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Did two ‘dead’ Ebola victims really resurrect in Liberia?

Posted on September 25, 2014
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As if dealing with the constant fear of contracting Ebola isn’t enough for Liberians, we now have the supernatural fear of rising from the dead. The small village of Nimba was interring two women when both apparently rose from the dead.

Of course, it’s most likely that these two women were still alive when ‘buried’. Logically, the fear of the disease must add to the problem of declaring someone officially dear, particularly if that person dies at home, outside a hospital. The two women now must suffer from the stigma of being conceived to be ‘ghosts’ or worse.

Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county [...] to the amazement of residents and onlookers on Monday, the deceased reportedly regained life in total disbelief.

read the entire report via Dead Ebola patients resurrect? – The New Dawn Liberia | Truly Independent.

Up to 1.5 Million Infected by January: CDC’s Dire Predictions about the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Posted on September 23, 2014
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This morning, I received an urgent email blast from the Centers for Disease Control containing an early release of this week’s ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’ (MMWR), which as you might expect comes out weekly. This issue comes out earlier than usual due to the urgent message contained within its paragraphs. This is a scientific, statistical analysis of the outbreak numbers, and weighing the actual reported infections/deaths against the likelihood of under-reporting (more on that in a moment), and then further plotting that on a timeline graph, the CDC’s number crunchers estimate that West Africa could have as many as 1.5 MILLION active cases by end of January, 2015.

We’ve all seen those hockey stick graphs (Al Gore’s favorite), but this one is chilling. Below, you see a graph (courtesy of the CDC) that illustrates the case in point. These are the combined estimates of active cases in Sierra Leone and Libera. Note that the graph on the left is active cases in total (pay close attention to the ‘corrected number’), while the graph on the right is the total number of hospital beds. 1.5 Million sick versus about 100,000 hospital beds.

CDC Graph for Ebola Estimates 2014/15

Graph showing estimated cases (in thousands) for Libera and Sierra Leone combined. Click to enlarge.

Read the rest of this entry →

Mystery Virus Spreading Across US Is Enterovirus D68

Posted on September 20, 2014
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EV68-thmb

States reporting EV-D68 as of Sept. 19, 2014. Image from CDC.gov. For more on the outbreaks and states involved, click the map.

The headlines that populate my news feed these days appear to be crafted to frighten and obfuscate rather than inform. Sadly, such is true about the headlines regarding nearly all topics lately, but it is especially true of a respiratory virus that is gaining a strong foothold in our nation. It is not a mystery, it is Enterovirus D-68, abbreviated as EV-D68.

An enterovirus is a type of RNA-based invader that loves to lodge in human respiratory passages. One particularly nasty type of EV caused polio (poliomyelitis virus), but EV-D68 is not a polio-inducing sort. However, its effects can cause polio-like symptoms, which is why it is so important that parents keep sharp eyes on any child suffering from a cold or flu-like illness.

So far, EV-D68 has been isolated in 160 children 22 states.  The symptoms are similar to common colds, but if you or your child is at risk due to an suppressed immune system, or if either of you has asthma, be sure to see a doctor asap:

  • Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
  • Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.

Up until now, EV-D68 has not been on the list of reportable diseases, so the CDC is not sure just how many cases there may have been in the past, but this year’s outbreak certainly has the government agency sitting up and taking notice.  Treatment for EV-D68 is generally treating symptoms, since there is not antiviral.  But be sure NOT to use aspirin in young children since it has been linked to Reye’s Syndrome.

For more information on enteroviruses and especially EV-D68, go to the CDC website.

Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection: Enterovirus D68 EV-D68 – CDC.

#Ebola: The Madness of Dealing with Death

Posted on August 18, 2014
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It reads like something from a Stephen King horror novel, but it’s all too true. The situation in Western Africa, particularly in West Point, Liberia is an all too real version of The Stand with a diabolical hint of Under the Dome. And this dreadfully dire situation has just gotten much worse.

West Point, Liberia is a densely populated breeding-ground for Ebola. When a few dozen families showed signs of the deadly disease, a local school was opened as a makeshift quarantine area. Young girls worked as ‘nurses’ and cared for the patients, cleaning them up (early symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting), often times with no gloves since the supply of 150 gloves was quickly used up.

Complicating the problem is a growing belief in the region that Ebola doesn’t exist in West Point; that all these patients had was ‘malaria’, which is why a gang of armed men broke into the school, released the patients (ran them off is a better way to put it), and stole armloads of bloody sheets, used gloves, and what few medical supplies remained.

This is a nightmare scenario. Patients at risk are still at large–possibly dying, dead, and very likely spreading the disease further. The men who broke into the school have been exposed. Their friends and family will be exposed. And West Point may soon see an explosion of Ebola patients.

Had this scenario been written into Under the Dome or The Stand, we would read it and shiver, but we’d have the comforting reassurance that ‘it is just fiction’.

The situation in West Point, Liberia is not fiction. The people, the parents, the children, the babies are real. And according to the World Health Organization, the nightmare outbreak may have another six months to run.

To learn more about the situation in Liberia, see Mob Destroys Ebola Center In Liberia Two Days After It Opens. and Why the Escape of Numerous Ebola Paatients in Liberia’s Worst Slum is So Terrifying

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