The Ebola Threat: The World’s Clueless Response
It seems rather odd that the few people rightly worried about ebola becoming a pandemic or at least a regionally disastrous epidemic were called alarmists, “tinfoilers”, and conspiracy theorists as little as two months ago. It might have had something to do with the CDC claiming the epidemic was under control not long before, right before the death rate and rate of new infections became exponential. Many were the posters online, both anonymous and named, who claimed anyone worrying about ebola was just wetting themselves for no reason – “fear porn” some called it, as they dismissed ebola as far less important than even malaria – which isn’t even transmitted from person to person.
Those few intelligent individuals now, though, are resting on laurels of cautious thinking – for now even the president himself is speaking to the UN and urging a coordinated international response; unthinkable, for a disease which the CDC as little as a few months ago branded “difficult to transmit.” The World Health Organization seems to have woken up to reality before the CDC did- but this shouldn’t surprise us, after all the same CDC telling people not to worry also accidentally mailed live anthrax to the wrong lab, after being found to have kept live smallpox in a low security NIH lab in Bethesda. (Fallout fans surely got a laugh out of this.)
I myself told people as early as May that they should be more concerned and was equally labeled a conspiracy monger – I don’t talk to those people quite as much anymore, mainly because they refuse to answer my persistent wheedles of “told ya so”.
And interestingly, as ebola continues to rage more or less freely in three nations (with sporadic and suspected cases now cropping up in Switzerland and Turkey – the latter of which turned out to be malaria) the CDC and other groups continue to manipulate their estimate of the death toll: first they admitted that the numbers being released were probably underestimated significantly. We were then told we could expect 20,000 cases by November, then we were told that we could expect 500,000 cases by January. Now we’re being told to expect up to 1.4 million cases the end of January.
The math doesn’t quite add up – we’re on the threshhold of the 3,000th ebola death – and according to their theory of underestimation the real number might be between 6 and 9 thousand. That means we’re probably close to passing 20,000 cases already in the infected regions considering the death rate is between 40% and 70% – I’d post links here, but each one stresses a different lethality; it’s gotten to the point where it’s worthless to even speculate because nobody can show the actual mortality rate from the current outbreak.
Long ago we also learned that this particular ebola strain is a mutated form of Zaire ebola – the head honcho of all ebola – the worst of all the strains, that in unmutated form kills about 90% of its victims. This might have helped propagate the disease, considering ebola is suddenly able to persist on infected surfaces for extended periods.
World response has been at best lukewarm – the US has sent some field hospital equipment, cash, gloves, hazmat suits, and now 3,000 marines to the region, but it’s not clear what this will accomplish other than cause chaos – I have to imagine the Africans in the hot zone (who have been attacking aid workers and burial teams) will react with paranoia or violence towards these troops- who will then fire on their attackers, scattering infected blood everywhere and potentially spreading the disease even further.
I’ve also seen many people ranting about how we have developed a “cure” for ebola – a cure that doesn’t exist; these folks paid attention to the two US doctors “cured” by Zmapp, but apparently forgot that when it was deployed in the field, it at best lowered the death rate to 40%, which is to say it wasn’t much of a cure at all. I find myself wondering if, in his tormented insomniac state of madness, the late, great Edgar Allan Poe might have dreamed of this day and penned “The Masque of the Red Death” as a result.
Even worse, not only are naturopathic charlatans marketing everything from electroshock and salt water to sunflower oil and colloidal silver as a “cure” for ebola, now we have the African media apparently claiming that ebola patients can spontaneously resurrect from the dead and become zombies.
Links and further reading: