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Medicine

WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency 183

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we're-all-gonna-die dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with news that, with the Ebola outbreak growing out of control, the WHO has declared an international health emergency. From the article: With cases rapidly mounting in four West African countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), a designation that allows the agency to issue recommendations for travel restrictions but also sends a strong message that more resources need to be mobilized to bring the viral disease under control. ... This is only the third time the health agency has issued a PHEIC declaration since the new International Health Regulations (IHR), a global agreement on the control of diseases, were adopted in 2005. The previous two instances were in 2009, for the H1N1 influenza pandemic, and in May for the resurgence of polio.
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WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:17PM (#47630819)

    ... after latest research showed that it could affect white folks as well.

  • Re:First.... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:36PM (#47631015)

    I think you falsely view prepper's as that naive. They are not trying to be individuals, they are trying to be PREPARED to individually survive, if necessary. This will, in fact, increase a prepper's social status since they can a) not be a burden on others in a group b) help others in a group and c) be viewed as intelligent, forward thinking, etc.

    You falsely believe that simply being part of a close knit group means that the other members of the group will help you. If no one in the group "prepped" or has assets then you lose. If you are counting on someone else in your social circle to "prep" for you then you are just implicitly prepping while calling preppers idiots.

    If you carefully select your social group to include gun smiths, chemists, farmers, etc so that you have access to everything you need then you are still a prepper, just a different kind. If you think 50 accountant friends is going to help you then, good luck.

  • Rigged statistics. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:48PM (#47631127)

    more people die in 1 month from the flu in africa (over 5 K from the last article i saw ) than they die from ebola last year.

    But those people dieing of of the flue are often compromised in some other way, such as old age or malnutrition.

    you might as well say that more people in africa die of old age every day than all ebola deaths combined.

    The reason people fear ebola is that unlike old age, it spreads and attacks the healthy.

    Unless you are literally playing in a sick persons bodily fluids, the risk is almost 0

    the exact same exaggeration is true of flu. You catch flu by being in close proximity to someone with the flu or some a vector that can temporarily support the flu's transmission, just like ebola.

  • You can help out (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndrewBuck (1120597) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:49PM (#47631131)

    The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has been working with WHO, MSF, and Red Cross since the outbreak began in march to map roads and villages in the affected areas. These maps are used by medical teams to move people, medicine, and equipment around, as well as to do "contact tracing" of infected people to see who they might also have infected. The maps are crowdsourced and released under a copyleft license like wikipedia uses. If you want to help out you can check out a task to work on on the HOT task manager [hotosm.org] and help improve the maps these organizations are using to do their work. There are some instructional videos on the MapGive site [state.gov] run by the US State Department which has donated a bunch of imagery for us to better map the affected areas.

    Please take some time to learn how to help with this mapping and help these doctors do what they need to do.

    -AndrewBuck

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday August 08, 2014 @01:06PM (#47631299)

    I think it's more about the fatality rate. 50-90% vs 2-3% for really virulent flu like in 2009.

    Even the spanish flu was about 15%.

    Plus choking isn't nearly as dramatic as bleeding blood out of every orafice and even the skin.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday August 08, 2014 @01:39PM (#47631593) Homepage

    Setting aside the specific mechanics of the virus ...

    Are you making the claim there is no way that Ebola could mutate into something which could spread more readily than it does now?

    I'm pretty sure there's probably more people currently infected than at any point in history -- because historically it's spread in a small community and then died out, no?

    Having is spread further outside of Africa doesn't seem all that impossible -- what with modern air travel and the like, you could end up with a huge amount of infected people.

    Whether or not it could become purely airborne, it could still spread much further than it ever has, and, it can still mutate and do whatever these things do when that happens.

    Hemorrhagic fevers are scary, because who wants to bleed to death through every orifice in your body as your organs turn to goo?

    Regardless how it mutates it will always die in seconds or minutes outside of s human body.

    And, you can say with 100% certainty it could never either mutate into something which can exceed these constraints, or cross mojonate with something which can? Like a hemorrhagic flu?

    You can rule out every conceivable and fanciful mechanism with absolute certainty?

    Or, can you say it hasn't happened yet?

    These are actual honest questions, because I know fsck all about epidemiology ... I just also know that the things which want to kill us have a remarkable tendency to become much harder to kill.

    And people who say "that could never happen" have been wrong in the past. Quite often, actually.

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