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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia 409

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mother-nature-wants-you-to-die dept.
acidradio (659704) writes American air charter specialist Phoenix Air has been contracted by the U.S. Army to haul an American physician afflicted with Ebola from Liberia to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. This will be the first 'purposeful' transport of an Ebola victim to the U.S. The patient will be flown in a special Gulfstream III (formerly owned by the Danish Air Force) outfitted for very specialized medical transports such as this. I dunno. I know there are brilliant doctors and scientists in Atlanta who handle highly-communicable diseases, but is this such a brilliant idea? theodp (442580) writes with related news In response to the Ebola outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel. "Ebola virus is transmitted by close contact with a person who has symptoms of Ebola," the CDC explains. "Close contact is defined as having cared for or lived with a person with Ebola or having a high likelihood of direct contact with blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient. Examples of close contact include kissing or embracing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, close conversation (3 feet), physical examination, and any other direct physical contact between people. Close contact does not include walking by a person or briefly sitting across a room from a person."
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

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  • by B33rNinj4 (666756) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:06PM (#47582003) Homepage Journal
    Let's bring all the diseases here. What could go wrong?
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:27PM (#47582237) Homepage

    Up to 22 days without having any symptoms as I recall. So what happens when someone breaks out into a fever and puts their sweaty hands all over hand railings, desks, kiosks, and whatnot? How long does Ebola last once it's on the surface?

    There's a reason animals (and humans) are paranoid about shit we don't understand. From a survival standpoint, it's an advantageous attitude to have. And right now, I'm pretty fucking paranoid about being anywhere near people with Ebola!

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:29PM (#47582267) Homepage

    Note that those are cases in an area where part of the funeral rites include (I believe) washing the body of the deceased by hand.

  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:36PM (#47582347) Homepage Journal

    It is not a big deal, but for other reasons.

    Sidenote: a vaccine does not heal you if you are already ill, it only powers up your immune system to prevent you catching the illness ...

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:44PM (#47582453)

    On the timeline of vaccine research, "available in a year" sounds entirely like it's a solved problem with a pile of paperwork to be done...

  • FUD much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plcurechax (247883) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:51PM (#47582541) Homepage

    I know there are brilliant doctors and scientists in Atlanta who handle highly-communicable diseases, but is this such a brilliant idea?

    When did Slashdot become home to stupid FUD* spewing dweebs with little or no common sense? The subtitle is "News for Nerds," which would suggest somebody who submits something might have half a clue about what they are talking about (leaving the plebs to pontificate on logical and scientific fallacy or imagine a Beowulf cluster of hot grits ).

    I want my Slashdot with nerds filter enabled.

    And yes it is an excellent idea, because it gives the CDC a living "test tube" of the actual active Ebola virus, not a sample of infected blood collected, and shipped on ice. Making it ideal for study, and possibly detection of any variant (i.e. mutation) that had not been notice before. Of course, this will likely cost the American doctor his/her life, but such is the risk of fighting an viral outbreak, and the real-world beyond web forums and politicians rambling.

    * FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

  • by sirwired (27582) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:56PM (#47582597)

    This guy had limited equipment, and was treating patients in a facility that would make a highway rest stop look like a model for cleanliness. I expect he was taking every precaution he could, but that's not necessarily a lot.

    The CDC has purpose-built facilities designed precisely for treating patients with deadly diseases a lot more communicable than this. This seems like a good use for them.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:56PM (#47582609)

    Yup, CDC knows how to handle this sort of shit.

    Yes they do. Nobody's perfect but I trust the CDC to handle this. I've met people that work there. I'm married to a physician that deals with the CDC from time to time and she trusts them. They are very good at their job.

    It's not like they lose track of pathogens or accidentally expose workers to smallpox, no sirree bob.

    And that is relevant in what way here? Seriously. Explain to me how some leftover vials of a pathogen from decades ago has any relevance to this case beside pointing out the already obvious fact that there is a tiny but non-zero chance someone might do something stupid. That failure mode has precisely zero bearing on this issue. People are not perfect, news at 11.

    Cut out the sissy NIMBY scaremongering. There is really, truly nothing to worry about here. It's not funny and it scares people who don't know any better.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:00PM (#47582651) Homepage

    Do you really believe the USA governments health agency carries an US citizen into the US if it was not perfectly safe?

    Umm, YES! Damn, you're that incredibly naive to believe that line of bullshit? How many professionals...how many politicians for that matter have promised one thing only later to either admit they fucked up, or blatantly flat-out lied?! Sorry, but oops doesn't count as an excuse if they fuck this up.

  • More NIMBY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjbe (173966) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:06PM (#47582711)

    You realise the different between some freeze dried sample in a jar, in a sealed drawer, in a sealed room, and a living human being infected with it and being transfered all over the place? Right?

    Of course there are differences which is why comparing the two is both stupid and irrelevant. The failure modes have nothing to do with one another. It is well understood how ebola is transmitted and we have very well established containment protocols that we know work well. Ebola is not highly communicative, readily contained and the risks are quite low. The CDC doesn't even consider it among the most dangerous pathogens because it is relatively hard to transmit. They've already had the ebola virus in Atlanta for study. The only thing different here is simply that they have a live patient to handle which is something infections disease doctors deal with every single day.

  • Re:More NIMBY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:24PM (#47582867)

    It is well understood how ebola is transmitted and we have very well established containment protocols that we know work well. Ebola is not highly communicative, readily contained and the risks are quite low. The CDC doesn't even consider it among the most dangerous pathogens because it is relatively hard to transmit.

    Sierra Leone's only expert on Ebola died from Ebola a couple of days ago, despite being an expert and therefore following all the safety procedures to the best of his ability.

  • by eli pabst (948845) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:32PM (#47582953)
    My concern is whether the potential risks outweigh the benefit of bringing them to the US. It's not like there is some magical cure awaiting them upon arrival at Emory, there is no cure for Ebola. About the best they can hope for is palliative care, so why not just send a team to West Africa to do the same. Would the care in Atlanta be that much better that it is worth introducing an extremely dangerous pathogen to a large metropolitan area? Yes, I know the CDC already has Ebola in it's freezers in Atlanta, but having a pathogen stored in a BSL4 lab is *much* different than trying to treat an infected patient that is bleeding out in a hospital isolation unit. The opportunity for someone to f*ck up is substantially higher in that situation, so why take the risk?
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:41PM (#47583059)

    What I find slightly curious is that they'd bother to transport the patient for a disease that (at present) has no treatment other than supportive therapy to try to keep the symptoms from killing you. The Liberian medical system is not exactly a shining star; but this isn't one of those "Oh, sure, we could cure that; but this hospital doesn't have an endoscopic microsurgery suite and we'd need $250k worth of drugs that you can't even buy here." diseases.

    Is there a research interest? Is supportive therapy that much better here and the CDC is the place with isolation expertise? What advantage is being sought?

    Because it's the right thing to do. Both of these people are heros, and had the bravery to travel to a remote foreign land and care for a people the majority of us didn't even know exist. They've a level of humanity that's rare in Americans, and we should celebrate that just like we'd protect a wounded soldier. You're not going to die alone in a foreign land. You'll receive the best care possible, and if you die, you'll be around your family when it happens. Because that's the right thing to do. Let people volunteer to care for them. I'm sure there are plenty that would do so. I would.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:42PM (#47583081)

    My concern is whether the potential risks outweigh the benefit of bringing them to the US. It's not like there is some magical cure awaiting them upon arrival at Emory, there is no cure for Ebola. About the best they can hope for is palliative care, so why not just send a team to West Africa to do the same. Would the care in Atlanta be that much better that it is worth introducing an extremely dangerous pathogen to a large metropolitan area? Yes, I know the CDC already has Ebola in it's freezers in Atlanta, but having a pathogen stored in a BSL4 lab is *much* different than trying to treat an infected patient that is bleeding out in a hospital isolation unit. The opportunity for someone to f*ck up is substantially higher in that situation, so why take the risk?

    The transport is less likely for treatment and more likely for research. Or do you think the CDC has top notch research facilities abroad?

  • by Garfong (1815272) on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:03PM (#47583263)

    Right. Because the purpose of research is to generate papers.

    Kind of like the purpose of falling in love is to get a marriage certificate.

  • Re:PANIC! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bardez (915334) on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:13PM (#47583337) Homepage
    That's why I *always* start in China or India. Shitty places to live, quick to spread a new disease.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:24PM (#47583437)

    Many of the foreigners are dirty with infestation and disease And that's the fucking point. They're supposed to be in guarantee. No actually, they're supposed to be DEPORTED unless they have a valid entry visa!!! In fact, that's exact what went on at Ellis Island.

    Am I against illegal immigration? You God damn right I am. OUR PEOPLE COME BEFORE THEIRS! Period. Those fuckers need to walk back to where they came from and start a revolution in their own countries. If they can't keep their own country form turning into a 3rd world hellhole, why in the fuck are we allowing the same thing to happen to this one?

    Let me beat you over the head with a clue stick. It's for the votes. The middle class is a threat to the establishment. Both the Republican's and Democrats want slave labor. A caste base system is their ultimate goal!

  • by ultranova (717540) on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:48PM (#47583665)

    You'll receive the best care possible, and if you die, you'll be around your family when it happens. Because that's the right thing to do.

    Would you want your family to be anywhere near you when you're dying of a highly contagious and extremely deadly disease?

    It seems illogical to honor your heroes in a way that risks the very cause they are fighting for.

  • by eli pabst (948845) on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:49PM (#47583671)

    Right. Because the purpose of research is to generate papers.

    If you like being employed as a researcher it is. Or are you naive enough to think that it has no bearing on this?

  • by eli pabst (948845) on Friday August 01, 2014 @03:04PM (#47583811)

    or research ... risking an Ebola outbreak in a major US city

    The entire point of the research is to learn enough to be able to stop an outbreak in a major US city if one were to start.

    Why do you seem to be advocating not doing such research?

    I'm all for it, just do it in Africa. Send a team from the CDC with everything they need and enough LN2 to freeze every specimen they could possibly want, then fly that back to the CDC and do the research in a BSL4. If you want to do in vivo research, then use an animal model. Unlike many other pathogens, there are animal models for Ebola infection that are comparatively good. Realistically, bringing two patients who are already infected with Ebola to the US probably isn't going to advance knowledge in that area in such a quantum way as to outweigh the potential risks.

  • Re:PANIC! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday August 01, 2014 @03:54PM (#47584201)

    God. Madagascar always locks their shit down fast. It was so hard killing off all the humans. I tried starting in Madagascar but they'd lock their shit down so fast I wasn't able to spread anywhere else. I only ever had one game where I killed all humans but I hit plenty where everyone except those bastards in Madagascar died.

    The trick is you want to have high infectivity, low severity and low lethality. This way you're highly infectious but since you don't do anything, no one really bothers. Once you start climbing in severity and lethality, the humans notice.

    then just wait until you've infected all humans, then recoup DNA points from infectivity (everyone's infected), and spend it on symptoms that are lethal. Because by then it's too late - once you start killing, it hits everyone and they can't research a cure fast enough before everyone is dead.

    (It also shows how the game simulation doesn't reflect real life - because once you've infected everyone, if you switch to become lethal, everyone's disease gets lethal, which never happens. Usually you have to re-infect everyone with the new lethal strain. Then there's the entire population thing - assumes newborns will have the disease as well).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @03:58PM (#47584229)

    The ebola virus, so far, are not airborne, but it does spread via liquid flow

    The ebola virus that CDC and all other research labs study are stored inside sealed containers which are stored inside sealed rooms which are inside sealed buildings, and every single time they are done with their research ***EVERYTHING*** goes into the incinerator, ***EVERY SINGLE THING***, in order to make sure that no virus, not even one , will get the chance to escape

    But bringing in the patients striken with ebola will mean importing a human being with all the body fluids that are infected with that virus --- and the bodily fluid, from tears to saliva to sweat to blood to excrement are full of the virus

    Unless they seal the patient inside a sealed container and then move that seal container inside the military transport plane, and then moved it out when the plane reached the destination, that military transport plane itself will, one way or another, be left with traces of bodily fluid from the ebola patients

    Now, I am not scare mongering, but in the medical world there is a thing called "vector" --- which means, the way the disease spread --- and those traces of bodily fluids inside the big military transport plane may become a vector for spreading that disease

    Furthermore, when the patient arrives inside the States, that patient will gonna discharge his/her bodily fluid (pee, sweat, saliva, blood, shit) and how are all those bodily fluid gonna be taken care of ?

    Unless that hospital has a specialized toilet where all the thing flushed from that toilet goes through an incinerator / or some kind of total disinfection system before that fluid was discharged out into the sewage system --- which will flow down, eventually, into rivers --- how can anyone be sure that none of the ebola virus is going to escape from the hospital ?

    It is not about NIMBY --- it is just common sense

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:23PM (#47585929)

    It is scaremongering to entertain the idea that a patient, under strict isolation procedures, that is infected with sed -e 's/ebola/Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase/g' could somehow cause an outbreak in the US. The sed -e 's/virus/bacteria/g' does not transmit in a way that would support the type of Hollywood outbreak the scaremongering is referring to.

    Because it couldn't happen somewhere like the CDC or the NIH. [pbs.org] Oh Wait.

    We think we know a good deal about the ebola virus and the methods of transmission. We're pretty sure we've got the isolation procedures down pat. Is this really worth the gamble, or are we better off flying a whole fucking team with a hospital and any piece of equipment they can fucking dream up to Liberia and doing all we can to treat him there?

    After 45 days of symptom free days of proper isolation, the team can fly back to the US and Liberia is the proud recipient of a BILLION dollars of US tax payer funded medical equipment. Say "hey" to General Buck Naked while you're there.

    As a taxpayer, I'm pretty ok with that idea.

    Interestingly, captcha is "manage" as in "manage risk"

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