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View Diary: 12 Liberian health workers die of Ebola, others flee posts, 539 deaths out of 888 cases (84 comments)

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  •  Republicans have the answer: fearmongering! (17+ / 0-)

    Some of them are spreading the story that the children from Central America are carrying Ebola and other diseases, specifically to whip up anger and hatred among the base against the refugee children fleeing death threats and other violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala from drug gangs long empowered by the US War on Drugs, in countries long weakened by US "anti-Communist" campaigns, including death squads.

    Vectors or Victims? Docs Slam Rumors That Migrants Carry Disease

    “Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey wrote in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles. This makes Americans who are not vaccinated — and especially young children and the elderly — particularly susceptible.”

    So many lies packed into so few sentences! No, there are no "reports", and it does downhill from there.

    Swine flu can be dangerous to some, but it is not "deadly", and this is not flu season. We have vaccines for current strains.

    Dengue fever is serious, with high temperatures, pain, and rash, but only rarely fatal. Quarantine with care for excluding mosquitoes that can transmit it is effective, and only a few patients require hospitalization and transfusions. It is transmitted only by mosquito bites, not from person to person.

    Ebola is now the archetype of a truly deadly and highly infectious disease, but occurs exclusively in Africa.

    Tuberculosis is completely curable and actually hard to catch.

    Yeah, a lot of these children haven't been vaccinated against diseases that again do not begin to approach the standard for "deadly". One of the first tasks after getting them shelter in various government facilities is a medical checkup. Vaccination is cheap, easy, and effective. Who says we won't provide it?

    The fear, anger, hatred, and delusion are being passed along by Judicial Watch, The Common Sense Show, Free Republic, Infowars, Rush Limbaugh, and their followers. I haven't seen anything about it from Breitbart or Redstate yet, or on Fox News.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 05:22:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  basically true (7+ / 0-)

      but "swine" flu can be deadly (basically, it is not generally good public-health form to say flu is not deadly since it kills tens of thousands of Americans per year, and that we are expected to have a moderate-severe pandemic in the next decade that may be much more deadly). TB is not always "completely curable", now that we have multi-drug resistant TB.

      I don't want to distract from your main point but you can make it better if it's fully accurate. "Most" and "Usually" are a writer's friend.

      It's being reported that these children actually have vaccination rates higher than the children of Texas!

      I agree that the statement is an amazingly dense pack of misleading lies.

      •  which pandemic in the next decade? (0+ / 0-)

        H5N1 avian flu going airborne H2H?

        Another random mutation to the usual seasonal flu?

        Something novel or long absent such as 1918?

        And what level of confidence do those forecasts have?

        This is something for which progressives should prepare.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 03:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  scientists monitor (for) a number of strains (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          H5N1, some mutation of 2009 H1N1 that no longer matches the vaccine, H7N9 (a new strain) or anything else.

          The prediction has been that we are overdue for a  flu pandemic as far as I know. Pigs and birds incubate flu Those animals are living at higher numbers and closer proximity to denser human populations than ever before, especially in E. Asia, allowing even more frequent opportunities for novel or semi-novel (to humans) viruses to arise.

          Yes, people should prepare for a serious pandemic. It is similar to having homeowners or rental insurance or the like, in my mind. The likelyhood of me using my rental insurance it in the next few years is not very high-I've had it for over a decade and never used it- but having it brings peace of mind. So does having some emergency supplies, which, yearly, cost about the same. Apparently the State department advises its people abroad to have 3 months of supplies. Even in Europe.

          I have to back of my statement about the sureness a bit, however, because I realized in responding to you that my deepest knowledge of this as fact (mainstream expectation of pandemic among researchers)  may predate the 2009 pandemic. (blush). Sorry about that. This led me to google search.

           I find that CDRAP says that messaging to the public is not accurate to say we are "overdue"

          Conversely, I find state public health websites (NY for one) that say "experts believe we are overdue for the next influenza pandemic". But these web pages may be old, or unfortunately not changed since 2009.

          Here in 2013 the BBC  (still) says we are "overdue".

           There is also a newish betacoronavirus in the Middle East (MERS) that is similar to SARS and that's killed almost 300 people, but transmission of that may be slowing.

          •  yes, swine/avian route and others... (0+ / 0-)

            I'm familiar with the whole pig/duck agriculture thing in China.  Pigs as mixing-vessels etc.

            Looks like we're both on the same page about forecasts: that various reputable sources differ on the issue of "overdue."  I had gotten the impression that you meant that there was now a close consensus on "within a decade", but apparently not, which is slightly more reassuring (heh, insert gallows humor here;-).

            I know about MERS and SARS.  MERS is a potentially big deal that needs to be watched closely.  

            A friend of mine died of a mystery bug years ago and I have reason to believe it was an imported case of SARS that wasn't diagnosed due to where he was when he came down with symptoms (Canadian visiting USA).

            Agreed about preps; I came to the the "3 months of supplies" conclusion independently, so I'll assume it must be a convergent conclusion based on common underlying knowledge and logical inferences.  The other thing that's high on my preps list is heat emergency.  The big one of course is the Hayward Earthquake Fault, for which reason I and someone close to me intend to relocate outside the high danger zone as soon as we can afford it.

            The 2009 flu was a doozy; a few people close to me came down with it and it was hell on wheels for weeks.  I get my flu shot every year and understand the probability & statistics issues with yearly flu vax.  

            Speaking of which, anti-vaxxers are a threat level equivalent to bioterrorism by negligence.  "Don't even get me started on that topic."

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 10:18:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Flu does not kill tens of thousands per year (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the US. Where do you think you got that story from? Worldwide, yes, probably a few hundred thousand, but that is largely people living in dire poverty with hardly any access to modern health care. The risk of death is estimated at 1 in 10,000, which does not rank as deadly in a conversation that includes Ebola. H5N1 bird flu, with a 60% death rate out of 700 human cases, yes, but that isn't what Gingrey was talking about.

        MDR-TB is highly curable, even in third-world conditions, as demonstrated by Partners in Health. WHO used to tell governments to let the victims die, but PiH has convinced them otherwise.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 07:37:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here is the link for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          MDR-TB at Partners in Health. I had a glitch earlier that prevented me from finding it temporarily.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 08:26:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It apparently does. In the US only. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          CDC is pretty much the most mainstream, reliable source in the US. Certainly adequate for me to quote. "3000-49,000 per year" is their estimate.

          I remembered that in the 2009 pandemic the CDC kept saying "flu kills on average 36K Americans per year".Apparently they have changed it to a range or now want to be more accurate in what they say.

          The people who die of seasonal flu normally tend to be elderly, especially those in nursing homes. Yet we should count their lives, too.
          (note that 2009 H1N1, which is now considered a seasonal strain and has been one of the strains in our seasonal flu vaccines, killed younger people at a higher rate than usual flu)

        •  MDR TB kills currently-high rate high numbers (1+ / 0-)
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          PIH has an excellent model. I'm familiar with their work -they are in the next town.  Their model is does not reach the vast majority of the world's population. Yet.

          Your statement that TB is "completely curable" is incorrect. I belabor that because it could mislead people into thinking there is not a problem with TB. There is. We want people to support efforts against it and also be aware for health reasons especially if living/traveling abroad.

          Many thousands die in Eastern Europe of multi drug resistant TB. Something like 20% of cases in E. Europe/Russia. The direction of MDR TB is considered ominous/worrisome by medical experts as far as I (widely) read/hear/know.

          1/3rd of all MDR TB patients in the world die. Numerous people are infected with TB in E.Europe, China, India. In E. Europe 20% or more of cases of TB are MDR. So I do the math

          New Yorker says 1 million die of TB still every year.

          Whatever you meant, your list of diseases reads to dismiss them as a threat ie "complete curability". In theory is of no use--really, anything is curable in theory by new treatment development or innovative public health interventions like those of PIH. What is happening now with a disease is what we of course use in terms of analysis of the relative threat. Cost, outreach failure are barriers to "curability" as much as not actually having a drug regime that works(even in ideal societal circumstances.)

          •  TB, MDR and XDR. (0+ / 0-)

            I've been following that one also.  There is a local bus line in San Francisco that is known among public health docs as "the TB run," meaning, high concentration of active TB cases.  That is a vector path with many ramifications.  

            IMHO, we are going to have to return to infectious disease hospitals and involuntary in-patient status, for many of these. "Oh but freedom" rings hollow in the face of convoys of hearses and mass numbers of innocent victims of others' stupid negligence.  There is not a right to abuse antibiotics or other infectious disease medications, full stop, particularly as growth-promoters in agriculture, and bugs don't care whether it's intentional or negligent.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 10:33:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Completely curable in the US (0+ / 0-)

            with US medical technology if we didn't have Republican Death Panels and were actually allowed to treat everybody who comes down with it. Including the aforementioned Rep. Phil Gingrey.

            Is that enough qualifications?

            Would completely curable in Denmark pass muster?

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 10:37:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  what to do about those Republians: (0+ / 0-)

      Prescribe the symptom.  One-up them at their own hate game to the point where the true nature of it becomes apparent.

      For example:  "Yeah, all those children.  Too damn many children in the world, and they're competing with MINE for FOOD.  So feed them to the meat grinder and let God sort them out.  Just because they're children doesn't mean we can't machine-gun them at the borders.  I'd sign up to do it myself but I'm too old.... (etc.)..."

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 03:40:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  an example of why i no longer believe in... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD

      ....the unlimited right to free speech without consequences.

      A statement like that one, "Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning," from Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, should be subject to the following:

      Certified mail from federal law enforcement saying: "Prove it, retract it, or you will be prosecuted for reckless negligence for spreading lies about public health emergencies in such a manner as to cause panic."

      That's not prior restraint on speech, it's a consequence for lying to the public.

      Yeah yeah I know, they could do it to us too, yadda yadda: but the difference is that WE are the reality-based community, and WE have science to back up our claims of facts.  

      Truth is and should always be a defense.  Lies and rumors, not so much.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 04:05:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ironically (0+ / 0-)

      It turns out that Central American refugee children have better vaccination histories than right wing Christianist kids in Arizona and Texas.

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