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Author Topic: Ebola
Rafi
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This may be one of the worst ebola outbreaks ever and getting worse all the time:
quote:
The worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in history could actually be much worse than the official death toll reflects. Already, the World Health Organization says 887 people have died, but a top doctor working at the heart of the outbreak in West Africa says many cases are going unreported.

The senior doctor, who works for a leading medical organization in Liberia, explained to CBS News' Debora Patta that what has helped set this outbreak apart from previous ones is the virus' spread in urban areas.

And now, for the first time, ebola is now on American soil as the US government made the decision to import 2 infected American citizens. I am immensely uncomfortable with this as whatever treatment that could be rendered could have been performed in Sierra Leone. There was no medical reason to bring them here nor was there a reason of any kind I can find for it. I understand the compassion and care for them but this is a horrific and highly communicable disease.

On CNN this morning, Dr. Sanjay Gupta revealed that there have been at least 6 people showing symptoms of and tested for ebola although the results of those are largely unreported to the general public.

A local Nashville affiliate reports:
quote:
According to the Columbus Public Health Department, the 46-year-old woman is currently in isolation in a local hospital with a potential case of the Ebola virus.

The woman had recently returned from a trip to a foreign country that is affected by the Ebola virus outbreak.

She is reportedly “doing well” in her recovery.

A sample has been sent to the CDC for examination.

There is growing concern that the disease may have become airborne as a CDC advisory entitled "Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel" reveals that they are concerned about airborne contamination and stating, "“limited airborne transmission might be contributing to the spread of the disease in some parts of Africa,” although they cautioned against making comparisons to the airborne nature of the influenza virus."

Last week, Obama used his legislative powers to amend Executive Order 13295: Revised List Of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases to the following:
quote:
Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled. This subsection does not apply to influenza."
This was originally a section only about SARS but given that there has not been a reported case in 10 years I wonder why the need to update the law at this time with the expansion of power.

The disease itself will likely be contained. However, the hysteria that could ensue may not.

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JoshuaD
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Do you have links for those quotes? Would like to read them in full context, and see who the source is.
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DJQuag
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Ebola is not highly communicable. It requires direct contact with body fluids of those showing symptoms.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by DJQuag:
Ebola is not highly communicable. It requires direct contact with body fluids of those showing symptoms.

That is becoming suspect.

The National Institute of Health:
quote:
Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 microns were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days.
Lancet:
quote:
We report transmission of Ebola virus (Zaire strain) to two of three control rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that did not have direct contact with experimentally inoculated monkeys held in the same room. The two control monkeys died from Ebola virus infections at 10 and 11 days after the last experimentally inoculated monkey had died. The most likely route of infection of the control monkeys was aerosol, oral or conjunctival exposure to virus-laden droplets secreted or excreted from the experimentally inoculated monkeys.
OSHA:
quote:
Humans may be infected by handling sick or dead non-human primates and are also at risk when handling the bodies of deceased humans in preparation for funerals, suggesting possible transmission through aerosol droplets (2, 6, 28).

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MattP
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Those are all statements about transmission through direct exposure to body fluids.
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Rafi
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They are all statements about indirect contact.
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D.W.
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Isn't someone sneezing in your face "aerosol droplets"?
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LetterRip
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Rafi,

they were probably returned to the US due to superior monitoring and testing facilities. They were given an experimental treatment that appears to have been successful.

With proper handling of the infected individuals there isn't much in the way of risk.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Isn't someone sneezing in your face "aerosol droplets"?

The OSHA warning is for funeral preparations. Any sneezing in that is going to be a whole different thing! [LOL]

However, what that really implies is that there is a suspicion that the airborne nature of the current Ebola outbreak may be more threatening than we originally thought. Throw I the expansion of the executive order and we're looking at some real concern here. Note that I think such concern is largely misplaced but why are we taking that chance?

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Rafi,

they were probably returned to the US due to superior monitoring and testing facilities. They were given an experimental treatment that appears to have been successful.

With proper handling of the infected individuals there isn't much in the way of risk.

Presumably they and the other healthcare workers infected were well aware of the proper handling techniques, didn't really help them that much. This particular outbreak seems more capable of infection than prior outbreaks.

Here's something else to consider, terrorism. In West Africa, bodies of Ebola victims are being literally dumped in the streets right now. Free samples of Ebola are there for anyone willing to take it. The southern border of the US is wide open, getting such a sample or a few recently infected "martyrs" across and into US population is a trivial task now. If someone wanted to create the ultimate terror event, that would do it. A group like ISIS, with more than a billion dollars in funding, could make this nightmare a reality.

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D.W.
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quote:
Note that I think such concern is largely misplaced but why are we taking that chance
I'll take germaphobe paranoia over denial or believe that your family is dying because they've been cursed. Ignorance is dangerous but the US brand of it is highly preferable.
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Rafi
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The terrorist angle, from Amanda Teckman
quote:
In an interview conducted via e-mail last weekend, she said that Ebola research was a national security issue, but had not been treated as such enough because of a low political will to make the issue a priority. Despite her criticism, she called a terror-attack "not probable" for two reasons: First, a terrorist organization would have to obtain a sample of Ebola with the help of "a highly trained scientist with knowledge of how to handle the virus." Second, the scientist would have to weaponize it. "This includes being able to create the necessary characteristics to use it, to store it, and to disperse of the agent. And this is very complicated," Teckman said.
The first reason, obtaining a sample, is now trivial . Just trade a little fluid with one of the victims, they're lying in the streets for anyone to touch - might be as simple as a few deep breaths over the body but however the decide to do it, it's easily achievable in a place like Liberia.

The second reason, storage and delivery. With a sample firmly embedded in a ideal transport medium, the human body, terrorists would have up to 21 days to get the infected martyrs into position along the southern US border which is being overrun and has virtually no border enforcement or at least so little as to be meaningless. At the very least, a martyr could hide in the crowd.

After that, its just a quick hop over to a major metropolitan area like Houston. Perhaps a little stroll around the unsecured area at the airport where you cough/sneeze/lick your hands and touch every door knob, escalator and hand rail you can find.

With the resources of a group like ISIS or some other terror groups, this is actually a pretty simple operation to pull off. Even if the success rate is exceedingly low, only 1 case of ebola gets contracted this way and it'll be hysteria. Get a couple dozen and we're likely to see a meltdown in the areas in which it occurs.

As far as I know, the only cases on american soil are the ones we imported intentionally and already there is considerable concern. Imagine if the worst fears were realized on even the smallest scale. If I was a terrorist organization, I'd be in overdrive trying to do this.

[ August 06, 2014, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Rafi ]

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NobleHunter
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It might be difficult to convince people to deliberately infect themselves with Ebola. Blowing up yourself is a fairly easy way to die, Ebola, not so much.

Getting into West Africa, out again, and into Mexico without attracting the wrong kind of attention wouldn't be as easy as you make it out to be. Nor would just bringing the corpse to the martyr.

The people who make their living on illegally crossing the border wouldn't be happy to see terrorists either.

They'd also need to make sure the martyr was actually infected. Getting someone into Houston, only to find they just had the flu would be embarrassing, although not for long. Considering that this operation would ultimately end with everone involved dead or in CIA custody, it's not the kind of thing you want a misfire on.

In war often the simplest things are very difficult. [/Clauswitz] Yes, such an attack would be effective but so would a score of other strategies.

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Wayward Son
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The window of opportunity to spread the infection is pretty small, as I understand it. From what I've heard, you can only transmit the disease when you are actively showing symptoms. And how long after you are showing symptoms do you have before you are bed ridden? [Wink]

Also, I haven't heard how well Ebola lives outside of its host. Is smearing a guard rail enough to spread the virus, or does it die soon after leaving the body? Quite a few viruses are quite sensitive to their environment.

And while there is no treatment for Ebola other than addressing the symptoms, it may not be as deadly as advertised. As FiveThirtyEight points out:

quote:
Ignore those single cases, and the mortality rate has ranged from 25 percent (among 149 infected people in Uganda in 2007) to 90 percent (among 143 infected people in Congo in 2003). Overall, of 2,387 people diagnosed with Ebola in prior outbreaks, 1,590 people died — almost exactly two out of three.
A 66% mortality rate is frightening, but this occurred in third-world countries where there may not be adequate medical facilities.

If the mortality rate is as low as in Uganda (25%) and it does not spread that easily, then there won't be widespread panic. It may not be worth the while of terrorists to use Ebola as a weapon.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
It might be difficult to convince people to deliberately infect themselves with Ebola. Blowing up yourself is a fairly easy way to die, Ebola, not so much.

Small price to pay for paradise. I think they could find a few willing martyrs.

quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Getting into West Africa, out again, and into Mexico without attracting the wrong kind of attention wouldn't be as easy as you make it out to be. Nor would just bringing the corpse to the martyr.

They've got hundreds of millions of dollars to grease the wheels. Simply entering the country, getting infected and getting out before becoming symptomatic is not trivial but far from difficult. Given how easy it is for children to enter the US right now, how hard do you think it is for a dedicated and well funded organization to enter a third world country like Liberia?


quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
The people who make their living on illegally crossing the border wouldn't be happy to see terrorists either.

They are already happy to do it:
quote:
According to the report, Syria and Albania primarily use Central America as the corridor through which human traffickers move natives into the U.S.

Several nations known to sponsor or harbor terrorists were included in the analysis, including 38 Yemeni individuals detained by U.S. authorities since the beginning of this year. Nearly 300 Somalis were also caught during the same seven month period.

Another 239 Pakistani and 181 Egyptian illegals were rounded up near the border since January.

My guess is that as many as they have caught, they did not catch 100% of them.

quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
They'd also need to make sure the martyr was actually infected. Getting someone into Houston, only to find they just had the flu would be embarrassing, although not for long. Considering that this operation would ultimately end with everone involved dead or in CIA custody, it's not the kind of thing you want a misfire on./QB]

Why do they have to make sure? Getting people into Houston infected with anything would be a success from a terror perspective. A flu outbreak from terrorists that went through a ebola country, plenty of fear there. As for the misfire, do you really think they worry about that as much as you or I would? They've had dozens of misfires and been caught over and over again. hasn't been much of an issue for them so far.

quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
[qb]In war often the simplest things are very difficult. [/Clauswitz] Yes, such an attack would be effective but so would a score of other strategies.

I argue that such an attack would be easy and effective. Ebola breaking out is a nice score but just the threat of it being realized would be a victory even if nobody (or only 1 or 2) actually contracted the disease.

[ August 06, 2014, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: Rafi ]

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Rafi
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From my prior link:
quote:
In addition to the potential terror risk posed by infiltrators from nations around the world, the analysis indicates there is also a serious public health concern, specifically regarding the current Ebola outbreak affecting certain African nations.

Individuals from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia – the primary nations in which the disease is spreading – made up another 71 illegals detained by officials in 2014.

The human pipeline from those countries is already well established and actively used.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
...terrorists would have up to 21 days to get the infected martyrs into position along the southern US border...
Per Wikipedia, average time between infection and symptoms is 8 to 10 days--basically a week. Could be done, but tricky.

And who would want to transport the person when he could become infectious after just 2 days? [Wink]

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LetterRip
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Raffi,

we know how to protect against it, but those in developing nations don't always have access to gowns, masks, etc. needed to do so.

quote:
But don't we know how to protect health workers?

We do. Since the disease is transmitted through direct exposure to bodily fluids—from vomit to blood and sweat—health-care workers are advised to wear face masks, goggles, gowns and gloves while caring for patients.

The trouble is, health workers in the developing-country context—especially those working in some of the poorest countries on earth, where the disease emerged this time—don't always have access to this protective gear.

It's important to note that they are also the ones who have died in this outbreak. Of the 60 deaths so far, none involved foreign workers (though two Americans are currently battling the virus, and one is a doctor). Foreign aid agencies such as Doctors Without Borders—which apply stringent precautions for all their health personnel—have never lost members of their teams to Ebola. So the problem this time is as much about size of the outbreak as it is about resources.

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/2/5960449/why-are-many-ebola-outbreak-health-workers-doctors-dying-virus
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Pete at Home
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Ebola's a virus. If they could isolate it, crystalize it, couldn't they put it into an injectible drug like meth or heroin? Then you get the infactious disease sprouting up all over the place.
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NobleHunter
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quote:
Small price to pay for paradise. I think they could find a few willing martyrs.
That's an awfully dehumanizing point of view.
quote:
They've got hundreds of millions of dollars to grease the wheels. Simply entering the country, getting infected and getting out before becoming symptomatic is not trivial but far from difficult. Given how easy it is for children to enter the US right now, how hard do you think it is for a dedicated and well funded organization to enter a third world country like Liberia?
Moving people around is one thing. Doing it without anyone noticing is something else. Particularly if you need to use individuals with established loyalty. Which means they are far more likely to have come to hostile intention.

Any evidence those individuals who were detained were actually terrorists?
quote:
They've had dozens of misfires and been caught over and over again. hasn't been much of an issue for them so far.
Caught doing what by whom? There's a world of difference between local security forces and the CIA (among others). Using bio-terrorism would ensure that the CIA's response would elevate to "make an example". That's not the sort of thing that's easy to survive.

Also, what would be the point? It wouldn't get you another invasion, like OBL wanted and got. Just drones and special forces. The US wouldn't blink in its support of Israel or other governments opposed by islamist terrorists. Considering the US's current low cost approach to intervention, I don't see how the internal disruption would cause a shift in foreign policy beneficial to the terrorists.

Pete, that's a truly awful idea. Hopefully anyone crazy enough to do it doesn't have the know how.

[ August 06, 2014, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
...terrorists would have up to 21 days to get the infected martyrs into position along the southern US border...
Per Wikipedia, average time between infection and symptoms is 8 to 10 days--basically a week. Could be done, but tricky.

And who would want to transport the person when he could become infectious after just 2 days? [Wink]

You're assuming the transport people know about the infection.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
Small price to pay for paradise. I think they could find a few willing martyrs.
That's an awfully dehumanizing point of view.
Islamic fascists are currently forcing people on a mountaintop to die from thirst. I don't think they worry to much about dehumanizing.


quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
They've got hundreds of millions of dollars to grease the wheels. Simply entering the country, getting infected and getting out before becoming symptomatic is not trivial but far from difficult. Given how easy it is for children to enter the US right now, how hard do you think it is for a dedicated and well funded organization to enter a third world country like Liberia?
Moving people around is one thing. Doing it without anyone noticing is something else. Particularly if you need to use individuals with established loyalty. Which means they are far more likely to have come to hostile intention.

Any evidence those individuals who were detained were actually terrorists?

The fact is, people from these countries are getting here - something you thought unlikely. You don't need them to be loyal, you don't even need them to know they were infected. Just drop 1 or 2 in with the shipment of people who have no idea, let nature do the rest.


quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
They've had dozens of misfires and been caught over and over again. hasn't been much of an issue for them so far.
Caught doing what by whom? There's a world of difference between local security forces and the CIA (among others). Using bio-terrorism would ensure that the CIA's response would elevate to "make an example". That's not the sort of thing that's easy to survive.
I think we've all heard that before. They survived it, now they are thriving. The threat of American might is not what it was a few years ago.

quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Also, what would be the point? It wouldn't get you another invasion, like OBL wanted and got. Just drones and special forces. The US wouldn't blink in its support of Israel or other governments opposed by islamist terrorists. Considering the US's current low cost approach to intervention, I don't see how the internal disruption would cause a shift in foreign policy beneficial to the terrorists.

The point of terrorism is fear. They benefit from the economic damage it causes, the disruption of American life. They benefit from the prestige have having struck at the US in a devastating manner. You are looking at this from a purely western perspective.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Ebola's a virus. If they could isolate it, crystalize it, couldn't they put it into an injectible drug like meth or heroin? Then you get the infactious disease sprouting up all over the place.
Since the virus does not seem to be able to survive outside of human fluids, I doubt it would easily survive crystalization.

At least, I hope not! [Eek!]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Ebola's a virus. If they could isolate it, crystalize it, couldn't they put it into an injectible drug like meth or heroin? Then you get the infactious disease sprouting up all over the place.
Since the virus does not seem to be able to survive outside of human fluids, I doubt it would easily survive crystalization.

At least, I hope not! [Eek!]

Ebola virus crystalized
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NobleHunter
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Rafi, they weren't holding that point of view.

quote:
The fact is, people from these countries are getting here - something you thought unlikely. You don't need them to be loyal, you don't even need them to know they were infected. Just drop 1 or 2 in with the shipment of people who have no idea, let nature do the rest.
If the 'martyr' doesn't know he's infected, the operation gets way more complicated. And it's not people from those countries I thought unlikely, it's terrorists.
quote:
I think we've all heard that before. They survived it, now they are thriving. The threat of American might is not what it was a few years ago.
Cite please. Not to mention the global reaction would give the US the same carte blanche they had after 9/11. Russia and China would be *helping* rather isntead of obstructing US efforts.

The terrorists only benefit from the prestige if they survive. While the Al Qeada brand may have benefitted from 9/11, but I don't think the responsible individuals did. How do they benefit from the economic damage? Or the domestic disruption?

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LetterRip
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Pete,

crsytalization is a standard chemistry process for xray analysis of structure.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Ebola virus crystalized.
Blast! Another perfectly good theory shot down by the facts! [Frown]

Except...is the virus still viable after crystalization? Looks like they crystalized it for X-ray diffraction--something that does not require a live virus.

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Pete at Home
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http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio106/viruses.htm

If it's a virus, then it can, by definition, be crystalized, then reconstituted and continue to be viable.

quote:
One of the biggest questions about viruses is, “Are they alive?” Consider that viruses

unlike living organisms, can be crystallized, then be put back together and be “viable” (this would kill a bacterium),

Reconstituted means nothing more than putting the protein shell and the nucleic acid back together, which occurs when you simply mix them together.

[ August 07, 2014, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Pete,

crsytalization is a standard chemistry process for xray analysis of structure.

Yes. It's also the standard method of storing a virus. When folks talk of destroying stockpiles of smallpox virus, for example, they refer to stockpiles of crystalized smallpox, which could become reconstituted and viable.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
They were given an experimental treatment that appears to have been successful.

Following ebola events right now, the treatment has come up.

This is a disease that is mostly fatal, most Africans would like their chance with it. Unfortunately, no.
quote:
In Washington, President Obama said at a news conference that he would need more information about the experimental drug before advocating its wider use.
It seems to work. You could hardly make the victims of Ebola worse off by giving it to them. Mapp Pharmaceutical has said they are working to do what they can to expand the production but it remains “under the regulatory guidelines of the FDA.” Which means more clinical trials.

quote:
One argument mounted by those opposed to offering the drug to Africans is that ordinary patients in a desperate situation might struggle to understand the full implications of the trial of an untested drug. Even so, at some point a testing on Ebola patients — probably Africans, because all outbreaks have been in Africa — will be necessary to determine the drug's safety.
1,711 people in West Africa have been diagnosed with the disease and 932 have died. It seems to me that some bureaucrats in Washington are struggling to understand the full implications of their red tape.
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Pete at Home
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If Obama doesn't push the experimental meds on Africa, he'll be accused of heartless greed.

If Obama does push the experimental meds on Africa, he'll be accused of human experimentation on Africans, even if the measure reduces ebola deaths.

In summary, Obama is struggling under what Richard Kipling referred to as the "white man's burden."

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Rafi
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So if he can't win the public relations battle on this, why not take the loss that ends up saving lives?
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
The point of terrorism is fear.

No, that's the mechanism of terrorism. The point of terrorism is always something else. People may be dumb, or they may miscalculate (as in my view OBL did), but they (or their handlers) see the terrorism as a means to an end, and are unlikely to engage in acts that knowlingly prevent them from achieving the end.
quote:
They benefit from the economic damage it causes, the disruption of American life. They benefit from the prestige have having struck at the US in a devastating manner. You are looking at this from a purely western perspective.
And you are not looking at it from a human perspective. Will they really benefit from being the first people to use biological weapons in the modern era? Or will they find even their allies turn against them? Will they really benefit from a minor temporary economic disruption if the end result is the destruction of most of the industry and commerce in their own country?

Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think its a clear winner from anyone's view, and only a partial winner from someone who is not bright (including by the way everyone involved and approving the act) and very desparate.

The real nightmare is if they are successful and get a reaction the likes of which should give anyone nightmares, will they benefit if they open the flood gate and the western medical establishment begins intentionally crafting targetted bio-weapons in response?

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NobleHunter
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You also need to make sure you don't get bad data regarding the medication.

If sent the meds to Africa and it's not as effective as predicted, they'd need to be able to figure if it was something intrinsic to the medication. Rushed delivery in the middle of an epidemic isn't a good way to do that. How many people will die if the medication is falsely believed to have killed people?

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
They benefit from the economic damage it causes, the disruption of American life. They benefit from the prestige have having struck at the US in a devastating manner. You are looking at this from a purely western perspective.
And you are not looking at it from a human perspective. Will they really benefit from being the first people to use biological weapons in the modern era? Or will they find even their allies turn against them? Will they really benefit from a minor temporary economic disruption if the end result is the destruction of most of the industry and commerce in their own country?

Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think its a clear winner from anyone's view, and only a partial winner from someone who is not bright (including by the way everyone involved and approving the act) and very desparate.

The real nightmare is if they are successful and get a reaction the likes of which should give anyone nightmares, will they benefit if they open the flood gate and the western medical establishment begins intentionally crafting targetted bio-weapons in response?

Let's ask IS (formerly ISIS) if they think they're winning. They seem tobe doing very, very well.
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Gaoics79
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I recall reading years ago that there was a strain of Ebola that was "airborne" to a very limited degree, through aerosol only. It infected only monkeys.

Keep in mind though that this was not airborne like the flu - you'd pretty much have to sneeze directly on someone to infect them, not just breathe the same air.

My understanding is you cannot infect someone with ebola just by touching the same doorknob as them. It's not a waterborne disease either, so I don't think you could use it to poison a water supply.

As someone already mentioned, by the time a terrorist was infectious, there would be a very small window of time to infect people before being debilitated.

Ebola is scary, to be sure, but as far as terrorist weapons go, it seems like it would not be all that effective. Even in Africa, the very heart of the outbreak, how many people have died? 1,000?

In a first world country with proper sanitation and barrier nursing practices, it's hard to imagine a disease like Ebola running rampant. A terrorist would be far more successful with an IED. Far cheaper and more practical, no?

[ August 11, 2014, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
Let's ask IS (formerly ISIS) if they think they're winning. They seem tobe doing very, very well.

How is that responsive to the assertion that they would see a benefit from the economic disruption caused by intentionally "suicide bombing" us with an ebola attack?

I've been on the record that we should be intervening with IS. That a stitch in time would save nine. But their current success unopposed in Iraq isn't relevant to the implications of using bioweapons.

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NobleHunter
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One of the news articles mentioned the virus can survive on surfaces for a reasonable period of time. So it's possible to get transmission without direct person-to-person contact, if someone touches a contaminated surface and then their eyes, for example.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
One of the news articles mentioned the virus can survive on surfaces for a reasonable period of time. So it's possible to get transmission without direct person-to-person contact, if someone touches a contaminated surface and then their eyes, for example.
Is this a reliable way of transmitting a plague for a terrorist?

I have to think that if it was easy to recruit suicide attackers, if it was easy to ship them to the USA, then they would have done it by now, alot. There is certainly no shortage of fanatics who hate America.

Who needs airplanes flying into buildings? Just an improvised device like what can be made from basic building supply stores and pharmacies and boom in the middle of a Walmart almost any day of the week. Yet this hasn't happened yet, so it can't be as easy as it seems. Indeed, the only demestic terrorist attacks have been homegrown (Ford Hood, Boston Marathon, Time Square)

And now imagine that instead of a bomb you can assemble pretty much in any city, any state in the country from common household supplies, you had to make a stopover in west Africa, get someone willing to walk up to a plague-ridden corpse on the street, and then infect himself, catch a flight to America and act as a human weapons delivery system doing what - spitting in a thousand bowls of soup?

I guess it sounds simple enough in theory, but in practice I think it's nearly impossible. Too many little things can go wrong. And the outcome in the worst case scenario isn't much worse than what could be done with cheaper, conventional means with a far greater probability of success.

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Rafi
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The fanatics that hate America are distracted by killing Christians and taking over Iraq after we abandoned it. Hopefully by the time they get tired of that Ebola season will be over.
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