Days of Change

Deep in the Heart of Texas

October 12, 2014

This is potentially gross, so don’t read after a big meal.

Ebola is part of a group of diseases known as viral hemorrhagic fever. VHFs replicate rapidly in cells and destroy them. As the victim is overwhelmed, cells ripped apart by the virus form a sludge that becomes part of the bloodstream, made up of other cells that are being destroyed. When a victim coughs up blood of expresses any other fluids, they are loaded with Ebola strains. The cure rate is about 50% if you can get the patient enough time to let their immune system attack the virus before they die.

This is important because it explains the communicability of Ebola. If someone contracts Ebola, their viral load will be relatively low for a few days. Contact may not be contagious. A person in the last stages of the disease and for some time after death, is almost completely contagious. It is the reason why medical people or care givers usually are the secondary victims of Ebola.

The CDC has been trying to spin the case of a nurse who contracted Ebola from the first patient zero. They want to claim that the staff made a “mistake” is handling treatment. The fact is that the kind of precautions that should be taken are almost impossible in all but a few large hospitals who already took Ebola patients. They would need negative pressure rooms, chlorinated showers and Level 4 bio-hazard suits to reduce their risk.

Even if health care workers are the ones in danger, this could cripple our health care system. Imagine if nurses or their unions decided this was too high risk a job with too few precautions? What if doctors decided they’ve had it with ER duty? What if you have a medical emergency and had to go 10 miles further away because the Ebola hospital is closed. Wait. That already happened in Dallas, Texas.


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