Saturday, October 11, 2014

So how bad is this Ebola stuff anyway?

Hard to tell.  It's not my field, all I know is what I see on the TV news or read in Tom Clancy's 1996 thriller "Executive Action".   The TV newsies are all motivated to make it as bad as possible in order to sell advertising (if it bleeds it leads).  The TV guys are all poorly educated, with no real world experience in anything, so their judgement is suspect.  So far the only really hard facts we have are 4000 Ebola deaths in West Africa and only one in the US so far.  That's pretty good isolation in my view. 
   There is a lot of talk by TV newsies about shutting down air travel to West Africa.  Dunno if that will do much, if any, good.  There ain't much traffic with West Africa in the first place, the Dallas Ebola case had to go to Belgium in order to get a flight to the US.  We have a lot of our citizens in West Africa, missionaries, medical workers, soldiers, and some of them will come down with Ebola.  They are Americans, and we must bring them home and cure them.   We don't abandon Americans to die in African jungles.
   We have to do something about Africa.  The deaths are doubling every few weeks.  First it was a thousand, then two thousand, now it's four thousand.  That's exponential growth and a little more of it will kill everybody in Africa.  And infect the rest of the world.  Trouble is, there ain't that much anyone can do.  Other than isolating the victims so they don't infect more people, you just keep 'em fed and watered ("hydrated") and watch 'em die.  Ebola's kill rate is 60% or worse. 
   Technological advances may save the day.  They have a vaccine undergoing trials right now.  There is talk of drugs.  If anything pans out, it will be a game changer.  Given a vaccine that works, we could vaccinate all of Africa in a year.  

No comments: