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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

That Ebola Outbreak In Guinea...

Posted by on Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 10:31 AM getting worse:

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the West African nation of Guinea has reached the crowded capital, Conakry, prompting new fears about its spread, health officials said Tuesday. Over the past month, the disease has traveled from Guinea’s remote forest regions near the Liberia and Sierra Leone borders and has already killed 83 people, including four in Conakry. Now, with 13 cases in a densely populated capital of two million people, health officials say the challenge of containing the outbreak has become more acute. Ebola has killed hundreds in rural Central Africa over the past four decades, but it is unusual for it to reach urban centers.

Guineans are fighting the virus with... hand sanitizer.


Comments (14) RSS

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benjaminismarried 1
FUCK! we might not have to worry about global climate change though.....
Posted by benjaminismarried on April 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 2
As silly as it seems, the hand sanitizer isn't a bad idea.

Ebola is a seriously horrifying virus. There is no vaccine. There is no cure. Most people who catch it, die from it very quickly. It is spread by contact with infected body fluids (most commonly blood or vomit or shit). One of the common ways it is spread is from a victim to a caretaker cleaning up after their vomit or diarrhea.

Though there is no vaccine or cure, hand sanitizer does a surprisingly good job killing virus if it gets on your skin, before it gets into your body. Gloves or masks would be better, of course, to say nothing of a full biohazard suit, but hand sanitizer would be better than nothing if you don't happen to have a biohazard suit handy.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
"Guineans are fighting the virus with... hand sanitizer."

Kind of snarky and ignorant. Without any specific therapies for ebola, hand hygiene should be an extremely high priority, likely second only to quarantine of the infected.
Posted by RGW on April 2, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 4
The real problem here is the cultural practice of eating Bush Meat. That’s how Ebola finds its way from bats to man through monkeys. I wonder… does black market shrimp qualify as the urban version of Bush Meat?...
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM · Report this
As long as they're using alcohol based hand sanitizer, this is a good idea. Please consider editing the last comment to be less imperialistically snarky and self-righteous. Perhaps "The best tool we have for fighting the spread of the virus is... hand sanitizer."?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
NopeNope 6
Anyone who doesn't know about Ebola should go read Hot Zone. Scary, scary shit.

Also, I'm sure Guinea would be fighting the virus with more than hand sanitizer if the resources were available. I seriously doubt anyone there is taking the outbreak lightly.
Posted by NopeNope on April 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 7
@4: Please, I thought you were better than that.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on April 2, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
And the media in the U.S. goes on about a single plane crash as if there were nothing else in the news.
Posted by DRF on April 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 9
@7 I've seen reports that local scientists actually consider bush meat an infection vector in the case of ebola. One of the natural reservoirs are bats, and it's to the point that some governments now ban the eating of bat.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on April 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
How do we get bush meat onto the menu at the Supreme Court?
Posted by kwodell on April 2, 2014 at 2:41 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 11
"The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus."…

"Bats drop partially eaten fruits and pulp, then terrestrial mammals such as gorillas and duikers feed on these fallen fruits. This chain of events forms a possible indirect means of transmission from the natural host to animal populations, which have led to research towards viral shedding in the saliva of bats. Fruit production, animal behavior, and other factors vary at different times and places that may trigger outbreaks among animal populations. Transmission between natural reservoirs and humans are rare, and outbreaks are usually traceable to a single index case where an individual has handled the carcass of gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker."…
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM · Report this
venomlash 12
@2: There IS in fact a very successful cure. You draw blood from someone who has recently survived Ebola and give a transfusion to someone currently battling the disease. The antibodies in the survivor's blood attack the virus and give the patient's body some breathing room, as it were. Survival rates have gone from as low as 10% to over 80%. By the very nature of Ebola, it's very hard to get evidence, but what we do have on file is very promising. (……)
Two major limitations: the patient and survivor must be compatible with regard to blood groups, and there must be someone who has recently survived Ebola infection. This makes it nearly impossible to help the first few infected patients, but provides an excellent tool to contain larger outbreaks.
Posted by venomlash on April 2, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
So the best treatment for a deadly disease is the injection of blood from a sub-Saharan resident? Jumping from the fire into the frying pan?

Still, very encouraging that the (some) human bodies can make such effective anti-bodies to ebola.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on April 2, 2014 at 5:24 PM · Report this
thecheesegirl 14
@12 It's been a while since I've told you how awesome you are.
Posted by thecheesegirl on April 2, 2014 at 10:15 PM · Report this

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