Oh no, Ebola is coming!

I’ve seen several articles discussing the current outbreak of Ebola virus, and apparently widespread concern about it spreading to the USA. This is nonsense. Spread of Ebola is an issue in third world countries. It is transmitted by exposure to blood and body fluids. When was the last time you touched someone else’s diarrhea? Had someone bleed on you? Hopefully these are not everyday occurrences in your life! With modern plumbing, even an undiagnosed victim is likely to infect zero people.

The one exception to this would be in medical care. However, we have the technology! In the emergency department, we did all sorts of fun training in biohazard suits. Do they suck to work in? Yep! But you aren’t getting exposed to squat in one of them. Even if someone comes in with “flu-like symptoms”, our standard protective equipment for any contagious disease will also protect against Ebola transmission. The disease kills people quickly enough that any epidemic will be sharply limited, especially since transmission is only through blood and body fluids. My concern for an outbreak in the USA is zero.


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One response to “Oh no, Ebola is coming!

  1. Dan

    Ebola has and IS killing trained physicians in Africa….doctors with western educations using universal precautions. The evidence is showing that filo virus is fairly hardy and while not proven to be a true airborne contagion CAN be vectored via inhalation of aerosolized body fluids. The standard N95 mask and plasticized paper gown is inadequate protection and true biohazard suits with closed respirators is the only sure protection. Few. Hospitals have such equipment in any reasonable quantity. IF this virus mutates to an airborne infection then hell will literally come to dinner. The current situation is bad and could become catastrophic literally overnight. The west should have quarantined the entire region by force long ago to keep this from spreading….they still should do that while it might be effective. Ebola has the potential to end life on earth as we know it and could do so in a matter of weeks or months. The death toll would be millions and possibly a billion or more. Ebola’s risk is literally impossible to overstate.

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