It's been nearly 40 years since the discovery of Ebola, yet we're dealing with its deadliest outbreak in history and one that is four times larger the first.By the way here are three general collections of Ebola facts and info, the first right here at Daily Kos by AuroraDawn, the second by Maryn McKenna and the third by Tara Haelle. The latter two are health and science reporters.
Back then, in 1976, the scientific community knew nothing about the hemorrhagic fever. Blood containing the mystery virus was innocently sent in a blue thermos to Belgium, where Flemish scientists figured out they were unwittingly handling a violently lethal pathogen, and named it after a river in what was then Zaire.
Since then, we've learned a lot about Ebola: that it's spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, that we can stop it by using simple precautionary measures and basic hygiene practices. But every once in a while, these nightmarish outbreaks pop up and capture the international imagination. Worries about global spread are worsened by the fact that Ebola has no vaccine and no cure.
Here's what's surprising and interesting about this state of affairs: it is not caused by a lack of human ingenuity or scientific capacity to come up with Ebola remedies. It's because this is an African disease, and our global innovation system largely ignores the health problems of the poor.
Heightened concern about the Ebola virus has led to alarms being raised at three hospitals in New York. But so far, no Ebola cases have turned up.Several observations:
The latest episode involved a man who had recently been to West Africa, and who went to the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan late Sunday with a high fever and gastrointestinal problems, the hospital reported on Monday. He is being kept in isolation at the hospital while tests are being done for Ebola, a deadly disease, but also for other illnesses that could cause his symptoms.
But the city health department issued a statement on Monday saying that after consulting with Mount Sinai and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, “the health department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola. Testing results will be made available by C.D.C. as soon as they are available.”
• Caution is appropriate.
• Testing is key.
• Anything (and I mean anything and everything) can walk into an ER in NYC.
More politics and policy below the fold.
The Atlanta hospital treating one of the US aid workers stricken with the Ebola virus, and preparing to receive a second, has appealed to the public to show compassion, after receiving “nasty emails” asking why the patients were allowed back into the country.Are these the same people who yell at refugee children from south of the border?
If the states that have already imposed premiums were the outliers, then this would be a frustrating story but a limited one. However, 24 states still refuse to expand their Medicaid programs, and there's a strong chance that some of those will change their minds on the condition that they can impose premiums, too. There's an equally good chance that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which faces pressure to bring those states into the fold, will go along with it.Lloyd Green:
Unquestionably, access to Medicaid for a small premium is better than no access at all. But this new research says we shouldn't mince words about the point of those premiums. They're designed to get fewer people to sign up.
2016 Just May Be the GOP Base’s YearLibby Nelson:
The elites almost always win the intra-GOP battle against the voting base. But next election, the tables may finally turn.
Libby Nelson: What's the most important thing about teaching you learned while writing this book?A polling note from Andrew Gelman and David Rothschild:
Elizabeth Green: Teaching is not something that even the most brilliant and gifted among us is born knowing how to do. I think I would have said of course, it's hard work, it's important, it's a skill. Even early elementary school teachers are doing so much more than sitting on carpets and wiping noses. They are really thinking about ideas — numbers theory and algebra in math, and teaching a child to read is an incredibly detailed enterprise.
I didn't really know that, really. And I think most of us don't really get that, and I think that leads to policies that are misguided. I came away feeling like, I get it. I get why teachers feel under assault. They are really misunderstood.
The American Association of Public Opinion Research is a justly well-respected organization whose publications and conferences are an important means of communication between academics and practitioners. The organization’s position at the intersection of academia and business makes it unique in how it can help foster constructive discussion and innovation in its field. That is why the organization’s dismissive official reaction to the use of YouGov polling by the New York Times is so disturbing.