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View Diary: How regulation came to be: The Memphis Yellow Fever Epidemic -- Part I (62 comments)

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  •  The object is - Collective Action kills Disease (5+ / 0-)

    Put the up-front point first.  Neighbors acting together in collective action kills disease - wimpy solo efforts allow disease to run rampant.  

    Many diseases can only be eradicated by people working together with their communities.  Randian Galt entities and prescriptions fail miserably.  From Yellow Fever, to smallpox, from polio to guinea worm, from malaria to polio facts teach that many ills can only be eradicated by people working together with their communities on the ground in collective action.

    In today's political language that means that SOCIALISM - even KENYAN FASCIST COMMUNIST SOCIALISM is the disease ender.

    You have a great post - but if you re-ordered it to put yellow fever up front (legionnaires is a throwaway and irrelevant to the point) it would be stronger.

    •  My reason for starting... (11+ / 0-)

      ...with the Legionnaire's disease case was that it's the only incident of my lifetime that, IMO, would have come remotely close to instilling the kind of apprehension or (depending on how closely you felt threatened) fear that an outbreak of yellow fever would produce.  Obviously, for someone younger who didn't go through that experience, that would be meaningless, but I thought it served a purpose.  You're always free to disagree, of course.  :-)

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun May 15, 2011 at 07:32:38 PM PDT

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      •  Ebola & Marburg (Hemorrhagic Fever MHF) (5+ / 0-)

        Are similar scary  diseases that have become known in my lifetime. They are both Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers.

        Patients with severe cases of VHF show signs of bleeding under the skin, in internal organs, or from body orifices like the mouth, eyes, or ears.                                                                                                   CDC

        Ebola hemorrhagic fever has mortality rates from 50 to 89%, depending on the species or viral strain. Marburg has a mortality rate of 40 to 60%.

        "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." The Little Prince

        by Jane Lew on Sun May 15, 2011 at 10:54:06 PM PDT

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        •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, RunawayRose

          But they have not struck the US, at least not in any situation that wasn't very tightly isolated and contained.

          We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

          by dsteffen on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:51:54 AM PDT

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          •  Legionnaire's disease never did it for me. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne, RunawayRose, figbash, dsteffen, marykk

            like Ebola did.

            I happened to read The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston and it scared the bejesus out of me.

            The picture of folks bleeding from every orifice including from around their eyes  just about did me in.

             

            "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." The Little Prince

            by Jane Lew on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:18:25 AM PDT

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            •  Read The Hot Zone, too. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jane Lew, dsteffen, marykk

              Had the same effect on me.  The very mention of Ebola and Marburg makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

              Oh sure. Whenever I face a budget crisis the first thing I do is ask my employer to cut my salary.

              by figbash on Mon May 16, 2011 at 07:14:41 AM PDT

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            •  I'll disagree, and here's why: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jane Lew

              While ebola, marburg, hanta, and other exotic diseases are indeed scary as hell, I don't think the public is that aware of them, and if they are, don't regard them as any immediate threat.

              How many have read The Hot Zone?  I'd suggest it's a pretty small population.  The movie bastardization Outbreak I would contend was just entertainment to most who saw it.  The number of people who ever knew there actually was an infected primate in the US and just miles from a major population center is practically infinitesimal.  

              And face it, as a nation, we're predominantly a bunch of provincial know-nothings.  What happens in Africa or other third world countries is of no consequence to us.  If the average man on the street knows about ebola at all, it's something those dark-skinned people over there get.  Not his concern.

              On the other hand, unless you were living under a rock in July-August 1976, you were bombarded at every freaking turn with news of this mysterious disease doctors claimed to have never seem before that was killing a whole bunch of people in a hurry and no one knew a damn thing about it, except that it must be contagious as hell because all of a sudden there were all these dead people and dozens, hundreds more sick and who knew how many more and how fast it was spreading?

              I'll grant that I'm an old geezer and the population of us who experienced the Legionnaires' outbreak in real time tis getting smaller by the day, but for those who did experience it, I think it appeared -- until the cause was identified -- that it represented a more immediate threat to a broader population than ebola does to the average American today.

              We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

              by dsteffen on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:49:44 PM PDT

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              •  I'm a geezerette and I (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dsteffen

                remember well  1976 and Legionnaire's disease. I am speaking for how and my husband reacted to it, not anyone else.

                I grew up in a household where my father actually treated smallpox.  Those were the days when people had big ugly smallpox vaccination scars. My father's was the size of a quarter.

                Toward the end of my father's life, he said, "I have seen something most people in the world have not seen. I have seen small pox." He went ahead to say that if it came back there would be no one to recognize it.

                My husband being from the Philadelphia area had a natural reason beyond his interest in microbiology to be interested in Legionnaire's  disease. He had studied microbiology  at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and had done research on Shigella at WRAIR (Walter Reed Institute of Research).

                This was in the day we were still getting MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) in the mail at home and the contents of MMWR were typical dinner table talk. Of course Ligionnaire's disease was covered quite thoroughly in this wonderful little publication.

                http://www.cdc.gov/...

                We followed Legionnaire's around our house, but for us it was not the least bit scary. It is not infectious person to person, and does not have a high mortality rate. It  was interesting, but not scary.

                This is a summary of Legionnaire's disease
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                As for how many people have read the Hot Zone, it was a New York Times Best seller.

                Ebola and Marburg are especially frightening to me is that they are highly infectious and have high mortality rates. There are no known ways to prevent the disease, treat it or cure it.  Also the diseases themselves are spectacular in presentation. If someone starts bleeding from their eyeballs it would catch my attention in a way that an upper respiratory problem would not.

                In a world where it is common for people hop on airplanes and fly around half way around the world, we can not depend on distances to protect us. A disease can be in Africa one day and be in Philadelphia the next.

                This brings us back to the subject of your diary...regulation. Because nothing has gone wrong, we tend to dismiss the great work done by the CDC to keep us safe from diseases like ebola and Marburg.  That we haven't had cases here is evidence of the work they do.

                "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." The Little Prince

                by Jane Lew on Mon May 16, 2011 at 10:37:28 PM PDT

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