Aids.

    A person with AIDS could harbor the virus for years without ever showing symptoms, and is contagious during that time. Thus AIDS was able to spread widely, especially in Africa (where there are 35 million or so cases).

    Ebola is only similar to AIDS in that it needs direct contact with infected fluids to spread, and that the virus is fragile outside of the body.

  • Cocoa Prices Surge on Ebola Fears

    09/20/2014 6:35:08 AM PDT · 18 of 23
    exDemMom to Morgana

    Oh, this *is* serious.

    People dying of Ebola by the dozen every day, meh.

    A threat to the chocolate supply, better bring out the guns!

    Isn’t coffee grown in that same area?

    This Ebola thing is getting bad.

    (Disclaimer: I really do think Ebola is a serious situation for the people in that area.)

  • Veganism "Can Cause Serious Harm" Say Swiss Authorities

    09/20/2014 6:30:02 AM PDT · 98 of 128
    exDemMom to This Just In
    Am I the only one who finds the connection between liberalism, veganism, and infertility rather interesting?

    No, you are not alone.

    I suspect that vegetarianism/veganism has a profound effect on cognition. I cringe whenever I read about parents raising their kids on those restrictive diets.

    If you are eating one of those restrictive diets and popping handfuls of "supplements" because it makes you healthy--you need to seriously reconsider your diet. People who eat properly do not need supplements, and no one needs herbal supplements.

  • Veganism "Can Cause Serious Harm" Say Swiss Authorities

    09/20/2014 6:21:19 AM PDT · 97 of 128
    exDemMom to Kennard
    It causes decreased IQ. This effect is not reversible.

    I've been a vegan since I signed up at FR.

    Liberals would see a correlation there.

    The article was referring to children, and I should have specified that the study I spoke of was in young children, ages 6 and below. The brain continues to develop until about age 25, and is especially susceptible to damage during that time. Inadequate nutrition, chemicals (e.g. marijuana), and infection can all permanently impact IQ and behavior.

    The mature brain is not as susceptible to these insults. However, I would not be surprised if some of these things caused damage in the mature brain, as well.

  • Freakin Jaw is killin me... (my vanity, my title)

    09/20/2014 6:08:13 AM PDT · 126 of 151
    exDemMom to Califreak
    ear was killing me only thing that gets rid of that nerve pain is opiates.

    I'm terribly afraid of having a painful medical problem, because then I have to make a choice--take the narcotics, even though they don't seem to help with pain at all and make me feel profoundly horrible, or take nothing and keep thinking I need to take something. The last time I took a narcotic, I had a splitting headache for 3 days after one pill.

  • Freakin Jaw is killin me... (my vanity, my title)

    09/20/2014 5:55:54 AM PDT · 123 of 151
    exDemMom to Moonman62
    From what I’ve been told, the procedure for doing them now is much better and quicker than what they used to be.

    It took longer than a regular filling, and the surgeon used a LOT of anesthetic so I didn't feel any pain. He was an orthodontic surgeon, not a regular dentist--you really should have a specialist do a root canal. Then I went to a cosmetic dentist to have a temporary crown, then later, a permanent crown installed. And now I feel so much better!

    I had the root canal because of severe pain, not infection. I couldn't eat or drink anything. After the procedure, I realized that there had been chronic pain for years before it became acute. For all the horror stories about root canals, I am very glad to have had it done.

  • Freakin Jaw is killin me... (my vanity, my title)

    09/19/2014 9:47:49 PM PDT · 19 of 151
    exDemMom to Vendome

    I had a root canal recently.

    The freedom from pain now is indescribable. I was living in pain for years before the root canal, and now, I can chew pain-free again. It’s such a relief!

    If your dentist recommends a root canal, don’t hesitate—get it done right away!

  • Veganism "Can Cause Serious Harm" Say Swiss Authorities

    09/19/2014 9:45:01 PM PDT · 5 of 128
    exDemMom to This Just In

    It causes decreased IQ. This effect is not reversible.

    (Study published in Env. Health Perspectives several years ago, I do not have the reference.)

    Also, women who follow low-protein vegan or vegetarian diets during pregnancy risk affecting brain development of their children.

    We’re omnivores, not herbivores.

  • Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases (via drudge)

    09/19/2014 8:53:34 PM PDT · 40 of 51
    exDemMom to BCW
    then freedoms will be striped

    I think we need a graphic for striped freedoms. What do striped freedoms look like?

    (Sorry, I am very literal minded, and you did misspell "stripped.")

  • Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases (via drudge)

    09/19/2014 8:50:42 PM PDT · 39 of 51
    exDemMom to PghBaldy
    What the heck happened to make this outbreak so much worse than all previous combined?

    The virus reached an urban area with a high population density. The virus itself has not significantly changed.

  • Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases (via drudge)

    09/19/2014 8:46:58 PM PDT · 38 of 51
    exDemMom to Responsibility2nd
    Between 600,000 and one million people die annualy of malaria. Where’s the freak-out over that?

    Indeed, good perspective. Many more Africans die of a large number of diseases than die of Ebola--but Ebola gets all the attention.

  • Ebola patients buying survivors' blood from black market, WHO warns

    09/19/2014 8:42:31 PM PDT · 29 of 33
    exDemMom to vetvetdoug
    I guess its only been useful since the early 1900's. Maybe more testing by the FDA is necessary.

    Convalescent serum has been tried in previous Ebola outbreaks, but it has had mixed results. The reason to use it now comes in the category of "it's better to try something than sit around and do nothing."

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/19/2014 3:43:08 AM PDT · 2,211 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Smokin' Joe
    All it needs are a few transfers, or connecting flights. It doesn't have to arrive in the same person it left in.

    I think that if someone became symptomatic during a flight from an affected country, they would not leave the airport outside of an ambulance. And then they would get better medical care than they could have expected back in Africa, and have a better chance of survival.

    I question whether someone seeking to enter the US illegally would have the means to buy an airplane ticket.

  • Fourteen ISIS Fighters Killed Filling a Chemical Warhead

    09/18/2014 8:32:26 PM PDT · 31 of 88
    exDemMom to Nachum

    Oh, I love these heart-warming human interest stories.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 8:28:51 PM PDT · 2,207 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Tammy8

    They aren’t infectious until they are symptomatic, and the level of infectiousness increases as the disease progresses. Ebola, when it hits, hits hard, so the person would likely be abandoned pretty quickly. Assuming the worst-case scenario, that they would spread it to others in the group before they are abandoned—the most likely outcome would be that the whole group dies.

    The incubation period is from 2-21 days, with the average around 8. With a 45 day journey to our border, someone with Ebola isn’t going to make it.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 7:59:36 PM PDT · 2,203 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Tammy8
    So you think people with third world sanitation issues would somehow suddenly conform to modern sanitation if one or more did get Ebola? I disagree and think if anyone from those type of communities gets ill it will spread fast among them. Recently the CDC was chasing and had to arrest an illegal that fled from treatment for TB. I am sure if it was Ebola they would change their whole attitude and lifestyle. Right?

    I was under the impression that you were talking about fields in CA (or in some part of the US, anyway). The chance that someone from Africa would be able to migrate out of Africa and all the way across the country of Mexico within the 21 day incubation period of Ebola is just about nil. A few weeks ago, Rush said that it takes about 45 days to traverse to our border... no one with Ebola can survive that long.

    I am also quite aware that the coyotes have no use for those who cannot keep up with the others during those trips across our border. People don't even have to be sick--if they are just small and weak, the coyotes will abandon them. From everything I've heard, a LOT of bodies are recovered near those border areas.

    While there are plenty of noxious diseases that can cross our southern border, Ebola isn't one of them.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 7:50:51 PM PDT · 2,199 of 2,287
    exDemMom to ElenaM
    Did you bother to read the quoted material?

    I guess you missed the part where I said I've already read that paper (several times, in fact). Furthermore, despite your insistence that that paper was about aerosols, it was not.

    Of course I quoted Scientific American to you. I will be honest--your level of understanding of the subject that you have repeatedly communicated tells me very strongly that you do not have a PhD, nor do you have the scientific understanding that a PhD trained scientist gains from years of both reading papers and doing research in the lab. You have not demonstrated that you know anything about the basic structure of cells, how viruses replicate, shed, and spread, etc. So I choose a source written at what I perceive is your level of understanding. Don't worry--I read it myself to make sure the information is accurate; I will never link to an article that is factually inaccurate.

    The reason I am so fixated on the minute details of transmission is because only an accurate understanding of transmission characteristics allows for the proper infection control measures to be implemented. This outbreak is not going to be stopped by people becoming hysterical over supposed aerosol transmission--it will be stopped by understanding what DOES spread the virus, and taking steps to stop those chains of transmission.

    Whom to believe: an AP reporter, a politician, a political appointee or a research virologist? I don't find that a difficult choice.

    Where do you think the reporter, politician, and political appointee get their information? They get that information from the people who actually do the research--from people whose education, training, and experience is similar to mine. If they cannot relay the information accurately, it is because they don't have the educational background to really understand what the researchers are trying to tell them.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 7:29:45 PM PDT · 2,198 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Dark Wing
    You find out that simple things like pipetting or slide preparation are sufficient to aersolize Ebola.

    I'm a PhD trained medical researcher. I know how samples are aerosolized by many common laboratory procedures. I remember when I used to centrifuge 35-S labeled samples, I gave up trying to keep them from aerosolizing--no matter what I did, I had to budget an hour or so to clean the radioactivity off the entire interior of the centrifuge every time I did that experiment. And I used sealed tubes and a lid on the rotor.

    When I speak of Ebola not being an airborne virus, I am speaking strictly of the natural processes that viruses use to become airborne from the upper respiratory passages of an infected patient. This is the kind of transmission that makes the difference between Ebola remaining a regional outbreak, or its jumping to affect the whole world. If it could spread through natural aerosol routes, it would be all over the world by now.

    The aerosols that occur as a result of, for instance, popping open an Eppendorf centrifuge tube, typically occur in the [BSL-4] laboratory environment, which is disinfected on a regular basis and is not open to the outside air. Certain procedures done with patients also can create aerosols--again, these happen in a controlled environment, and are not a consideration for disease transmission outside of the health-care setting.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 7:14:40 PM PDT · 2,197 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Dark Wing
    ExDemMom, I can believe you and Faluci, or I can believe the MSDS for Ebola that states Ebola was aersolized by pigs — via sneezes — and makes clear the EVD is a Hell on Earth fomite and STD threat.

    Pigs are not humans, and the pathology of infectious diseases is different in pigs versus in humans. Pigs get a respiratory illness from Ebola, but primates do not.

    I believe that I have pointed out in other posts that there are severe limitations in published studies on the survivability of Ebola virus in the environment. The fact is that no one has done any systematic study of viability of virus in fomites, and any evidence of virus in non-blood derived fluids is inconclusive.

    BTW, before going to all the trouble of quoting scientific papers (especially long passages from them), keep in mind that I have most likely already read those papers. Just in case I haven't seen the paper, feel free to post a link to the PubMed citation.

  • doctor: gov’t ‘tight-lipped’ on respiratory virus, may be from illegals

    09/18/2014 6:55:13 PM PDT · 44 of 45
    exDemMom to RushIsMyTeddyBear

    Well, I hope you feel better soon.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 6:54:22 PM PDT · 2,195 of 2,287
    exDemMom to ElenaM
    I think the RT-PCR test results are the significant portion of this specific study given the issues surrounding the sample handling.

    In my personal experience, it is quite possible to find virus by RT-PCR that simply cannot be confirmed by plaque assay. All RT-PCR does is tell you that large enough fragments of viral RNA exist to give a positive result on the PCR test. It tells you nothing about virus viability.

    The study described in that J. Inf. Disease article was less-than-ideal for a number of reasons. Were I a reviewer of that paper, and the virus anything but Ebola, I would not have recommended its publication. Probably whoever reviewed it thought the same.

    In a previous post (number 2118) you wrote:

    In order for Ebola to become airborne, it would have to 1) infect cells in the upper respiratory system, in the bronchia and possibly alveoli, and 2) be resistant to destruction by drying.

    Ebola infects dendritic cells, which are numerous in the respiratory tract.

    The airborne viruses I know all infect ciliated epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract. The last time I checked, dendritic cells are not ciliated. The virus would also have to change its physical structure in order to become airborne, to make it resistant to drying. Right now, the virus spreads just fine through infected fluids and possibly droplet transmission--there is no selective pressure for it to change mode of transmission.

    I do not know of any Ebola researchers who think that Ebola is airborne, or that it spreads through means other than close contact or proximity with infected persons. If you can provide examples of actual research papers, peer-reviewed and indexed in PubMed, that definitively demonstrate true airborne (NOT droplet, NOT fomite) transmission of Ebola from a human--or even non-human primate--please post the reference(s). Otherwise, quit trying to find ways to make the evidence fit your desire for Ebola to be airborne. It is not, and no knowledgeable person has ever said otherwise.

    FYI, here is a nice article from Scientific American that explains why Ebola is not airborne and is not likely to become airborne. It is written for consumption by laypeople, and seems to avoid the dense language that scientists such as myself often use.

    The next time influenza sweeps around the northern hemisphere, seemingly simultaneously across the whole hemisphere, you might want to get down on your knees and thank God that Ebola is not airborne. Influenza season is coming, and there is nothing we can do to stop its spread.

  • African ship carrying sick crewmen to dock in New Orleans

    09/18/2014 4:01:25 AM PDT · 106 of 130
    exDemMom to Wicket
    I will concede, however, that the crew members may not be Africans, but if they were in an African port of call and enjoyed the local ladies, they could easily be infected. I will also concede that Africa’s primitive medical facilities are a big part of the problem.

    Ebola makes people seriously sick. I doubt that any "lady" infected by Ebola would have the strength or desire to sell her "services" while she is ill. Most likely, she would stay at home and suffer until she died, or go to a treatment center and have a little better chance to survive.

    There is fear that this version of Ebola may spread through the air because it has mutated a number of times.

    All viruses mutate. That does not change the mode of transmission. For Ebola to become airborne, it would have to change both its physical structure, and the tissues that it infects within the body--it would have to become a respiratory virus. It is extremely unlikely that both of those events could occur. I wonder, if Ebola became respiratory, whether it would be nearly as deadly. Most respiratory viruses are fairly benign.

    It is in metro areas in Africa, we are living in a small world and the US has porous borders. The length of time before symptons are shown is anywhere between two and 25 days. Those who are “cured” are still contagious for up to 7 weeks.

    Infectious Ebola virus was found in the semen of a recovered patient 82 days after he first became symptomatic. Not every man who gets Ebola makes infected semen.

  • African ship carrying sick crewmen to dock in New Orleans

    09/18/2014 3:47:45 AM PDT · 105 of 130
    exDemMom to South Hawthorne
    Then why do all the people who come to America for treatment survive?

    They survived because they received top-notch supportive care that bought them time until their own bodies mounted a sufficient immune response to fight off the disease.

    No doubt, if there was equivalent care in Africa, the death rate would be lower than its current 50-60%.

  • The Left’s Political Network, Exposed in One Chart

    09/18/2014 3:41:53 AM PDT · 12 of 12
    exDemMom to markomalley

    Wow, I just love that 2 point font! Even when magnified, I cannot read the words inside the circles. At least the list below the chart is readable on the magnified version.

    The Combined Federal Campaign annual charity drive just got started. At least, I will be able to avoid donating to any of the groups mentioned on the chart.

    I’ll probably give extra to Doctors Without Borders this year. They’ve been quite busy with the Ebola situation.

  • doctor: gov’t ‘tight-lipped’ on respiratory virus, may be from illegals

    09/18/2014 3:30:58 AM PDT · 37 of 45
    exDemMom to RushIsMyTeddyBear

    Do you have pertussis? Have you been to a doctor?

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 3:25:08 AM PDT · 2,145 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Smokin' Joe
    Really? With all its funding (our money) we have studies on why 75% of lesbians are fat, we have studies of shrimp on treadmills, etc., and we have every conversation involving electronic means recorded, but diddley squat is 'known' about a disease which kills 30-90% of the people who get it?

    I think the problem is more one of priorities and allocation of resources than anything else.

    The government owns 95% of Nevada, for instance, and half of the land west of the Mississippi. If it wants to build a lab, it has ample space far from the nearest neighbor.

    Until this outbreak, Ebola had never captured the public attention. I'm not certain why it is such big news this time around. The fact is that obscure diseases that sporadically affect a handful of people on some distant continent are not a research priority, and never will be. The only reason that Ebola, Marburg, and some of the other hemorrhagic viruses are researched at all is because of concern that they might be used as bioweapons.

    Influenza season is coming up, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to die from it. Because of the high death rate, influenza is a research priority all over the world. And that is how it should be.

    I don't know about putting a lab in the middle of Nevada or any other desolate place. To get people to come work in a lab, it has to be near a place where people want to live. And no one chooses to live in the high desert.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/18/2014 3:11:41 AM PDT · 2,144 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Thud
    Responsibility comes with power. Dr. Fauci is irresponsible, and can best serve the nation by resigning.

    I disagree. I do not perceive a scientist who looks, talks, and acts like a scientist as being irresponsible.

    You would not get significantly different answers, either in content or style, from any scientist. I would have done the same thing in his place.

    He gave the best information that he (or anyone else) has.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/17/2014 7:38:24 PM PDT · 2,137 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Thud
    NIAID Director Fauci carefully and deliberately misled Senator Burr, who asked a direct question about Ebola transmission via fomites. Dr. Fauci did not say he didn't know, or couldn't answer.

    I know exactly where Dr. Fauci is coming from--he does what many scientists do when asked a question they cannot answer. What I do in that exact same situation is "think out loud" while talking about related matters, to try to come to a logical answer. Then I might eventually arrive at an answer that is close to being the answer to the question, but does not actually answer the question. This is not an attempt at being deceitful or trying to mislead--rather, it is the scientists' attempt at giving a layperson the scientists' perspective on the question.

    I happen to be extremely good at talking a lot without ever, in some cases, answering the specific question asked. But, to my thinking, giving an answer on a related subject is nearly as good. I've let my audience know what I know, and hopefully left them with the same shortfalls of knowledge on the subject that I have. I do sometimes preface an answer with "That's a very good question!" which means, "I have no clue what the answer is, but I'm going to talk your ears off anyway." But that's the only hint I ever give that I don't know.

    There really are not answers to transmissibility in fomites. The experiments have not been done, for the most part, and the few that *have* been done were inadequate in some very important ways. There is an updated version of that MSDS at; from a quick skimming of the document, I would say that its author(s) came up with the same problems that everyone else who reads the literature comes up with. There are no answers, the experiments have not been done.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/17/2014 6:40:43 PM PDT · 2,130 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Tammy8
    I had a conversation with a man that supplies porta-johns this morning. He supplies many to farm fields where many of the workers are not even illegals but have work permits and are living here. He said legal requirements for farmers is that they provide the porta-johns, hand wash stations, antibacterial soap, the works for sanitation for field workers. The man told me few workers use the porta-johns, most use them for cover and go to the bathroom behind the porta-johns instead of inside them. The workers are using only small amounts of antibacterial soap- what would last a day in many locations will last a month or more. They use small amounts of toilet paper and water as well. He said worse than that the farmers still have problems with the employees simply going to the bathroom in the field where they are harvesting crops...

    You've described great conditions for spreading cholera or E. coli O157H7, and probably a few other bugs--people do, in fact, get sick from eating raw produce frequently--but not Ebola. With an upper incubation period of 21 days, and average of 8 days, the chance that an illegal immigrant would be able to travel from Africa to a field in the US before becoming symptomatic is almost nil. They would probably die in the desert as soon as the coyotes bringing them abandon them for signs of illness.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/17/2014 6:30:25 PM PDT · 2,128 of 2,287
    exDemMom to XEHRpa

    I’ve read that article and others several times—how do you think I am able to speak of virus transmissibility in bodily fluids?

    The only column that matters as far as transmissibility in Table 1 of that article is labeled “Virus culture positive, no. (% sample type tested).” The RT-PCR test can only tell you that viral RNA was present in the sample, but cannot tell anything about the condition of the virus. In a similar manner, you can use RT-PCR to test for and find cow RNA in a steak, but that doesn’t mean you have a living cow on your dinner plate.

    Culturing the virus is the only way to know if a sample is infectious. I notice that many of the fluids listed in that table that contained viral RNA did not, in fact, contain active virus. The single saliva sample that had live virus in it probably contained blood. From the number of saliva samples that contained RNA but not culturable virus, it would seem that saliva inactivates the virus (which is not surprising; we have many antiviral and antibiotic molecules in our mucous secretions). The only two fluids I saw that concern me are the breast milk and semen. They contained live virus during the acute phase of the illness, and continued to harbor live virus for a period of time after symptoms subsided. Not in this study, but in another, live virus was cultured from a semen sample collected 82 days after symptoms appeared. *That* is very concerning.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/17/2014 5:54:24 PM PDT · 2,123 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Black Agnes

    That would be later in the disease, when the patient is quite infectious through a number of routes. Not all patients bleed. I suspect that not all patients are equally infectious. Bleeding is the virus’ way of trying to infect a new host.

  • Ebola: Does It Matter?

    09/17/2014 5:51:07 PM PDT · 29 of 98
    exDemMom to Tilted Irish Kilt
    Ebola can exist at -70 C, and maintain its vitality

    As far as I know, ALL pathogens survive just fine at -70 C. That's how researchers store them for research, in really cold freezers.

    How well Ebola survives in the environment, under natural temperatures, humidity, and so forth, is more important than its survival in a -70 C freezer under conditions meant to preserve it.

  • Ebola: Does It Matter?

    09/17/2014 5:45:59 PM PDT · 28 of 98
    exDemMom to steve86
    I'm not saying Ebola is not a threat -- it is -- but some people on FR are continuously in duck and cover mode even without any imminent threat. Such a preoccupation is not helpful when it becomes an obsession and interferes with ordinary life.

    Honestly, I think a lot of those people make a hobby of having something to be continually alarmed about. It's kind of like watching a horror movie, but being able to live it instead of just observing it. Once the Ebola outbreak dies down (or is forgotten), they'll just find something else to be afraid of. Being constantly at the mercy of some existential threat gives meaning to their lives...

  • Ebola: Does It Matter?

    09/17/2014 5:41:55 PM PDT · 27 of 98
    exDemMom to Kartographer
    We are definitely suffering from an epidemic (more like pandemic) of normalcy bias. Every idiot who refuses to vaccinate his or her children because of the stupid belief that somehow, a tiny needle prick is more dangerous than a potentially deadly pathogen is absolutely steeped in normalcy bias. Because they've never seen these diseases, they believe they do not exist and that there is nothing to protect their children against. (They are not very different from people in the Ebola affected countries who do not believe Ebola is real.)

    Despite this, few homes have gloves and medical masks in their medicine cabinet, even though they would be useful for any outbreak of infectious disease. [copied from article at link]

    If you keep those items in your home, be aware that latex gloves have a shelf life, and might only last a few months under certain conditions of heat and humidity. Disposable gloves, of any material, should be inspected periodically to make sure they are still usable. Latex gloves that have light colored spots or patches on them are no longer protective.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    09/17/2014 5:31:43 PM PDT · 2,121 of 2,287
    exDemMom to Black Agnes

    Those are secretions, but they are not derived from blood. The cells that secrete those liquids are not cells that the Ebola virus attacks. So, unless the secretions are bloody, they are not infectious.

    I read one report where viral RNA was detected in bloody saliva (of one patient), but it was not infectious. The researchers thought that perhaps immune molecules in the saliva destroyed the virus.