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The Gorilla in the room. Ebola outbreaks and what our community thinks?  RSS feed

 
Daniel Morse
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Friends.

I feel it is time to start a discussion. It has nothing to do with permaculture, yet has everything to do with it. Keep it nice here and play good, but we need to start a dialog in the community. If this gets pulled I am sorry. Just trying to help.

Now, lets talk to each other.

Daniel
 
David Livingston
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Frankly this is the next panic .
Ebola does not spread as easy as the common cold ,if it did we would be in the big doo doo by now . The countries effected are poor and I dont mean they get food stamps, they are among the poorest war ravaged countries in the world, people die from preventable reasons every day etc . The weak government and healthcare systems are broke before this started and they cannot cope .
Western countries with STRONG governments STRONG centralised systems and healcare systems frankly are not at risk unless unless the germ mutates into a form that is transmitted by coughing .

David
 
wayne stephen
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Ebola has only recently crossed over into the human population. We do not know what will happen. Ebola is epizootic in the human population. Population density is a major factor along with practical knowledge and cultural practices.

Health care workers practice what are called "Standard {or Universal} precautions. We treat all bodily secretions - phlegm, sweat, urine, feces, blood, vomit, saliva, tears, drainage from wounds, as if they were infected. We wear gloves when there is a risk of coming into contact with these human products. If we know someone is infected with a particular microbe we will adapt our personal protective devices accordingly. The single most important action is handwashing before and after possible contact.

Let me distinguish between two commonly misperceived risks. There is a major difference between an airborne disease and one spread through droplets. When you cough or sneeze you spray atomized body secretions about 6 feet . Most microbes are encapsulated in those secretions and will fall onto the surrounding surfaces. They do not become airborne and go floating around town. These microbes may or may not become acid fast and they have a fairly short life expectancy outside the human body. As with the flu , we usually come in contact with these bugs by touching an infected surface and then touching food , or our face, picking our nose, etc. Then we get infected. Most of the diseases we catch are of this nature. Either bloodborne {HIV or HepatitisB} or contact with other body fluids. Most are not airborne.

A bit of trivia : A disease causing organism is called a vector. A disease polluted surface or object is called a fomite.

Here is a link to the OSHA website that might help:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/hospital/hazards/univprec/univ.html

My advice : Be smart. Be cautious. Don't be superstitious. Stay calm.

Oh Yeah ! One more thing - Especially {Not Exclusively} you ladies. Artificial fingernails are incredible fomites. Studies have shown that these cosmetic devices harbor more bacteria after handwashing with antibacterial soap and alcohol sanitizer than unwashed hands. Hospitals do not allow their nurses to wear them.

Edit: Just a quick addendum- I have worked in the presence of MRSA, VRE,{many, many Multi-drug resistant organisms}, typhoid, HIV, TB, meningitis, Hepatitis, Clostriduium difficile, Bubonic plague, avian mycobacterium, amongst others. I have never been seriously ill.




 
wayne stephen
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I was in a nursing class years ago and learned a very important lesson. Our instructor passed around a single piece of paper, told us to read and sign it. It read "Handwashing is the single most important method to prevent the spread of disease". We all handled the paper and signed it. At the end of the class she told us that she had sprayed this paper with a material that would glow under a black light. So , she turned off the lights and turned on the black light. Everywhere we had placed our hands during the class glowed an eerie green. I did not remember touching 90% of what was glowing. Nose, ears, mouth, face, clothing, books, desk, pens, notebooks.
If this was a microbe we would have all had it. So, the lesson here is that mindfullness is an effective preventative also.
 
allen lumley
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- - - Just my Two Cents, in these cultures all sick care is home care, hospitals are places you go to die, away from your family -alone ! When a family member
dies it is the immediate family members who're responsible for washing and cleaning the body, to not be willing to take on this Familial Duty is to show the
greatest disrespect .

In happier times if the family is worn out after tending to a loved family member through a long illness, their neighbors would often come to help ! During this crises
the family will try to hide a the members illness they are afraid of being shunned or of being killed !

Outside of people going to the hospital to die ( home deaths are now rare in the U.S. ) we have nothing uncommon with these conditions !

ONLY Panic of over 1/2 the people in N.America could ever cause conditions similar to this ! It sucks to be a member of a 3rd world country unless you are the Elite

Big AL
 
Dale Hodgins
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Many in afflicted areas, do not subscribe to the idea that germs cause disease. Dead bodies are retained for cultural reasons. Cleaning, displaying and parading the dead about, can spread diseases. Immediate cremation is highly effective but often doesn't fit in with religious tradition. The local witch doctor or shaman or whatever they're called, can sometimes persuade people to avoid modern medical advice. Some use feces or parts of dead people and animals during rituals that have no basis in science. Education and abandoning primitive beliefs should help in the long run.

Here are two horrible practices promoted by witch doctors. 1. Albinos are hunted for their body parts, since they are believed to possess magical powers. 2. Men with AIDS are told that it can be cured by them having sex with a young girl. The girls contract the disease, which is still a death sentence in poverty stricken areas of Africa. Those who promote these things are accessories to murder. I would like to see foreign aid money put towards stomping out barbaric practices like these. Religious charitable groups have had some positive effect, but often they cause problems as well, due to a desire to convert the population to a new religion. In Kenya and Tanzania, there is now a little less danger to Albinos, as many converts to Christianity have taken up arms in the persecution of homosexuals who have been blamed for the AIDS epidemic. A secular, science based approach to basic medical education for the masses is needed. Many aid organizations are working toward this goal. Homegrown and imported religious beliefs continue to hamper progress.
 
Daniel Morse
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Great job my friends. Yes everyone has made good points and comments. I will weigh in latter on some points.

Now closer to home, there are outbreaks stuff in the news that is getting little media. Mainly here in the NW Indiana/SW Michigan area kids are getting a virus of sorts. most recover, however some are getting Polio like symptoms. Lots going on. Thank you everyone for tips on handwashing and needful solid advice. I wish I could trust the media and other agencies. Lets keep the dialogue going.

Keep washing your paws!
 
Sam Barber
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So currently there have been three reported cases of ebola in the US 3 out of 316 million is not a percentage to be worried about. Honestly if you were in the heart of the outbreak zone right now you would be better off worrying about getting hit by a car or dying from a heart attack then you would be from ebola. I am saying that people shouldn't worry. 99% of the problems related to theses outbreaks are just media hype.

-So DON"T PANIC.
 
Daniel Morse
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Sam, I could not agree more. I think that the Ebola is being used as a smoke screen for other issues. Just a thought.

Still, it is very real. Just remember what mom told you. Wash your hands, cover your mouth and eat right! Rest and take care of yourself. Sage advice at any time.
 
Ken Peavey
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I think this disease has the potential to become a pandemic, but conditions must be right and a series of events must take place.
At this point, only a handful of cases have been reported in the US. While thousands of cases have been recorded in Africa, bear in mind the difference in the culture: widespread poverty, poor nutrition, low education, limited health care systems, few doctors or even people with medical training, barely potable water, poor communication, and traditions that promote spread of the disease.
While I think the media is sensationalizing the story, most of the US population has been made aware of the existence of the disease. There is access to information on prevention. There is a health care system in place that will be able to limit the spread of the disease in the short term. Add to this the nature of our culture and its emphasis on personal hygiene: frequent hand washing, regular bathing, regular changing of clothing, and homes without dirt floors.

The press will keep us informed of every little detail. Should the number of cases reach several thousand, with some in your area, that would be the time to worry.
For now, consider an emergency preparedness drill to help alleviate your anxieties.
 
Sam Barber
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I don't think this disease will become a pandemic in any major first world countries. There are a few reasons.
The disease incapacitates and kills very quickly. A person who catches this disease most likely will wind up in the hospital very quickly after catching it. (In developed countries.)

The disease is passed through contact of bodily fluids (saliva, mucus and blood) not through the air such as a cold. This makes quarantine a very effective defense against the disease spreading.

The Media hype although it doesn't do much good it will make people extra cautious about things like hand washing and touching other people, this will help to limit the spread of the disease.

I don't believe that we have much to worry about in the US as far as this disease is concerned. The CDC has pounced on it heavily and are being ultra weary of it.

Here are things we should actually be worried about.
Leading Causes of death in 2010
Heart disease: 596,577
Cancer: 576,691
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438
Alzheimer's disease: 84,974
Diabetes: 73,831
Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,591
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518

You have a better chance of being killed by a cow then you do by ebola in the US.
 
Dale Hodgins
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If everyone took to practicing the hygiene suggestions that are recommended for Ebola, there would be a dramatic reduction in the number of people contracting flu and colds, warts and other communicable diseases. An occasional media scare, reminds people of hygiene concerns.
 
alex Keenan
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The United States is one of the many countries around the world that technically still suffers from what was once called the Black Death. Although we're not keeling over like medieval peasants, there are regular cases of bubonic plague that spring up every year in the American southwest. Occasionally, they lead to deaths. More often, they lead to people scratching their heads as they read the newspaper and wondering aloud, "How do we still have the plague?" It's all San Francisco's fault.

The city was ringing in the year 1900 and things looked bright. San Francisco was both a local hub of industry and a port to ships coming in from the far east. Each of those ships had to pass a health inspection before they docked, of course, but both the passengers and the local businesses pressured the health inspectors to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. They did this even after cases of plague, and mini-epidemics, broke out in China, and then in Hawaii.

It was not a surprise to health officials when the first case of plague was reported in Chinatown, but they were surprised by the opposition they faced in even saying the word "plague." Over the next few years, state and local organizations worked against federal health officials, fearing that any reports of plague would damage trade and tourism. When the 1906 earthquake hit, and the rats took over the rubble of the city, the deaths came so fast and thick that there was no denying it anymore. Still, it took years of work before the plague was quelled. By that time, it had started showing up in local squirrels.

Now remember that claims are being made the Ebola started by people eating bush meat.
It is known that bats, pigs, rodents, etc. can contract the disease.

Few are discussing the impact of Ebola finding a non-human host in North or South America.

 
Daniel Morse
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Great job folks, keeping positive dialog up and running.

Alex, I love the post and the rest of them. You guys know your stuff. I had a old teacher who taught us about the SF quake and the outbreaks of plague, of which is often a bit of a broad term. Either way, people die. With that said, proper precautions and common sense rule the day.

My more glaring issues are the differences between WHO and the CDC. Airborn in fluid sprays, but some think it is more easily spread. Once again, proper precautions and hygiene go very far. Luckily the weather is on our side a bit as it is getting cold. Can this virus survive cold objects? Cold air? It is a tropical disease so is there a silver lining? Anyone have time to find out? Lets find a list of facts and truths. God I am busy with work and school. Some of you have more time than I.

The point of vectors in animals. Does this inhabit our dogs and cats? Our pets and food sources like chickens and such? We need to know these things. The obvious may take care of itself. The point of eating infected meat? I have not saw an official report, just conjecture to me at this point. Please if you do find facts, please note sources also so others may enjoy.

I had a talk with a manager of our local store. He pointed out he gets shipments twice a day. He is trying to overstock on certain items for the winter citing supply issues. Do not let circumstance be a "perfect storm" of supply problems. At this time I am asking you guys to encourage others to stock up a little. Basic supplies are often not too expensive. Lol, even Indiana is having an Earthquake awareness day this month. Think about it.

I am proud of you all for taking the time to post. The quality of the posts are not lost upon me. Thanks. Hats off to Paul and the guys out there too!

P.S. the price of sanitizers and rubbing alcohol has jumped a bit and the shelf is empty of rubbing alcohol at the local store. Just saying.
 
allen lumley
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Daniel M. : New reports coming from some regions hard hit by the Ebola Thing Point to widespread crop shortages becoming increasingly likely,
with the certainty of total food disruptions occurring where travel has become impossible ! Local fears and crop production declines will only
increase the numbers of potential victims. Again Panic is everyones worse nightmare ! Big AL
 
Daniel Morse
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Everyone please read the post by Allen Lumley.

Allen is a mind reader I was just discussing this very issue with some people who have worked with charity in Africa and other places. The very subjects!

People are in a big world of hurt in Liberia and other affected places. The questions is this? What do we do to protect ourselves? What do we do to help the living and the further erosion of society for the affected nations? To help them may be selfish in nature. Read on.

This may not be the forum to talk about what we can do for "them" over there when a very real and present danger exists in out own back yard. However with this said. No matter how hard we try to keep infected populations in their own homes and places they will move when the situation descends into true chaos, this is already happening in ways. This will happen in a bigger scale when they start to starve. The situation of total society breakdown will force people to move. They will not have a choice. THIS will be the tipping point and may very well force this epidemic to move faster and in ways that can not be known at this moment.

Liberia is 12 hours from any destination in the world. People slip past borders all the time. Just look around you in any area. The guys milking the cows at the dairy down the road from my house I am sure just got here from someplace. I doubt they are documented.

Fear, Hunger and Death will cause people to move. I agree that panic is the worst thing anyone can do. The second worst thing I feel that can happen is that we "turn the other cheek" and do not demand relief for the people in the affected regions. There are so many organisations with excellent track records that know how to help populations in stress. Can they help? What can we do? What resources can be dropped or gotten to the affect regions. Help directly to the populations. Liberia, she is our former slaves. In essence, former Americans. How can we turn our back on these people in need.

It is time we DEMAND not just knee jerk reactions by our leaders and institutions. It is time to think past the panic. It is time to lay a foundation to better the situation. The immediate situation of infection and the dying. The situation of the spread right now and the prevention of further spread here to there and prevent a societal breakdown that will force the living to be on the move.

It is time we be better than just ourselves.

We have little choice. The silver lining is that we have a chance to make changes to improve the situation for the people for today, tomorrow and the future beyond.

Keep the posts coming and be safe friends. You are amazing people if you are here.
 
Ken Peavey
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Keep Calm and Carry On.

It has now been 8 days since Patient Zero died. There are 2 cases, both nurses at the hospital, likely exposed before Duncan was diagnosed. The media is still sensationalizing the story (Fear Sells), with more people in the US having died of Enterovirus D68 than have been diagnosed with Ebola. We are not out of the woods yet as one of the nurses took a commercial flight to Cleveland with a slight fever (musta seemed like a good idea at the time). If others have been infected, we'll hear about it in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, in Africa, the spread continues with several thousand ongoing cases and potential for food disruption. Look at that situation rationally and put things into perspective. This outbreak has lasted several months. The nations involved have a population of tens of millions. While the percentage of infected who have died is alarming, the disease is not tearing through metropolitan areas such as Lagos and Accra. As for the food situation, food insecurity in Africa is a chronic problem. A rise in oil price or excess rain causes the same alarm.

It is important to understand that societal collapse is a process, not an event.
It is true that some towns and villages in the afflicted area are in a precarious situation. However, the economics of region is still functioning. Public utilities are operating, where they exist. People are still going to work, doing their thing. Gubmint is still guberning. Religions are still religioning. Sure, there are some instances of people fleeing, but there is no mass exodus from the cities and towns in the area. To flee, there needs to be a destination and resources such as available food and water along the way. Before people leave the home they know and the people they love, the situation needs to be dire. A greater motivator than fear would be unavailable water. People can tolerate anxiety, hunger, disease, storms, and the absence of law. Lack of water compels an exodus. War will drive people out of an area. Before an entire society of people are forced to become refugees, a long chain of insurmountable problems has to occur. Even then, it is more likely for people to change their living standards if food and water is available close by than to relocate. The nature of society is adaptation.

Daniel Morse wrote:What do we do to protect ourselves?

Isolation is the first step. Flights and travel out of the affected African nations are still in progress, and there is considerable momentum in the direction of closing the borders. Many world nations have already blocked entry from the affected areas. I am of the opinion the US can and should prohibit entry of individuals from these area.
For the cases in the US: treat, monitor, and quarantine. There are currently 2 active cases. We need to be prudent in these cases.
At the personal level, fear would be irrational at this stage. However, it is human nature to experience anxiety. Redirect that anxiety in a manner that will be of benefit in the event the situation devolves over the next few months. Conduct a drill. Load up the vehicle with your bug out bag, food and supplies and head for your emergency shelter. See to it things are in place and you can get by for a while. Better to discover shortfalls in your evacuation plan now, while you have a chance to make adjustments. If you have no emergency shelter, turn off the grid power and public water at home and see how long you can stand it.

Test your limits.
A few years ago I tried getting by while limiting myself to 5 gallons of water use per day. Drinking and cooking was no problem. I could clean myself up reasonably. Laundry and dishes proved to be a challenge. The toilet was right out.
Back in '06 a tree fell on my house. This proved the be a valuable test. I lived in a camper in my driveway for a year. I was able to hook up water, but not the sewer. I had 15 amps of electricity available from an extension cord to my neighbor's house. I still had the use of the house, along with the bathroom, but there was no hot water. The gas was shut off. There was not enough electricity to operate the big fridge. There was no air conditioning and not much heating available. Forget about the clothes dryer. If I wanted to use the microwave oven I had to turn off the coffee machine. If I wanted to use the space heater, I could run perhaps a light and a laptop at the same time. In my search for solutions to my problems I tried all sorts of peculiar things. Instead of heating the greenhouse with coiled tubing in the sun, I redirected it to the hot water supply in the house. I ended up with all the hot water I could stand (in the daytime) and it was FREE. Cooking was easy-propane camp stove. I bought a small fridge. Since space heating was limited, I hung a blanket to limit the space needing to be heated. Washing dishes was eliminated with disposable dishes. Being a bachelor, this is still a good idea for my particular case.

Hardship, be it self-imposed or thrust upon me, led me to continue to search for alternative methods of living. Interestingly, this led me to Permies.com.




 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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