#Ebola: The Madness of Dealing with Death

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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

Ebola Virus: Nigerian Patients to Be Given Nano Silver – WSJ

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Recently, the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets reported that President ‘Goodluck Jonathan’ of Nigeria is considering using Nano Silver to combat the growing Ebola threat.

While it’s understandable that people in Nigeria are terrified of Ebola within their borders, it is unknown whether or not Nano Silver will stop Ebola from infecting or reduce its pathogenicity. Nano Silver is an antimicrobial agent that has been shown to be an effective treatment against E. coli, S. aureus, and even the HIV-1 virus, but I can find no studies that show it is effective against a filovirus (HIV is a retrovirus).

Ebola infects endothelial cells by tricking the immune system into helping it lock onto the endothelial cell’s outer membrane, and it further tricks the human immune system by sending out short glycoproteins (sGPs) that create what’s called a ‘cytokine storm’ to throw the body into chaos.  Think of these sGPs as similar to the ‘counter-measures’ used by submarines against torpedoes.

Terrified people want their leaders to ‘do something’, so this inexpensive ‘fix’ will likely be welcomed with open arms and mouths (ready to gobble up meds or take injections). Each person is a volunteer in a massive in vivo experimental trial.

I would love it if this ‘simple’ remedy works.  Let’s pray it does.

Read the entire WSJ report here: Ebola Virus: Nigerian Patients to Be Given Experimental Drug – WSJ.

WHO: Ebola is now a Global Threat

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Early symptoms of Ebola are similar to the flu, and the virus can incubate for up to 21 days without symptoms.
This morning, the World Health Organization announced the results of their two-day deliberations regarding the continuing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. It’s official. The members voted unanimously to label Ebola Virus Disease and the current conditions of the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

So, what does that mean? Basically, it means WHO is now dictating behavior within affected ‘states’ (countries) and those countries with ‘possible’ cases. The current states in West Africa will have to declare national emergencies and allow their health ministers more power.

Here is what might happen here very soon:

States with a potential or confirmed Ebola Case, and unaffected States with land borders with affected States

  • Unaffected States with land borders adjoining States with Ebola transmission should urgently establish surveillance for clusters of unexplained fever or deaths due to febrile illness; establish access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for EVD; ensure that health workers are aware of and trained in appropriate IPC procedures; and establish rapid response teams with the capacity to investigate and manage EVD cases and their contacts.
  • Any State newly detecting a suspect or confirmed Ebola case or contact, or clusters of unexplained deaths due to febrile illness, should treat this as a health emergency, take immediate steps in the first 24 hours to investigate and stop a potential Ebola outbreak by instituting case management, establishing a definitive diagnosis, and undertaking contact tracing and monitoring.
  • If Ebola transmission is confirmed to be occurring in the State, the full recommendations for States with Ebola Transmissionshould be implemented, on either a national or subnational level, depending on the epidemiologic and risk context.

To learn more about the guidelines, read the full statement via WHO | WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.

ISIS Commiting ‘Genocide’ Against Christians

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Kudos to CNN for reporting the systematic elimination of all believers in Iraq. Let us keep these brothers and sisters in our prayers. Note that ISIS is literally marking the doors of Christians for death. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Raising Hell: NBC’s Constantine

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This fall, NBC will premiere yet another gnostic take on demonology with its version of ‘Constantine’.  Most who follow the genre will remember Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, but NBC’s version of the DC comic (Hellblazer) showcases Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds) as the demon hunter. The theology is lousy, relying on hocus pocus spells to counteract the Fallen, when all believers in Christ know better. However, if the program can be used with young people as a Mars Hill moment, then it’s useful. Here’s the main trailer:

 

Call for Prayer as Ebola Spreads Death, Fear in W. Africa

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The situation in Western Africa is increasingly dire, but one nation’s leader is finally seeking help from a higher power.

According to today’s report at Voice of America, Nigeria’s President ‘Goodluck’ Jonathan has asked his country to pray as the terror-racked nation faces a growing Ebola crisis. We’re not sure which ‘god’ Jonathan seeks himself, but Nigeria has many Christians, so it’s certain that our Father is hearing many prayers today. Are you praying for those in West Africa? It’s time we in the Western World begin to fast and pray for those in harm’s way.

The deadly Ebola virus increasingly is spreading fear in West Africa, where Liberia’s president has called for three days of prayer and Nigeria has confirmed five new cases and a second death from the disease.

For more on Voice of America’s report, see: Ebola Spreads Death, Fear in W. Africa.

The Official Site for Author & Analyst Sharon K. Gilbert