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Ebola Outbreak: Hysteria or Major Health Threat?

Ebola Outbreak: Hysteria or Major Health Threat?

CDC, World Health Organization shift into emergency mode over outbreak

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control went into emergency mode — declaring a Level 1 activation of its Emergency Operations Center, it’s most serious posture in a public health emergency.

The last time the CDC declared a “Level 1” event was during the H1N1 flu outbreak in Asia in 2009.

Meanwhile the World Health Organization began a two-day emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the Ebola outbreak.

The closed-door session is tasked with ruling whether the outbreak constitutes what is known in WHO-speak as a “public health emergency of international concern”.

Taking the form of a telephone conference between senior WHO officials, representatives of affected countries, and experts from around the globe, the meeting is not expected to made its decision public until Friday.

To date, the WHO has not issued global-level recommendations – such as travel and trade restrictions – related to the outbreak which began in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

But the scale of concern is underlined by the WHO emergency session itself – such consultations are relatively rare.

The disease seems to have spread out of Western Africa with patients now being treated in the United States and Spain and two more Ebola deaths being reported in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

But is all of this Ebola government and media attention just creating undue public panic and hysteria? After all, less than 1,000 people worldwide have died in the current outbreak while over 600,000 Americans die each year from heart disease.

FOX News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez is arguing that the CDC itself is stoking unnecessary panic.

[W]hen the CDC, which has been at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak since their help in orchestrating the repatriation of two American aid workers stricken with the virus, said Tuesday that a half dozen additional patients were being tested for possible infections in the U.S. — I found it very upsetting and surprising that this information was being released with such late notice. The CDC gave out just enough information to the media to let the press run with it but the health protection agency left the American public in fear.

From a scientific point of view, many of my colleagues and I have been reporting that the possibility of a major Ebola outbreak is very unlikely in the U.S. I keep reiterating how important it was for us to bring the two American Ebola patients to the U.S. for treatment. Not only is it the right thing to do, but exposure to experimental drugs will also give scientists important clinical information that could lead to a cure.

This is why it’s more important than ever to make as much information about screening and outcomes as we can available to the American public.

Fear of the unknown is what creates a culture of fear and prejudice surrounding a health crisis – much like outbreaks of other diseases we’ve seen in countries around the world.

It would be doing the medical community, who are working so diligently to find a solution — as well as the world at large — a disservice to let the same sort of ignorance and misinformation cloud the Ebola crisis.

Dr. Alvarez points out that the CDC’s selective information dumps mirrors how the rest of the Obama Administration has been less than transparent. As is the case with most of nature, something always fills a vacuum.

In the case of a public health threat, lack of information is leading to conspiracy theories and an inability of the American public to truly grasp what is important news and what is conjecture.


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Bring them all to the United States for treatment.

What could possibly go wrong?

I don’t believe in Ebola. The LIEbrul media is making it up to distract from Benghazi! and the Kenyan usurper legalizing illegal immigrants.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gus. | August 7, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Happily, you moronic Collectivist troll, Americans can track several targets at once.

    And we’ve certainly had to develop the skill to unheard of heights with the Obamabanana Republic’s vast catalog of outlawry and tyranny.

    I ask again, troll, is there any Obama lie you will not just swallow whole, like a jello shot?

      I just told you, detective. I don’t believe in Ebola; the LIEbrul media is making it up to carry water for the Kenyan usurper. I’ve been converted to proper Tealibannery!

        Ragspierre in reply to Gus. | August 7, 2014 at 9:56 am

        No, Guz, you are a psychotic liar, driven by your hate-induced madness to smear monkey poo on conservative comment threads.

        That’s all you are. Just another Collectivist troll, exhibiting the same disease all of you do.

          Gee, Clownselor, how do you plan on recruiting and keeping more Borg to be a part of our collective, with such an exclusionary attitude?

          Or are you a LIEbrul plant with the sole goal of discrediting our glorious collective?

          And are you telling us that the media IS NOT focusing on Ebola as an effort to distract from the crimes of the Kenyan usurper?

          Bless your heart, Gus, is there no responsible adult around who could help you channel your noisome logorrheal effusions elsewhere, somewhere more appropriate? Do you need help? Is there anyone we can contact for you? xxoo

parts of both?
the fact its not yet showing signs of burning out is somewhat troubling, making me concerned about a mutation.

    The real danger lies in the possibility of the virus changing from a fluidborne form to an airborne form — as a mutation as well noted by dmacleo!

    If that were to happen, smoking-banned airplanes with their heavily recycled air could become a *major* problem as the virus would likely rapidly spread in that recirculated air. Thirty years ago airplanes refreshed their air a good number of times per hour, flushing out the old air, its germs, its smoke, and its fungal colonies. The smoke was the only part of the problem that was visible though, so once smoking was banned the airlines quickly jumped at the chance to save a significant amount of money by redesigning their systems to run on recirculated air.

    Even if the recirculating systems incorporate filters that can weed viruses out of the air, it is unlikely they are built to operate at a level equal to the sort of refreshing that was done back when smoking was allowed. One of the “unintended consequences” of the smoking ban movement may well turn out to be the spread of a catastrophic airborne epidemic through air travel at some point in our future… ebola or otherwise. Best bet if that happens: seek out the one or two airlines out there that still allow smoking!

    – MJM

I’m not seeing much about this on my favorite Real American sites.

Can someone from our collective’s propaganda / dissembling wing please tell me what to think and say about this in case a flucking moonbat mentions it?

    Ragspierre in reply to Gus. | August 7, 2014 at 10:01 am

    What has you confused, Guz?

    If the congressman was a Collectivist, he’d be vaunted for his conduct. See Kennedy, Teddy. See also Clinton, Bill.

    As you can see from the story, he’s in trouble in his GOP primary.

      No, Clownselor. He’s not in trouble. He’s doing well. And none of the party-of-values collective is saying peep about it.

      How does our collective square this hypocrisy?

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | August 7, 2014 at 10:49 am

      The only heated House primary is in the 4th District, where two-term Rep. Scott DesJarlais is in an uphill battle against State Sen. Jim Tracy. Both are considered strong conservatives, but the entire Republican leadership in the district and the state has abandoned DesJarlais because of what one leader called “his horrific baggage:”

      Two years ago, in a story that made headlines, it was revealed that as a private physician DesJarlais had prescribed drugs to a patient with whom he was having an affair and that he pressured his former wife and a former mistress to have abortions. DesJarlais, who campaigned as a strong pro-lifer, won but by a much smaller margin than in 2010.

      “Tracy should beat DesJarlais but a lot of primary voters are willing to forgive his serious scandals because he voted against lifting the debt ceiling,” said Saltsman, “You should never underestimate the potency of that issue in a primary.”

      I always enjoy making you my punk, Guz.

      That’s at least two lies I’ve caught in…this morning.

      Thanks for your demonstration of hate-twisted, moronic lies told by a bung-sucking Collectivist moron.

      Now go away. Prof. Jacobson is not as tolerant of your poo as is Dan Riehl. Far warning.

        “I always enjoy making you my punk, Guz.”

        Um, Clownselor, you quoted a bit stating that the party-of-values voters are willing to overlook the “values” they supposedly keep, because they approve of an unrelated political stance the party-of-values Congressman took.

        So the answer is (and we all this to be the case) ….

        Because you’re hypocrites.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gus. | August 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm


          ANOTHER set of lies.

          Constancy, as I’ve pointed out to you many times, is not a virtue when you are constantly lying.

          AND I’ve schooled you repeatedly on the meaning of the term “hypocrisy”. But you really are too stupid/demented to learn.

DINORightMarie | August 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

The CDC has been doing this for years, stoking fear. Remember the flu “epidemic” that was hyped in 2009-2010, pushing flu shots to all kids in school, etc.? Or some of the various other CDC-fueled “crises” this regime declares….it seems that every year we have some “new” disease or other health issue that the MSM plagues us with, stoking fear into the low-information types.

The 0 regime knows how to stoke a “crisis” so it won’t “go to waste.”

“In the case of a public health threat, lack of information is leading to conspiracy theories and an inability of the American public to truly grasp what is important news and what is conjecture.”

Lack of information is leading to very reasonable questions from people who have had experience with other terrible, viral diseases.

There. Fixed if for you.

Get rid to the patronizing CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, who said:

“I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the US for care.”

instead of providing information as to what is actually being done to contain the virus.

Two days ago the WHO released the number of Ebola deaths from the current outbreak…932.

Nine hundred and thirty-two dead. ISIS has killed more in a day and yet we are in full panic mode over this.

We’re being goaded to hysteria. This is cruel, to panic people like this.

But no, I don’t believe we should have brought the US victims here. What seems to be missing through this entire debacle is any display of common sense.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to creeper. | August 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Islam kills that many every week.

    Abortion kills thousands every day in the US, hundreds of thousands globally.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Uncle Samuel. | August 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      The fallacy in both your and Creeper’s postulations is the concept of geographical predictability. If somebody lives in Podunkville, Middle America, it’s highly unlikely he will be killed by terrorists. The populations in most areas of the country are too thinly dispersed to be worthwhile terrorists. Major cities are, of course, a different matter. As for deaths from abortion, sadly the law allows it. But neither of those two scenarios – terrorists and abortion – are indiscriminate. Contagious disease is, however, and can easily be spread through dense or sparse populations starting with one person. Should it become airborne, not even some recluse living in a cave in the Nowheresville Mountain Range is safe.

      Let us not forget that the dinosaurs went extinct through natural causes.

Excellent overview of the situation, and I think your assessment is spot on.

Ebola could easily be weaponized. It remains active if sprayed on wet or dry surfaces for a couple of days. It can be freeze dried and kept active indefinitely:

Ebola kills better and more gruesomely than Anthrax, Smallpox and H1N1, but not as well or as gruesomely as abortion.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Uncle Samuel. | August 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    But one can’t get an abortion by touching a piece of furniture.

    The abortion and Ebola comparison is absurd. One has nothing in common with the other. I share your disgust and hatred of abortion, but the comparison is silly.

Defcon Level 1 – but that’s not enough to close the borders, and stop people with untreatable TB, scabies, chicken pox, measles, etc. from coming in at will?

They seem to care more about illegals children than taxpaying citizens children.

Leftists strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Hypocrisy, projection, cognitive dissonance abounds.

Their brain neurons must be twisted into knots by their illogic and contradictions.

Interest in the spread of a deadly disease is not panic. It is not hysteria, either.

Concern over the serial incompetence or outright perverse malice of Federal agencies is not panic or hysteria, either.

Ditto for annoyance with fools who try to justify stupid decisions with tripe like “not only is it the right thing to do …”

Yup. Two Ebola experts have managed to get themselves infected, and the explanations that they just a senior moment when it came to safety protocols is not adding up.

No one trusts the government to honestly report whats going on, except tools like Gus upthread.

I think part of the secrecy is due to fears the public will panic if they are told that, while it doesn’t meet the medical defintion of “airborne” vectoring, it can still be spread at short range through the air (as in the Canadian study on ebola). People will just hear “airborne” and muppet flail.

The CDC isn’t what it used to be. These are the same people who infected their own people with TB and failed to ship and store pathogens according to protocol. Somebody wants to be famous for finding the cure and that individual cares not for the risks to others. This reeks of arrogance.

Mister Natural | August 7, 2014 at 11:28 am

Dark Winter – UPMC Center for Health Security

this is a war game script of a smallpox epidemic
get a taste of what an ebola outbreak would cause except enola would be 100 fimes worse.
no vaccine for ebola and a 200-300 per cent greater death rate . Ther is an effective vaccine for smallpox but none for ebols. an outbreak would end this society as we know it

NC Mountain Girl | August 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

I don’t have a problem with over preparation when it comes to infectious viral disease, but it makes little sense while also maintaining an open border.

Most of the western world has never experienced a true epidemic, thanks to modern vaccines. If the population in general has forgotten the terror of epidemics and may be complacent, I suspect the scientific community has a somewhat different reaction. In some ways any of them would like to get their hands on one, just to see what it is really like.

My theory: a ramped up hysterical excuse to give O’s tyrant leader pals in Africa more USA taxpayer dollars.

From 2005 and still relevant: “The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.”.


    Sanddog in reply to LisaGinNZ. | August 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Mr Shikwati is correct… but the left has a vested interest in keeping countries in Africa poor and the populace ignorant.

I’m not seeing a huge degree of hysteria… I have seen a lot of claims of hysteria directed at anyone who does not parrot the CDC line because you know.. they’re experts and they never make mistakes.

My concern about viral infections like Ebola is that they can enter the country and fly under the radar. The initial symptoms could be written off as a cold or case of the flu. Who hasn’t had a headache, or a sore throat or body aches? This particular outbreak will soon have the dubious distinction of infecting more people than every single previous Ebola outbreak.. combined. It’s not “hysteria” to question why.