(254 Posts)
TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 11:36:56

I'm quite nervous. AIBU?

roundandround51 Mon 28-Jul-14 11:38:02

If you live in West Africa - YANBU
If you live elsewhere - YABU

londonrach Mon 28-Jul-14 11:46:24

Abit at the moment unless you live in west Africa.

TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 11:52:29

There was a man with ebola vomiting on a flight to Lagos. The most populous country in Africa. shock

I wonder what has happened to the people who were directly surrounding him (and dealing with his vomit).

TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 11:54:51

City, not country.

WeBelieveInLove Mon 28-Jul-14 15:12:10

They've been tracked down and are monitored according to the news.

Iownathreeinchferrari Mon 28-Jul-14 15:40:38

Updated by BBC 3 hours ago. Flights into sierra leone and Liberia stopped. Nigeria has red alert on all entry points into the country.

AuntieStella Mon 28-Jul-14 15:51:08

That "Don't Worry" link is actually a bit worrying.

What it is saying is that you can be totally asymptomatic for up to about 21 days before you show a fever and become infectious. So people could enter a third country, and infect people there (though it requires close contact). It says it is quite possible that there could be clusters of cases in the US, but that it would not become an epidemic because they have good public health surveillance and good bio containment; so once spotted they could take quite draconian steps to isolate patients and to identify (and isolate?) contacts.

So, it's a long way from "we're all going to die" but far from impossible that there will be unlucky clusters in any location.

SistersOfPercy Mon 28-Jul-14 15:55:56

There was a game on Android and Apple phones a while back called Plague Inc. It was wholly fascinating and centered around you creating a virus and deciding where would be best to release it.
It was highly praised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because it raised awareness of disease and its path.

Since I played it, and successfully wiped out the planet with a disease I planted in Africa within 6 months I have to say I have a lot more interest now when stories like this come on the news. Yes, Plague Inc is a game, but its also a rather frightening insight into how things like this take hold.

HauntedNoddyCar Mon 28-Jul-14 15:56:27

It's the 'If ebola gets on a plane ...' thing isn't it?

Well on the one hand it's worrying that it keeps on spreading but there's no actual point in worrying. It won't make any difference yet.

HauntedNoddyCar Mon 28-Jul-14 15:56:57

It's the 'If ebola gets on a plane ...' thing isn't it?

Well on the one hand it's worrying that it keeps on spreading but there's no actual point in worrying. It won't make any difference yet.

TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 17:20:12

I read more about it today. They say it's not easily transmitted by walking by someone - it's not airborne, you have to come in contact with bodily fluids. But someone vomiting on a plane is incredibly worrying, I should think.

ObfusKate Mon 28-Jul-14 17:25:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 17:28:59

It's got a nice ring, hasn't it?

ObfusKate Mon 28-Jul-14 17:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheLovelyBoots Mon 28-Jul-14 17:31:50


Why are you nervous? Were you on the plane with him?

AuntieStella Mon 28-Jul-14 20:54:53

(I thought Yersinia and Escherischia would make good names for twins).

ObfusKate Mon 28-Jul-14 21:01:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Currently YABU

If it continues to spread and reaches any more countries then in a few weeks/months, at that point - no.

We were all meant to die of bird flu/swine flu in recent years, sadly some did. Most didn't. There are plenty of other viruses you're far more likely to encounter atm - if you want to worry I would pick one of those.

backinthebox Tue 29-Jul-14 17:30:34

Not all flights into Liberia have been stopped. I would know this as a pilot who flies commercial airliners regularly into Liberia. There are a lot of things for pilots to be worried about at the moment (air raid sirens going off in the middle of the night in the crew hotel in Israel, which warring countries are less likely to have ground to air missiles and how to pick our way between them, etc) but by far the biggest worldwide worry that we have at the moment is Ebola. Our crew hotel in Liberia is only a few hundred yards away from the main outbreak treatment centre. It will only take one person with Ebola to get on a flight to the UK to let the cat out of the bag. The man who made it into Nigeria by air collapsed at the airport - as someone who flies into airports all around the world I can tell you that even large African airports are still quaintly small compared to, say, Heathrow, or Schipol, or Frankfurt. The idea that someone with Ebola could find themselves in the passport control queue at one of these airports, vomiting (and bear in mind that this scenario has already happened albeit at a small airport) is frankly terrifying.

Also, patients are not being tracked down and monitored. This is precisely the main problem in west Africa atm. People are superstitious and if they find themselves with symptoms they are going into hiding as they fear being taken away to the treatment centre never to be seen again. The fact that they are being cared for and buried in secret, without decent infection control, is exactly why the outbreak has managed to carry on for so long there. Liberia and Sierra Leone are very primitive places, and it is difficult to educate the population and even more difficult to get them to act on any information they are given.

Sitting in Britain I am not worried that I am going to catch Ebola here at the moment. But if flights between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Europe continue, it is only a matter of time. And I AM worried about that.

Ilovenewts Tue 29-Jul-14 18:29:20
ThatBloodyWoman Tue 29-Jul-14 18:34:37

I am watching the news about the ebola outbreak and I really feel concerned for the people in that region.

Its not all about us, and whether it gets to us.
It's about real people living under a real threat.And I am so grateful that my family are here.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 29-Jul-14 18:39:41

backinthebox Tue 29-Jul-14 17:30:34

brilliant post, thank you!!!

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 18:51:35

My understanding is that the passengers on the flight to Lagos are not quarantined, but rather under supervision. This to me is a bit bonkers.

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 18:55:53

Its not all about us, and whether it gets to us.

Surely the aim with any infectious disease is containment.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 29-Jul-14 18:58:11

Surely the aim with any infectious disease is containment

Yes one would have thought so.

Its a huge worry. For everyone.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 29-Jul-14 18:58:51

No matter how poorley educated the people are they need to plough more resources into educucating them, the whole world should do this for everyones benefit.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 29-Jul-14 19:01:41

I suppose my point is that it isn't just an issue if it gets to us -its an issue here and now for the people its affecting.

I think some people, and this isn't necessarily directed at anyone on this thread, appear to think that its only important, or a concern , in terms of it reaching us in the more 'developed' world -that's all.

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 19:04:20

I disagree. In fact the developed world can probably cope with Ebola. I doubt the third world can.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 29-Jul-14 19:07:39

So there is no need for you to be nervous then TheLovelyBoots !

(great username btw!)

JamNan Tue 29-Jul-14 19:08:24

Malaria is far more deadly but sadly no one seems to think twice about it.

According to WHO...
"In 2012, there were about 207 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million) and an estimated 627,000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 473,000 to 789,000).

... In 2012, 90% of all malaria deaths occurred in the WHO African Region, mostly among children under 5 years of age."

ethelb Tue 29-Jul-14 19:09:56

Hmm, the issue is differnt to SARS and bird flu as they were never particuarly infectious and were fairly unlikely to kill you. Ebola is very infectious. The reason it has not been a global problem before is that it kills so many people and makes them so ill that an outbreak usually kills/disables its hosts from travelling far enough to let it spread. Evolutionarily it is a slightly crap virus for that reason unlike the common cold which you can walk around with etc.

However, previously people in these areas have not have access to automated, petrol fuelled transport which can take them a long way from the initial infection site before they get symptoms. That is actually quite worying.

The west is not particuarly well set up to deal with serious outbreaks of infectious disease as we have spent money eliminating deadly infectious diseases that could infect us ie smallpox and polio. That is great, but greedy western nations have not bothered to take infectious disease in other parts of the world seriously enough.

Result = the west being badly equiped to deal with a serious infectious epidemic from other parts of the world, that we were too busy worrying about our own problems to consider eliminating.

Already multiple resistant TB is a problem, and I am concerned that if anything did happen with Ebola that European healthcare systems would be ill-equiped to deal with as our health threats over the past 50years have been different.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 29-Jul-14 19:26:31

Already multiple resistant TB is a problem

eth another great post thanks!

do you think its worth getting tb jabs?

ethelb Tue 29-Jul-14 19:33:28

Ther eis quite a lot of debate aorudn TB jobs. They are not thought to only be effective in small baies ie all of us who got our BSG as teenagers may have less immunity than previously thought. There is quite a lot of research into developing a new one at the moment, but it is a complicated pathogen to immunise against, as I understand.

ethelb Tue 29-Jul-14 19:34:16

*There is quite a lot of debate around TB jabs. blush

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 19:38:58

JamNan, I agree with what you say about malaria - it's a perverse set of priorities that allow it to flourish in 2014.

But, you can recover from malaria.

Are we not already getting TB jabs? Are you referring to an adult booster?

I was listening to PM on Radio 4 today and they discussed Ebola. I have to say it was pretty reassuring (if you're sitting in the UK!). We do have really good public health monitoring in this country and they are going to be watchful.

What did make me cry sad though was the news that one of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa has died. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends'

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 19:46:00

You mean the Ugandan doctor, northern? The American doctor is still fighting, as I understand it.

ethelb Tue 29-Jul-14 19:46:55

What did make me cry sad though was the news that one of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa has died. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends'

Its true. It used to happen in this country. There are many examples of Drs and pharmacists (who used to be a bit more forntline before the nHS for people who couldn't afford Drs) etc who died of infectious disease treating patients.

here It was a Dr Khan who has died most recently and ethelb is right - many have gone before him. It's truly heroic imo.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 29-Jul-14 19:57:47

I think we are less concerned about malaria, because we aren't at risk.....

softlysoftly Tue 29-Jul-14 20:12:23

TB jabs are not routinely given now as it wasn't thought cost effective. They are only given in high risk areas.

I know this to my peril after DD2 was hospitalised at a year with suspected TB as FIL had it and she was very ill. Cue a very long route of testing for all of us and eventual vaccine for those not immune - scarily 3 year old DD1 was found to be exposed, immune but no active TB TF!

MorphineDreams Tue 29-Jul-14 20:14:08

sisters I played that too, quite scary how it spreads

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 29-Jul-14 20:14:18

Are we not already getting TB jabs? Are you referring to an adult booster?

No. Im my area its borderline, a hosp to the left does them at birth - the one to the right does not

Is malaria contagious? I wasn't aware it was.....

I think your right bloody we are not really at risk of earth quakes here either so I admit, I dont worry about them too much, nor tsunamis, or volcanoes, or tornadoes, or hurricanes etc...

EverythingIsAwesome Tue 29-Jul-14 20:17:34

I never worry about these things, I was not at all concerned about swine flu etc (didnt vax my kids). This, I am petrified about sad It's the 90% death rate that worries me most, and you can catch it by being sneezed on.

oneandnotlonelyk Tue 29-Jul-14 20:27:28

Yanbu. I think flights to/from western Africa should be stopped. There are already a lot of health tourists from there 'lagos express' and if there's no cure and 90% of those infected die, we should be doing all we can to prevent its spread.

AuntieStella Tue 29-Jul-14 20:34:55

"Is malaria contagious? I wasn't aware it was"

Malaria is contagious via a vector - the mosquito. People arriving in UK with malaria do not pose a public health risk as the mosquitos do not live here.

But they used to. And parts of Britian used to be malarial. Given climate change, it is quite possible the vector mosquito will return, and then it's only a matter of time.

The 90% mortality is the current data based on where it currently spreads I think. In a developed world hospital I assume your chances would be considerably better than 90%.

oneandnotlonelyk Tue 29-Jul-14 20:54:23

I'm not sure the chances would be better here Northern, there is no treatment or cure, just rehydration sachets and a fluid drip...

ramanoop Tue 29-Jul-14 20:59:04

If it wasn't just a poor peoples' disease, we'd all be vaccinated.

EverythingIsAwesome Tue 29-Jul-14 21:23:02

How can we treat it better? What do we have that they don't?

MrsWedgeAntilles Tue 29-Jul-14 21:23:42

I think if ebola does manage to reach Europe we'll be reaping what we've sown. Pharmaceutical companies and western government have let disease in Africa be a low priority for decades because it was happening somewhere else and so wasn't their problem and now it just might be.

Years ago I went to a really interesting lecture about haemorragic fevers and one of the things they were concerned about was the possibility of ebola and Marburg viruses swapping genetic material and allowing ebola to be passed on more easily.

Deverethemuzzler Tue 29-Jul-14 21:30:51

Ebola is not a new disease and there have been outbreaks fairly regularly. People come and go to and from Africa in their thousands everyday.

So why us Ebola such a localised disease?

Public health monitoring is better here oneandlonely - so an outbreak will be more contained and yes treatment is limited but it's treatment that we in the UK for example are likely to access earlier and possibly be more compliant with than in those in the current outbreak. Some people are taking their loved ones home, away from the doctors sad

Sleepswithbutterflies Tue 29-Jul-14 21:55:44

I know I'm probably going to get shouted at but I can't help feeling it was selfish of that one man to get on a plane knowing he was probably infected.
He'd been to his sister's funeral and she had died from it. He was very unwell when he boarded the plane.

I don't care if we are 'just reaping what we've sown' I look at my child and I am very worried about it and think that a) all efforts should be for making a vaccine for the developing and developed world focusing on main out break areas (presume this is happening?) and b) that we should stop flights to and from affected areas for the time being. It won't eradicate the risk as someone could fly here via somewhere else and be infected but would surely lower it.

Personally I don't believe we would cope well at all with an outbreak.
I also worry about the virus mutating and becoming airborne. Could that happen?

AbbieHoffmansAfro Tue 29-Jul-14 21:59:20

Well those of you who are worried should consider making a handsome donation to Medecins sans Frontieres, who are at the sharp end of this and trying to contain it. The more help available to the affected countries (not all of West Africa, please note) the more likely it will be the outbreak dies down rather than spreads.

AuntieStella Tue 29-Jul-14 22:04:18

All viruses can mutate, but I don't think any of the ones which cause any of the haemorrhagic diseases (in humans and other species) have shown to date they they do so rapidly. But it is possible that one could emerge that is more readily transmissible.

TheLovelyBoots Tue 29-Jul-14 22:05:31

I think in the worst case scenario, its relatively short incubation period (21 days) makes it a relatively easy outbreak to contain.

And, yes to the medecins san frontieres (et al) contribution. I feel deeply for the front-line team who are dealing with the deaths of their teammates, that is utterly demoralizing.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Tue 29-Jul-14 22:10:55

Thanks backinthebox and ethel very informative.

How scary. It's nice to think we are somehow insulated from it but as others have said, it may only be a matter of time. It actually makes me want to stockpile which I know is rather reactionary but still.

AuntieStella Tue 29-Jul-14 22:11:51

If you want to read up on emergent diseases, then I recommend The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett as a very readable introduction.

If you want to see the threat turned into a thriller (which is fiction, despite the blurb), try Hot Zone by Richard Preston.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Tue 29-Jul-14 22:12:18

Good idea abbie

mrsleomcgary Tue 29-Jul-14 23:51:39

The current mortality rate of this outbreak is 60% I read earlier though is typically 90%. The spread of ebola in Sierra Leone etc has a lot to do with the rituals surrounding a person when they have died, the family wash and dress the body,keep the clothes they were wearing that sort of thing, it remains highly contagious even after the host has died. While I'm not saying it's impossible that it could spread to Europe our basic infection control could quickly stop a major, apocalyptic style outbreak.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 30-Jul-14 00:07:28

Devere- apparently Ebola is localised as people who have it are not infectious until they show symptoms. As they get very ill very quickly they are not likely to be out and about to spread the disease beyond the family or those caring for them. Also it kills so many of those affected and so quickly after the first symptoms appear that again only immediate family and the medical profession are at risk. In this respect it is not a particularly efficient virus.

I would assume in the Uk quarantine would be rigorously applied,unlike in Africa where individuals exposed to the virus have been able to move freely.

Even so the fact that an infected person showing symptoms was able to board a plane to Lagos seems extraordinary. They should close the borders of infected countries and not let flights in out. Air travel is so quick an individual can go from being symptom free to being gravely ill during the journey and this is a real concern

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 30-Jul-14 00:14:27

Abbie-agree re donations to Medicines sans Frontieres. I am amazed at the work they do all over the world.

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 00:39:07

Oh the anopheles mosquito has always been present in the UK, on the north Kent marshes. It's just the virus isn't usually present in them.

But there was a little malaria outbreak when infected men returned from WW1.

Rather excitingly, the north Kent marshes are exactly where successive planners want to build their new Cliffe airport...

Selks Wed 30-Jul-14 00:48:05

I wonder if the lady who posted a thread recently saying she was planning on going on holiday to Sierra Leone went.

ikeaismylocal Wed 30-Jul-14 07:33:10

What I don't understand is how it is hard to transmit, surely it is just the same as norovirus and other vomiting bugs? If someone vomited on a train/plane/in a shop surely all those people would be exposed and also people not following proper handwashing precautions would spread it, and if someone vomited in the street people would walk through it and then walk the virus through their homes where babies possibly crawl.

I didn't worry at all about bird/swine flu but I am very worried about Ebola,

backinthebox Wed 30-Jul-14 07:44:39

According to a friend who was the captain on yesterday's flight back from Monrovia, the advertised special scanners and procedures which the Liberian government say are in place at the airport are not. But don't worry - the security staff are all wearing rubber gloves when they give passengers their pat down!

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 07:45:34

"What I don't understand is how it is hard to transmit, surely it is just the same as norovirus and other vomiting bugs?"

How infectious viruses are varies (thinkof th difference between chicken pox and shingles, and that's the same virus at different stages). How serious an illness they cause varies too, even within a family.

I'll see if I can find a good link that explains why it's like this.

( ParsingFlatly thanks. I hadn't realised it was a permanent anopheles community in Kent. There was concern a few years ago that climate change would cause their spread. Is that happening? And other disease vector mozzies - are they rising too?)

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 07:46:57

Ikea my guess is that most passengers steer clear of people who are vomiting in any case, and the crew probably has guidelines for clearing up vomit- gloves for certain.

It's not enough to just touch bodily fluids, they have to enter via broken skin or a mucus membrane.

Sleepswithbutterflies Wed 30-Jul-14 07:47:39

Is it logistically possible to stop travel to and from affected areas?
If so then we should I think.

The hospitals can't cope with an outbreak of norovirus. Are they going to do much better against Ebola?

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 07:49:45
TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 07:51:00
ikeaismylocal Wed 30-Jul-14 07:52:58

I flew through Asia at the height of the bird flu outbreak and they took all our temperatures when we got off the plane, maybe they will start doing something like that inthe UK. The people taking the temperatures were all in bio-hazard suits, it was quite scary!

I thought that vomiting spread viruses to a room full of people so even if your sitting 4 or 5 rows away you could still be infected but hopefully not in the case of Ebola.

Scarletohello Wed 30-Jul-14 07:54:33

Are people also worried about the recent outbreak of the plague in China..?

Deverethemuzzler Wed 30-Jul-14 08:05:39

Plague responds very well to antibiotics doesn't it?

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 08:16:41

TheLovelyBoots I haven't read the references behind that statement, but it seems to be saying that it can still be found in dried secretions at 'stable' infectivity. Can you confirm that that means you need close contact with clothes, bedding or other items used by an infected person? Is the 'stable' infectivity from dried secretions the same or lower than from ones that have't dried up?

And 4C is colder than the average winter day outdoors in London. Much colder than say than any indoors temperature. Does it lose infectivity rapidly when the temperature is not 4C?

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 08:24:18

Oh god yes, AuntieS, north Kent marshes are home to all sorts of charmers. Very useful for London School of Tropical Medicine: meet your favourite beasties on a day return train ticket.

I don't if there has been climate-related spread yet: like you, I've heard the concerns.

But they do need the wet conditions, so other factors will also have an impact.

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 08:24:46

Unfortunately the study offers only 4C. No mention of what happens elsewhere in the spectrum between freezing & boiling.

It's the same for dried or wet.

I gather this means that if you encounter dried vomit/feces (bedclothes would be a good example) - it's contaminated for 4 days.

I read that they (WHO?) burn all bedding and spray walls with bleach when retrieving victims/corpses.

I believe there was a plague cluster in the US as well (Colorado maybe?).

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 08:26:01

don't KNOW if

this is a interesting read.

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 08:33:25

Thanks TLB!

The hospitals can't cope with an outbreak of norovirus. Are they going to do much better against Ebola?

BBC Breakfast is reporting today that the Government is reviewing precautions. Ebola patients would not be treated in ordinary hospitals, so most should be unaffected. There are a couple of designated hospitals where people can be treated in high levels of bio containment. I hope the Government is looking at their capacity.

They will also need to look at how cases can rapidly be identified and transferred to the specialist centres (this will probably be the most challenging part), and how to clean/destroy what an infectious person has been in contact with and to work out whether to have a formal quarantine policy and how it would be implemented.

Temperature scanners at airports will reduce but not remove the risk. But of course it will mean that anyone running a temperature for any reason will be banned from flying and may face onwards measures.

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 08:35:31

Thank you, Northern, that's an excellent article.

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 08:40:04

Thank you Northern
From your article:

"This means its “reproductive number” – how many people are infected, on average, by each carrier – is very low: about one, compared to 12 for measles. " (of the ebola virus)

I too worry about Ebola but feel much more educated on it after reading this thread smile

Will forward to my brother. It has been one of his big fears since we watched Outbreak with Cuba Gooding Jr and Dustin Hoffman yrs ago as teenagers!!

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 08:53:29

There's a new Ebola thread in this topic this morning

At risk of being shouted at, I've suggested that people there might like to come and look at this thread. Not least because of the good links that the truly well-informed have added to this one. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 08:54:43

(And I don't mean virus at all, for malaria, do I? I mean single-cell parasite.
<hands in traveller credentials>)

ikeaismylocal Wed 30-Jul-14 08:56:16

What an interesting article, thanks northern!

It sounds like a really terrifying situation, I was reading about a group of 4 feverish children being brought to a hospital by ambulance, the mother refused to get out as she didn't believe her children had Ebola, the children were put on an Ebola ward. It must be awful for the parents to have to decide to seek help when their child could well just have a normal childhood virus, as the child would most likely catch Ebola from being kept in the same ward as Ebola patients.

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 09:00:41

PF: I think the phrase you are after is "any one of 5 species of the parasitic protozoan of the genus Plasmodium" grin

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 09:01:40

PF: I think the phrase you are after is "any one of 5 species of the parasitic protozoan of the genus Plasmodium" grin

ParsingFlatly Wed 30-Jul-14 09:09:12

Well, obvs! Tchah! Who doesn't know that? <tosses hair>

Re the TB jab talked about previously, hospitals are selective in which babies get the jab.

With DS, I was in a bay with 3 other women. and their babies were given the TB jab and DS wasn't. Seems that it was because these women were from, or had lots of connections to, Asian countries where it's still very common. And DS and I were not.

I can sort of see the logic in that, but I think it does also strike me as health authorities being a little complacent about illnesses.

And I don't think they do the BCG thing as teenagers at school any more, the only jabs I recall DD getting is the HPV one.

I could understand with the smallpox vaccine being stopped, it had been eradicated in the wild, but TB is still prevalent in the world, so I am not sure that in Britain we are really geared up to cope with a virus epidemic. I wasn't really impressed with the swine flu efforts.

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 11:53:55

I suppose many scientists and health policy planners did think that with antibiotics (and expected new drugs), immunisation and improved hygiene, the risk from contagious diseases would be sharply reduced and stay reduced.

It is only now, with widespread resistance, no great new drugs breakthroughs, emergent diseases for which there is no immunisation (at all or in time) and improved hygiene only working up to a point, that it is beginning to dawn on people that epidemics can (and at some point will) be just as deadly again. And that, with air travel, they will globalise at an unprecedented rate.

FreeSpirit89 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:22:47

Thank you, this thread has made me feel slightly more at ease. Nothing to contribute, just marking my place

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 12:45:28

Well, it does seem to be quite prominently in the news today.

Proper science writers will cover it well. When science stories get into the "mainstream" parts of the media, the quality if reporting is variable (to put it politely - absolute dreadful scaremongering in some outlets).

The piece Northernlurker linked is definitely worth reading.

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 12:58:47

I was greatly relieved by the article Northern posted. The "reproductive number" makes it a very unlikely epidemic, I should think.

TSSDNCOP Wed 30-Jul-14 13:17:46

Excellent article on a frightening disease.

externalwallinsulation Wed 30-Jul-14 14:00:35

People seem to be treated all viruses as if they are the same. They are not. There are a lot of structural differences between airborne viruses like flu and those that are blood-borne like Ebola (just think about it: the air is actually a pretty hostile environment, so a pathogen needs a lot of adaptations to survive in it). What's more, airborne viruses need adaptations that allow them to infect via the respiratory system.

So what about the media hysteria over 'airborne' Ebola? A lot of this is based on one experiment, in which scientists put a bunch of infected pigs next door to a bunch of infected monkeys and some of the monkeys appeared to get the disease even though there was no exchange of bodily fluids. The best hypothesis of how this happened was that the virus was contained in tiny droplets of water in the pigs' respiratory systems, which were inhaled by the monkeys. This is not 'true' airborneness - it is much more local than, say, the mechanisms that allow flu to spread all over the place, and therefore much less of a public health worry. It's basically a move from an 'exchange of bodily fluids' model to a 'close contact' model of transmission.

In the West, we are able to contain and quarantine infections very effectively (evidence: the complete works of Michel Foucault), so even if Ebola did arrive in the UK, the chances of it become widespread are incredibly low. We also don't have animal species that act as carriers or a big bushmeat trade either, so it very likely wouldn't linger around. However, the legacy of colonialism, a lack of public health education, poverty and a struggling medical system plus raw fear make Ebola a far more deadly prospect in West Africa. Controlling the virus with quarantine measures is almost impossible there. The people working with populations are doing something unbelievably heroic and selfless, and I urge everyone reading this thread to donate Doctors without Borders a few quid because they are making a huge difference.

Right now, there is a lot of fear-mongering in the media, and a lot of very strange postcolonial associations of disease are being played upon (there is a particularly hysterically-toned piece in the Independent right now, which I urge you not to bother reading). To add a bit of proportionality: yes, Ebola is a wee bit scary but there have only EVER (that is, since records began) been something like 2,250 deaths (and that includes the current outbreak), whereas your so-called 'bog standard' flu kills 500,000 people every year and is airborne.

limitedperiodonly Wed 30-Jul-14 14:06:50

(there is a particularly hysterically-toned piece in the Independent right now, which I urge you not to bother reading)

That was like a red rag to a bull external

Thanks for the rest of your post. Actually, thanks for the Independent piece too. I particularly like it when people point out just how often 'quality' newspapers print ill-informed shit.

externalwallinsulation Wed 30-Jul-14 14:20:28

Hahahaha! It isn't so much ill-informed reporting as not really reporting at all - it's more like some kind of creative writing speakyourbrains piece on why we fear a virus that has such horrible physical consequences (hmmm, I wonder why people might be scared of something that causes such pain?!). Anyway, it goes on about the 'darkness' of Ebola in ways that seem gobsmackingly unaware of the racial implications of the use of that word in this context. Like I said, postcolonial, and unhelpful given that people are really quite worried and need proportionality right now.

Bedsheets4knickers Wed 30-Jul-14 14:29:01

Symptoms sickness, diarrhea , sore throat , head ache . Guess what I've had from 2.48am this morning :-(
Gota say I did have a mini panic this morn when I heard the news.
I don't think I've ever had a bug like it before !

Selks Wed 30-Jul-14 14:38:12

Yes well, panic not, Bedsheets, you have no doubt one of the Uk bugs that are going around at the moment, unless of course you live in Sierra Leone or Liberia.

Bedsheets4knickers Wed 30-Jul-14 14:55:25

Nope sunny Essex .

ChaffinchOfDoom Wed 30-Jul-14 15:31:43

so it's only transferable via body fluid
still easy to catch then? as we sneeze all over each other/ cough in each other's faces, get spit on everything grin

externalwallinsulation Wed 30-Jul-14 17:20:36

No, as I said before, Ebola is normally considered a disease that spreads through direct contact, i.e. through broken skin, blood, secretions - or via environmental contamination with those fluids (as you might find in a West African field hospital). Sneezing etc. are not generally thought to spread it, though (as I explained) there has been a study that suggested that very close proximity for an extended period of time was sufficient to spread the disease from pigs to monkeys.

Also, we need to distinguish between:

* the incubation period which is about 2 days to 3 weeks, during which the person has no sympboms. Ebola ISN'T infectious during this period

* the symptomatic period, during which Ebola becomes contagious via bodily fluids.

One reason Ebola may not have become an epidemic is because symptoms tend to progress really fast once the incubation period is over. So it becomes pretty obvious that someone is really sick, and (very sadly) people often die very quickly. I know it sounds awful and brutal, but the virulence of Ebola strains seen to date is actually something that limits their transmission.

So conventional medical wisdom is that you would need to spend an extended period of time sitting next to someone to get it, more likely kiss them, or hold them tight when they have died (this is a practice in African countries that does not help with transmission).

Compare this to flu. People are contagious with flu before they feel sick, so they can spread it around fairly easily. It's airborne, so it flies via sneezes and coughs to people feet away. It's less virulent so it doesn't kill a high proportion of people who get it (thank goodness), but this also makes it more common because it has lots of hosts to spread it around - and it is deadly enough to kill half a million people a year, sadly.

Obviously I've missed a lot of technical stuff out here about the genetics and the mutations etc. but hopefully it is a bit reassuring for people.

SoggyOldBiscuit Wed 30-Jul-14 17:35:48

That is actually reassuring external. I didn't know that people do not spread the infection during the incubation period. Thank you for explaining.

limitedperiodonly Wed 30-Jul-14 18:26:59

Yes, external now I've read it, it's a colour piece. I like the odd ramble up the garden path, but this one's a bit wanky, so I skipped most of it.

Still, it had a useful snippet of information about the relatively low risk of eating a chicken fed on Ebola-ridden vomit. Now at least I have something to add to those threads where people fret about Sell-By dates.

And I'll bear that in mind next time I pass a pigeon pecking at drunk-spew and feel revolted. grin.

Anyway, thanks for the other information. Is it your job?

limitedperiodonly Wed 30-Jul-14 18:47:01

Oh, and what you were saying about darkness and post-colonialism...

The Telegraph link that NorthernLurker gave was fine to my unscientific mind. The comments were breathtaking though.

When I read it this morning, the writer had been back about 20 minutes earlier to mildly rebuke them. I can't really be bothered to go back to see how it's developed because I can guess.

It always makes me wonder why the Telegraph allows it (it's not just them, you get similar comments appended to all so-called quality pages, including Independent and Guardian).

I have to say The Sun and The Mirror appear to have some form of quality control. Even the Mail.

I find the vilest comments are regularly on the Telegraph webpages or Guardian's CiF. They are just expressed better.

I wonder why it's not moderated. It's not that I'm a fan of censorship - far from it.

Neither do I think I'm in danger of being corrupted, or patronisingly think that other people, who don't have the benefit of my education and sensitivity wink, will for that matter.

I just find the comments embarrassing for the news outlet. We all know morons exist, but why advertise the fact that they read your paper?

Click-per-views for advertisers, I suppose.

OT. It's my job.

ChaffinchOfDoom Wed 30-Jul-14 18:55:11

external I read that a survivor is infectious for 40 days? men have been told no sex for 40 days after ebola?

I don't read the comments on Telegraph articles. Usually worse than the DM! It's a shame because generally the standards of journalism are pretty good. Glad people found the article useful. I thought it was good and agree that talking about the reproductive number is helpful. I think a lot of our thinking is influenced by things like 'outbreak' and loads of other apocalyptic stuff though - when reality is much less terrifying.

bumbleymummy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:23:22

It is possible to have asymptomatic ebola. This may mean that the case fatality rate is lower than what is currently being reported.

Zorra Wed 30-Jul-14 20:23:58

I'm supposed to go to Liberia next week shock

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 20:31:47

Zorra, will you go? The country is pretty much on lock-down, school is cancelled, as is football - are you visiting family?

Asymptomatic ebola? Have not heard of that.

oneandnotlonelyk Wed 30-Jul-14 20:36:49

There was a good piece on ebola on radio 4 today. The reason why pharmaceutical companies haven't been looking for a cure is that other diseases, such as malaria, cholera etc affect millions of people. In contrast, ebola has only ever affected in the hundreds, so this is an unexpected outbreak.

limitedperiodonly Wed 30-Jul-14 20:56:09

northernlurker I do find the comments on the Telegraph worse than Mail Online. Guardian and CiF and the Independent are also very bad.

I don't know whether that's because I expect higher standards from the readers of qualities or because the Mail and the Sun and Mirror possibly moderate more carefully.

Whatever the reason, I am routinely more disgusted by the comments left on quality websites than on tabloids.

I'm still glad you linked to that article.

PS when you talk about 'outbreak', are you talking about the very entertaining but possibly not very accurate film about Ebola going airborne starring Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo as heroic doctors and a carpet-chewing Donald Sutherland as an evil US Army General?

There was also a supporting role for Kevin Spacey - before he got big enough not to have to do that kind of trash wink

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Jul-14 21:27:04

Asyptoatic Ebola

Original study abstract

Not sure how common it is. Probably not very. 11 out of the 24 close contacts in the study who didn't get Ebola had a response that suggested they were infected. I'm not sure what that looks like in terms of the total number of close contacts, including those that did get Ebola.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Jul-14 21:28:33

Sorry, my 'm' key isn't working properly. That should have said asymptomatic.

Yup that's the film - where Rene Russo shows it's possible to catch highly nasty airborne ebola type virus AND still look glam. Flushed but glam.

AuntieStella Wed 30-Jul-14 22:18:07


The BBC 10 O'Clock News has jus described it as "highly contagious"

Don't they have any journalists for science stories who have basic qualifications?

TheLovelyBoots Wed 30-Jul-14 22:26:05
RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Jul-14 22:28:08

Nope. I think they got rid of them some time ago.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Jul-14 22:29:24

aaagh. x-post.

I meant the journalists, not the health care volunteers.

I love MN. There are some genuinely knowledgeable, helpful and measured posts on here. Which has helped me no end.

DP was in Ghana last week (in an environment where bodily fluids may have been present, MAY, in the survive-for-4-days-dried-at-cool-temps way, but a whole country away from Liberia). My dramatising brain has combined that with the fact that a) he is abroad again, so I cannot obsessively conduct medicals on him b) for the two days between trips he was complaining of a dodgy tummy and insomnia which obviously had NOTHING to do with dodgy street food and malaria pills and c) most importantly of all, he only had ONE helping of pavlova when he was here.

But after reading the above, and the links, I think I can calm down now smile.

(of course then my brain starts thinking 'you have just tempted Fate writing that, now he definitely will have it'. I think my certifiable insanity is tbh more of a threat to our family than DP's potential virus...)

ethelb Wed 30-Jul-14 22:49:51

"Proper science writers will cover it well. When science stories get into the "mainstream" parts of the media, the quality if reporting is variable (to put it politely - absolute dreadful scaremongering in some outlets)."

I'm a health reported with a genetics degree and know something about epidemiology. I agree that as soon as a science/health story becomes a big story it goes over to the general news desk and a lot of clarity is destroyed. Epidemiology is very hard to predict anyway, hence governments/scientists being more cuatious than may seem necessary to the general public in the past.

I think the Telegraph was suprisingly hysterical today. It is really unike them as they normally have the best health reporting. By the way their comments are unmoderated.

As I said in earlier posts, we don't actually really know how fast ebola would spread in a densly populated area with transportation systems in the west which isn't particulary well prepared to deal with infectious disease.

We don't know how well people with access to western treatments will fair and what the mortality rate will be as it hasn't really been tested before.

I don't think the government response is hysterical, it is a fairly serious threat if not contained properly IN AFRICA. But it is nowhere near us yet so no need to panic. (Of course we should be empathetic with people who are affected by this in other countries though and recognise the work of health workers out there).

The number of things that would need to happen before it became a real threat to the British public are numerous ie, a person would have to arrive here with ebola (which woudl most likely happen only if they travelled to rural Africa), they would need to infect other people and that infection would not be contained, those people woudl have to go on and infect more people etc. That does look fairly unlikely at this particular moment in time so DON'T PANIC.

A far more real threat is people with other infectious diseases panicing and presenting at GP surgeries and hospitals and comprimising the hygiene in those places and causing the spread of disease that DO thive in the UK, flu, norovirus etc and causing a strain on an already strained system.

Keep calm and carry on people.

This seems like a sensible thread to talk about this smile

I'm slightly wary that in reports I've read patients seem to be less ill in the early stages and more capable with trying to carry on with their day to day life for a bit. CFR seems to be 60% but of course it's going to be very hard to know the true CFR. I do wonder if this strain has mutated a little.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Jul-14 23:31:23

I haven't seen anything in the WHO reports/updates that suggests they think that is the case, OYBBK. And I think they would be looking out for that. As far as I know it's a fairly bog standard Zaire strain.

You are probably right Rafa, it's certainly something they will be watching.

Another good (and frankly reassuring) Telegraph piece.

I think the point that is made in the piece I've just linked about lack of trust in the authorities is key and it's not something that you would see here. One sniff of Ebola and we would all be looking to the government and NHS to fix it for us, not backing away from them.

We can see its low infectivity in that it's been going since march and although it's a very large outbreak as far as ebola is concerned, on the scale of disease outbreaks it is still very small.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 31-Jul-14 09:35:35

I agree OYBBK and that's with some poor infection control procedures and some cultural beliefs and fears that are meaning it can't be contained properly. AFAIK the majority of cases are still in the few provinces around the Guinea/SL/Liberia border. There's a few isolated outbreaks within those few countries, from people who have travelled to those areas. But some of those were limited to 1-2 people and those areas haven't had a case since March/April. It's by no means geographically widespread within those 3 countries. Which is probably a good sign.

TheLovelyBoots Thu 31-Jul-14 09:37:18

That is a reassuring article, but what is not reassuring is that the most recently infected doctor stands firm that he followed all protocols.

It's quite possible he had a needle stick injury Boots.

Rafa, I've sent you a pm about something smile

TheLovelyBoots Thu 31-Jul-14 09:59:24

Aren't the hazmat suits needle-proof?

Not from what I've read, but I don't know if my knowledge is out of date now.
It is also possible that he picked it up from someone who hadn't been diagnosed as infected yet but who was concealing symptoms.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 31-Jul-14 10:16:47

I've replied OYBBK


The one thing I keep thinking about are those absolute heroes who are the health care workers looking after the patients with ebola, most of them local doctors and nurses with limited facilities.

The courage they show is absolutely outstanding - beyond anything I can imagine and I think that us in our comfy country with superb healthcare and no infections should remember those people if we get the wobbles about this outbreak.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 31-Jul-14 10:46:55

Totally agree with that.

As much as we can all complain about the NHS sometimes, for the most part, it does provide a level of care and resources that many can only dream of.

I'm not sure I could volunteer to do it.

Suzannewithaplan Thu 31-Jul-14 11:16:26

I'm not all that concerned, without an established animal host to act as a reservoir ( afaik) Ebola isn't able to become endemic.

It kills too quickly to spread very far.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 31-Jul-14 21:19:10

Samaritan's Purse told AFP when an experimental serum arrived in the capital, Monrovia, on Wednesday, there was only enough for one person and Brantly had asked for it to be given to Ms Writebol.
"Even as he battles to survive Ebola, this heroic doctor is still focused on the well-being of others," said the statement.
It also noted that Brantly, 33, had been given a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola because of his care.
"The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor who saved his life," it said.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 31-Jul-14 21:20:58

Pressed post too soon. There is someone for whom the use of the word heroic is entirely justified I think.

oohdaddypig Thu 31-Jul-14 21:28:17

Sorry - haven't read wh

oohdaddypig Thu 31-Jul-14 21:30:41

Bloody phone. Haven't read whole thread... But the reporting in the DM is awful, awful, scaremongering stuff.

The actual numbers of people affected are very low, given its gone on for months. Given it can't be brought under control just shows the perilous state of healthcare in these countries - awful for those affected.

scaevola Thu 31-Jul-14 21:42:36

I've just read about Dr Brantly in the Washington Post. Amazing.

The focus of the article was that the CDC have increased the level 2 health warning to level 3 for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. That means they are now advising against non-essential travel (though they ignore that for themselves and continue to send experts).

externalwallinsulation Fri 01-Aug-14 09:18:02

Just wanted to come back and give my 2 cents on some of the questions!

"I read that a survivor is infectious for 40 days? men have been told no sex for 40 days after ebola?"

OK, think of it like this, you have the day of infection. This is followed by an incubation period during which the person is NOT infectious. Then you get rapid onset of symptoms, and the person becomes infectious. If they survive, they may remain infectious for as much as 40-50 days, which is why hospitals will be monitoring these people for a while!

"I've read that humans can be asymptomatic for Ebola! Doesn't that mean that they could be carriers?"

OK, so Ebola is zoonotic, which means it is transmitted from animals to humans. It's a really rare virus, and there aren't many cases, so there is still a lot of uncertainty about the details of how this transmission works, and where the reservoirs might be (though there is mounting evidence that bats are the natural reservoir, passing it to apes perhaps via fruit that they've nibbled that apes then eat, then to humans). As someone said upthread, the absence of these natural reservoirs of ebola-carrying animals in the UK makes it very very unlikely the virus could persist here.

Anyway, so a research team published some papers about 10 or so years ago, saying that he'd found signs of asymptomatic Ebola infection in humans who had never been sick. While this finding is interesting, it is not by any means conclusive. A lot more work is needed before we can say that.

To explain why there may be problems, you need to know just a tiny bit about immunity. Basically, your adaptive immune system is this incredibly complex defence mechanism against infection. In a nutshell: when you encounter a new pathogen in the environment, it mounts a defensive response, and then some of the cells that are defending you will store away a chemical marker of that specific infection. This means that your body can react even more quickly should it encounter that pathogen again in future. So in your body, you have an enormous number of biochemical memories of the huge number of pathogens you've encountered. Neat, huh?

OK, so the type of research that we're looking at here looks for those biochemical traces that of Ebola, the idea being that if you can show it is there and the person has not been sick, you can hypothesize that humans may be asymptomatic carriers.

Now here's the problem: Ebola is one of a group of pathogens called filoviruses, and there are a lot of different varieties of these in West Africa. As a couple of people have mentioned, there are even several strains of Ebola. Scientists know from an outbreak of a similar filovirus in the States that not all of them are lethal - some may make animals sick, but not people.

The research in question tested for traces of only one type of Ebola. This means that there is a possibility the scientists may have been picking up evidence of encounters with other very similar filoviruses, or even something that wasn't Ebola at all. This, combined with the fact that the virus doesn't spread in a way that suggests humans are a reservoir (i.e. it is fairly easy to control where you have isolation mechanisms and hygiene mechanisms in place), means there is a big question mark over humans as asymptomatic Ebola carriers.

Interesting paper here, with more detail of this argument. I'm just summarising: jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/190/11/1893.full.pdf

Thank you external, that looks like a really interesting paper.

That was very interesting to read. Is it over simplifying it to compare it to the way different flu strains circulate with some strains conferring immunity to infection with other strains?

externalwallinsulation Fri 01-Aug-14 09:51:13

My bad - should have been clearer- there is no evidence to suggest that the presence of the biochemical markers that the research team found would offer any protection (and you most definitely wouldn't get ethics approval for a study would actively test that out by injecting them with Ebola and seeing whether they got sick!). The numbers are really small, and the virus is rare, so hard to get decent data on this. If the markers are from a related virus, they may well not offer any protection at all. They are more just a sign that says: 'Something that looks like Ebola woz 'ere'.


The CFR seems to be lower at present in Sierra Leone than in Guinea. Do you think that's because those who are ill in Sierra Leone have only recently become ill (so it's too early to get an accurate CFR), because of improved healthcare or is it because of other factors such as some latent immunity?

AuntieStella Fri 01-Aug-14 16:03:37

I doubt anyone will have analysed enough information from this outbreak to identify its features yet.

The fatality rate for Ebola outbreaks is variable - OK, I'm relying on what I find on google, but from respectable sites, it seems the rate is anywhere between 52-90%. So there is not necessarily anything important in the rate so far of these outbreaks. The duration and spread might prove to be the more significant features.

It looks as it CDC are considering transferring one or both of Brantly and Writeol to Atlanta for treatment

From my very inexpert reading its usually different strains that have such different fatality rates but I might be talking out of my bum.

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 01-Aug-14 16:41:54

head of WHO - Dr Chan '' 'Apart from this specific situation, the general public is not at high risk of infection by the Ebola virus," she said.

"At the same time, it would be extremely unwise for national authorities and the international community to allow an Ebola virus to circulate widely and over a long period of time in human populations."

She also said that:

Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of viruses and it was important not to allow opportunities for them to deliver more surprises
Medics are not just up against a public health problem but also a social problem made worse by "deep-seated beliefs and cultural practices"
Chains of transmission have moved underground, are invisible and are not being reported
Because of the high fatality rate, many people prefer to care for loved ones in their homes which hampers rapid containment of the virus
Public attitudes can create a security threat to response teams when fear and misunderstanding turn to anger, hostility or violence

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 01-Aug-14 16:42:25

they are wary of this ebola virus mutating

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 01-Aug-14 16:43:48

there is a nasty encephalitis in India that has already killed over 500 happening too. sad

I'm afraid it's over 800 now chaffinch. It's especially awful in that there is a vaccine against it.

Médecins Sans Frontières have launched an appeal for donations to help with the cost of protective clothing for their healthcare workers.

There are some very good and informative pages on the MSF site.

Iflyaway Fri 01-Aug-14 19:59:13

I worked for MSF as a temp (a.o. packing medical books to send out to the field, as well as watsan - water/sanitation and how to build a refugee camp).

They rock! Please donate.

That's cool IFly.

W4lly79 Sat 02-Aug-14 11:38:20

Mmmmmmmmmm it's very concerning how many people on here are not that bothered by the Ebola Virus. It may be 3,000 odd miles away but this virus is airborne. God knows how many flights land in the UK a day from Africa, how many Africans head for popular tourists destinations such as the Canary Islands to sell their belts and hats or the fact that the Common Wealth games still allowed African participants, or even how many African health care workers we have working within our NHS services who take annual leave 6 weeks a year to return to their countries for visits. So I think we should all be concerned.

aurynne Sat 02-Aug-14 11:43:14

The US: a country where many of its citizens have no health insurance cover and going to the doctor is so expensive some patients wait until an ingrown toenail turns into gangrene to seek medical help.

Do you guys really think a person with symptoms would be picked up "immediately"?

Suzannewithaplan Sat 02-Aug-14 11:44:18

I thought it was transmitted via contact with bodily fluids?

Sleepswithbutterflies Sat 02-Aug-14 11:46:05

It isn't airborne.
It currently needs to travel in bodily fluids.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Aug-14 12:07:51

It may be 3,000 odd miles away but this virus is airborne.

No it isn't. Unless you know something that nobody else does.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Aug-14 12:12:28
ParsingFlatly Sat 02-Aug-14 12:21:47

That's quite an odd first post, W4ally, and strangely obsessed with "Africans".

You do understand that Africa is quite large, and mostly unaffected by ebola?

And that Brits who travel to and from infected areas are quite capable of carrying the virus as well, should they be unlucky enough to contract it? (Tho with current infection rates that's a low risk all round.)

Suzannewithaplan Sat 02-Aug-14 12:24:39

Perhaps W4 means 'airborne' in as much as it can be spread by air travel?

Was just about to post the same as Suzanne.

It's past the peak incubation period since Dr Sawyer got on the flight to Lagos and we aren't seeing an explosion of cases being reported in different countries. Therefore it's not terribly infective.

Yes we might possibly get the odd case here and there from travellers but if other outbreaks in Africa could be stopped relatively quickly despite the huge difficulties then it will be much much easier here. The 3 countries involved with the epicentre have now thrown an isolation zone around the epicentre.

It must be terribly scary over in the countries affected but personally I find things like drug resistant TB a much more concerning prospect.

Suzannewithaplan Sat 02-Aug-14 13:24:48

It's more difficult to deal with in Africa because there is a reservoir of infection in an indigenous animal population (fruit bat?)

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Aug-14 13:41:58

I don't think talking about it being 'out of control' has helped much. They meant out of control in the relatively small areas of Africa that it is in, not that it's out of control and is going to spread widely and infect the rest of the world. Yes, shutting down the borders now is a good idea, but those airports and borders have been open for the last 4 months of this outbreak. If it was something that could be caught and spread easily through flights, it would be everywhere by now.

To put it into context, Swine flu, which is airborne and can be spread easily in public managed to infect over 94,000 people in 168 countries in a similar period. We're not talking about anything like that scale here.

Suzanne I think there's lots of different reason why they are struggling to contain this. Reservoir of infection in animals, poor sanitation, under resourced healthcare facilities are just the start. Fortunately none of those apply if it does make it to the UK and it should be contained as easily as it usually is.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 02-Aug-14 20:32:57

had to admit I was a bit hmm when the athlete from sierra leone went missing....and the noro symptoms...

They had a biggish outbreak of noro at the athletes village. Won't have helped nerves I'm sure!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Aug-14 20:57:46

I'm not sure it's unusual to 'lose' athletes at major competitions. IIRC we lost a few during the Olympics too.

That outbreak of Noro will have done nothing for the nerves. I'm sure they'd have been on it if any of the SL competitors had shown symptoms though.

mrsleomcgary Sat 02-Aug-14 21:19:26

The noro outbreak was before the games started, possibly before there were any athletes in the village.

The missing athlete has now been found and both the athletes who were tested both came back negative. Though I was at the athletics last night and the SL relay team didn't show. Nothing about them being missing though.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 02-Aug-14 23:27:40

Dr Brantly has arrived back in the US.

QueenStromba Sun 03-Aug-14 15:26:00

Ebola is a horrible disease but it's only slightly more contagious than an STD and due to the structure of the virus it has about as much chance of going airborne as I have of growing wings. This outbreak would have been over months ago with just a small bit of education - most people have caught it while caring for sick relatives or preparing their bodies for burial. That simply wouldn't happen here.

I work in a hospital and they sent out an email to all staff on Friday. Anyone who comes in with a fever above 38 degrees and has recently been to West Africa or had contact with bodily fluids from someone who had been to West Africa recently is to be quarantined and anyone going in to their room has to wear gloves, masks, goggles and waterproof surgical gowns. The NHS is prepared for ebola and being massively over cautious - we're far more likely to have a load of people with malaria in private rooms than actually see a case of ebola.

That is very cautious QS! I think its a lot stricter than WHO requires. The nhs does have a good track record of being proactive in potential infectious disease outbreaks.

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:22:47

So glad ive

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:31:14

Oops...so glad I've found u all on here. I've been so anxious about this these last few days, thanks to DMs scaremongering articles on Wednesday. Can't eat, cant sleep. When I do sleep I wake with the worst anxiety. However, I have read loads from experts about this and am reassured that should it come to the UK we could deal effectively with it. It has ruined the last three days of my holidays though as I just can't stop thinking and reading. I was the same with nvCJD and HIV so excessive worrying is not unusual for me. All of you have provided excellent points and nice to see u all make educated points unlike most of the people commmenting on paper articles and stirring up fear.

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:33:19

Queenstromba...you have really reassured me. Do u mind me asking where in the country you work?

desertmum Sun 03-Aug-14 18:38:44

not read the whole thread, but the whole 'UK can cope with this and can keep it under control' doesn't ring true for me. My FIL died due to an outbreak of MRSA in hospital, which they couldn't control. Why should we believe they will be able to control an outbreak of Ebola ? It is very scarey.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 03-Aug-14 19:13:52

I don't think it's quite the same as MRSA. Although I can see where there are parallels.

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 19:18:34

Further to my post above I realise how utterly selfish I sound. I feel also terribly for thise suffering this cruel disease. How terrible it must be when u see a loved one die and how frightening it must be to think you too may get it. I can only admire the work health agencies a s workers are doing. 10 times the person I'll ever be.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 03-Aug-14 19:29:20

I don't think you sounded selfish at all. I think it's natural to be a little worried. And it's not helped by the fact that some areas of the media (not just the DM) are trying to scaremonger rather than explain why the risks are so low for th UK.

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 20:09:13

I guess scaremongering keeps people buying their trash. I'm going with everything the experts say, not trashy newspapers now, although when your as anxious as me and looking for reassurance it can be hard to resist.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 03-Aug-14 20:44:32

I posted something on another thread or possibly this one that had some sensible advice on it. Will try and see if I can find it.

realitygone Sun 03-Aug-14 21:22:56

I dont think we have to worry to much about an outbreak here.

That dr that has been brought back to atlanta for treatment, how would he of got the ebola?

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 21:43:21

Who knows but maybe he was tired (must be extremely stressful) and even though he thinks he followed procedure he actually made a tiny error. Pleased to read on bbc he's making good progress Also America is sending a further 50 health profs to africa to help.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sun 03-Aug-14 21:49:16

apparently theyre very overstretched and under resourced, maybe he reused a gown/ small error

I read US testing a vaccine in September, so they must have stuff in the pipeline , they will get lots of samples from Dr B I'm sure

He is a total hero. they all are.

It's possible he didn't catch it from one of his patients.

cazb78 Sun 03-Aug-14 22:43:32

Sensible advice wld be gratefully recieved RafalTKOC!

ChaffinchOfDoom Mon 04-Aug-14 16:43:53

DM - more ridiculous reportage...in a nutshell

*woman did not have ebola

Ilovenewts Mon 04-Aug-14 17:31:21

I know. Not just the DM either. I admit though if I'd been on a plane and she had been one of the passengers I'd have been terrified.

Viviennemary Mon 04-Aug-14 17:48:49

I hope the people it's affected get the best treatment. However, I'm getting a bit fed up of this scaremongering. bird flu and then Swine flu was meant to wipe out half the world's population. So I don't buy into these scares now.

cazb78 Tue 05-Aug-14 11:27:57
innogen75 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:26:00

if it is not easy to catch, not airborne etc.. then why would there be 8 suspected cases now among the doctors and nurses in lagos who treated that businessman from Liberia who died after getting off then plane?

8? I can buy that one or two may have inadvertently come into contact with bodily fluids but given that they would wear gloves etc..for other blood borne diseases how on earth is the number is high as 8 in the medical staff? it would suggest it far easier to catch then we are being told.

I've been keeping an eye on that. Some reports say that 5 are asymptomatic and being quarantined as a precaution.
I think they didn't expect Sawyer to have ebola. There are reports that even when he was sick he was adamant that he had had no contact with ebola and that it wasn't that. He was on two flights and the second one was from Togo where there there are no reports of ebola.

I think they dropped the ball and didn't use sufficient ppe. What we should draw comfort from is that there are no reports from it being seeded to other countries by people on his flights. It indicates that whilst it is very contagious in its final stages, it is not very contagious up until that point.

cazb78 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:55:15

This worried me too. But imagine a passenger arriving and collapsing at an airport. A normal reaction would be to help him immediately, most likely without first getting proper protective gear. Anyhow it's all suspected at the moment and not confirmed. Don't forget the numbers if those infected is still relatively small and if that contagious it would be everywhere. I trust the bbc mostly now and will only panic when they do. Nobody else I know seems too concerned. We've been here before. Fingers crossed they will get on top of it. We are not experts so all this second guessing is fruitless I guess. If u are worried do as I did and donate to help them kill it at source! On the plus side, glad to hear BA has stopped flights to liberia and sierra leone til end august.

innogen75 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:18:01

if that is true and he deliberately lied about his recent contact with Ebola then that is the most incredibly deceitful, selfish and malicious act. He could well be responsible for the deaths of those poor medical staff.

Innogen, he was said to be in absolute denial that his sister had it. There seems to be a barrier to accepting that it is a real risk to many people there for all sorts of cultural and social reasons. We just don't know what went through his mind at the time.

I do hope that there are plans to safeguard travellers who may end up stuck over there.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Aug-14 18:31:17

It's a little more complicated than that. There's a bit of confusion in the reports as to whether they actually knew for certain that it was Ebola that killed his sister when he took that flight. Although there was definitely suspicion of it. He also appears to have been massively in denial about the possibility while she was still alive.

Whilst it was certainly a very stupid thing to do, I'm not convinced it was a deliberately malicious act. Hopefully, given that these HCP were monitored from the point of contact with Patrick Sawyer it's been caught early enough that they stand a better chance of recovering.

cazb78 Tue 05-Aug-14 19:14:46

Interesting article re those who trsvelled with and helped mr sawyer m.europe.wsj.com/articles/ebolas-threat-forced-nigerias-lagos-to-scramble-1406940469?mobile=y

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Aug-14 19:58:54

Unfortunately, I think it's behind a pay wall. Can you give us a summary?

cazb78 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:29:05

Yeah it wasn't but is now weirdly. It basically said all medical staff were on strike the day he collapsed in lagos, but that he was attended to efficiently and isolated quickly. All of 59 people on plane have been traced except for 8 who've gone missing. Luckily most were going to a conference so were easy to tr

cazb78 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:38:39

I hate my phone. Anyway, as I was saying, most were going to a conference and were easy to trace and are under surveillance. No mention of 8 suspected cases, even though written today, only that 2 men who helped him into a wheelchair had become feverish this friday gone but tested negative to ebola but still being watched. Basically the article said lagos had done well...couldve been much worse had he been able to exit airport.

grannymcphee Tue 05-Aug-14 21:06:30

Thank you backinthebox, I respect your opinion and totally agree with you. My opinion is that all flights in or out of the affected countries should be stopped until this crisis is over? Why has a block on those flights not been made? My sympathies are with the airline crews who have to travel there, they don't know what they are taking on board for the return journey!

AnAirOfHope82 Wed 06-Aug-14 20:16:12

Bbc news is reporting that a man in Sudia Aribia (sp?) was being treated for Ebola type illness and has died. If so its the first case out side west Africa.

The WHO are holding a two day confrence and could declear a world emergancy. Im sure it sounds more worrying than it is but still I cant help thinking this very strange.........

My thoughts are with all the people and families affected xx

It does seem quite likely that there will be isolated cases here and there but think back to SARS. It had a CFR of around 10% overall. It spreads by droplets and is perhaps airborne. There were cases in 30 countries but in saying that there were just 8000 cases worldwide. Why? One of the big factors was the way the global community worked to isolate cases quickly.

spacechimp Wed 06-Aug-14 23:34:20

I've been watching this outbreak since it began and have been worried since the first imported case in Nigeria. This thread and links to articles have been really helpful in calming me down (along with twitter feeds of informed science journalists etc mostly US or Canada based). I was on holiday in Scandinavia last week and just back in the UK now and catching up a bit with reports which is all pretty worrying, though am trying to avoid panic inducing comment threads. I know I need perspective, as I have a history of anxiety particularly around health so this is pushing a lot of buttons for me, but it does seem as though the situation in Nigeria is a concern. It seems from the additional cases today that procedures were not followed initially with the imported case and we should expect further spread. I am really hoping it can be controlled in Nigeria but I don't know if that is realistic. Does anyone know what difference it would make in practical terms if WHO do decide it is now a PHEIC?

We should have the answers to that tomorrow spacechimp when they have their press release. My guess is that it will open up the doors to a lot more funding being released for various countries and tighter border controls.

innogen75 Thu 07-Aug-14 11:19:26

What greatly concerns me is somone coming over from infected areas, living as normal during the incubation period and then going to school or work at the onset of the symptoms not thinking they could have Ebola.

You can just imagine if this happened in a nursery or school.....where hygiene isnt great and there is close contact. There is such pressure not to take time off these days if people didnt appreciate they may be infected it could spread easily amongst children. Western countries could cope much better but the risk of exposure with returning travellers is definitely real.

AnAirOfHope82 Thu 07-Aug-14 12:17:42

Travel has been stopped now and there is more than 21 days till school starts. The illness is fast so as soon ad someone is ill they will not leave the house and gps are looking out for it and a smiple blood test can comfirm. Plus the bleeding from eyes would be a big sign not to send your child to school!

It would be airport staff and nurses/doctors that would be most at risk with first contact.

ChaffinchOfDoom Thu 07-Aug-14 15:06:56

the pictures emerging from Liberia are awful. Relatives wanting to escape being quarantined are dropping bodies in the streets and disappearing.

AnAirOfHope82 Thu 07-Aug-14 15:31:01

It must be extermly scarey to be in the affected areas. Not only are you losing loved ones but you could be next and the govenment are sending soliders to keep you in the area. I can imiagen the people are feeling desprate and alone right now sad

Even if they do get it and live they have to stay in the area for 50 days

ChaffinchOfDoom Thu 07-Aug-14 15:36:36

also health workers are too scared to work so clinics are closed...nowhere for poorly people/kids to get help with malaria and other injuries/disease sad

spacechimp Thu 07-Aug-14 15:48:58

Agree - can't imagine how frightening it must be to be living in the affected areas. Have been reading blogs by MSF workers and have so much admiration for them and local healthcare providers. Have made a couple of donations to the emergency appeal and I hope they can continue to provide this essential work.

AuntieStella Thu 07-Aug-14 19:08:41

Even allowing for the appalling standards of science reporting in the UK media, the latest statements from the WHO are sounding rather more concerning.

misstiredbuthappy Fri 08-Aug-14 12:09:56

Ive scared myself reading the sky news website. Peoplecocommening on stories saying they think ebola is already here and the government are lying to us.

I know im bieng paranoid but why has the WHO declared an international public health emergency if its not gone international ?

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 12:12:53

why has the WHO declared an international public health emergency if its not gone international

It has been international for weeks. Unless you don't consider Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to be separate countries?

misstiredbuthappy Fri 08-Aug-14 12:23:12

Ive worded it wrong I was thinking of all countrys.

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 12:36:23

Announcing an international public health emergency (because this is one) is not the same as announcing a global pandemic emergency (because this isn't one).

I think the phrase "international public health emergency" sounds far more scary that the composite parts.

International? Check. It is completely expected that cases of Ebola will arise in further countries in Africa, particularly those that would naturally host the virus, those most exposed in terms of the movement of people from affected countries and those with more fragile infrastructures/poor sanitation/etc.

This is, as I understand from the various reports, what the WHO mean by "international". As has been outlined here and on other threads, there is nothing to say that in the UK, it would represent a public health emergency, in terms of a massive outbreak/transmission event.

Public health? Check. This outbreak needs to be monitored and controlled at the level of entire populations.

Emergency? Check. Requires immediate action, both to treat and to control.

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 12:37:43

Sorry, that sounds like a lecture but was meant to be comforting hmm

misstiredbuthappy Fri 08-Aug-14 12:43:39

Thank you it is. Do you think it willcome to the UK ?

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 12:56:12

Do you think it will come to the UK

I don't think it's impossible for someone with the virus to arrive in the UK, require treatment or even die. I don't think it's impossible for there to be a UK person who contracts Ebola from within the UK from such a person. I don't think it's impossible that we may be, at some point, monitoring a handful of people to see if they develop the disease.

What I do think is so unlikely I don't waste time worrying about it is that Ebola in the UK will present any significant or serious threat to public health. It doesn't scare me that someone may come here with it and die, infect others or create a mini-pocket of infection, because I know how this virus spreads (with difficulty), I know how straightforward it is to contain (basic hygiene and quarantine rules apply), I know how easily it burns itself out (quickly).

I am a PhD biologist (albeit not anything infectious disease related). My husband is a PhD virologist. Neither of us are remotely concerned. I don't say that to command authority, but to say that people who perhaps have a better handle on what this is aren't actually worried (hopefully that doesn't sound patronising and you get my intention). In fact, we are both pretty furious at how this is being mishandled by the media.

Suzannewithaplan Fri 08-Aug-14 13:03:59

I think Maidofstars is right on the money with her post and I'm not personally worried either

Suzannewithaplan Fri 08-Aug-14 13:04:00

I think Maidofstars is right on the money with her post and I'm not personally worried either

I think the biggest epidemic at the moment is one of fear.

Now that a pheic has been declared it should really help wake up the global community that the countries affected at present really really need help, whether it's money, healthcare workers, supplies or training. These are countries who through poverty and recent wars can not manage this outbreak without help.

I think that our primary concern should still be with those people directly affected at present and if the infection can be stamped out at source then there shouldn't be issues elsewhere globally with this particular disease.

Did you know that a polio pheic was issued in May?

AbbieHoffmansAfro Fri 08-Aug-14 14:00:29

Bear in mind also that while Lagos is a big, chaotic city, it is not by any means as poor, lacking in services and chaotic as Liberia and Sierra Leone thanks to years of war. Guinea has also had lots of recent political upheavals, and is poor.

The are many very good doctors and hospitals in Nigeria. It is not well-governed, but from what I know of the place they, including the wealthy and super-wealthy, will not hesitate to help their own. Some Ebola pandemic raging unchecked may happen, but I think it is relatively unlikely.

The North may be a slightly different story thanks to Boko Haram, but I think Lagos would get a handle on an epidemic faster and better than people are supposing.

QueenStromba Sat 09-Aug-14 01:12:29

I posted last week about the procedures in place at my hospital and completely forgot to check back. For the person who asked, I work at a London hospital but due to the timings I think that the guidelines were probably a result of the Cobra meeting.

Someone also PMed me asking why I was so sure that Ebola wouldn't turn airborne. Ebola has a threadlike structure which makes it pretty fragile in comparison to airborne viruses such as influenza or corona viruses (which are responsible for a large percentage of "common colds" but also include the SARS virus) which are a more stable spheroid shape. It has an RNA genome rather than DNA which means that it has a relatively high rate of evolution compared with some viruses but still a much lower rate of evolution than e.g. HIV and a tiny rate of evolution compared with influenza. The reason that new strains of influenza that infect humans are such a worry is that influenza has a segmented genome - it has the viral equivalent of 8 chromosomes and if someone is infected with two strains at the same time you can end up with hybrid viruses that share traits with both viruses. This means that an influenza virus which is novel to humans (and can therefore be quite nasty as not many people have any immunity to it and the virus hasn't had time to evolve to be less deadly) can combine with an influenza virus that is well adapted to spreading between humans (and might normally cause quite mild symptoms) creating a virus that is both deadly and easily transmitted between humans. This could categorically not happen in the case of ebola.

As I said, it's a horrible disease but you have more chance of winning the lottery than you do of contracting ebola in the UK even if you are a doctor or nurse. Everyone who has some spare cash should donate some to Doctors Without Borders though because their brave doctors and nurses are quite likely to catch it without the proper protective equipment.

Thank you QS, that was very interesting to read and very well explained smile

AnAirOfHope82 Sat 09-Aug-14 09:20:43

Thank you maidofstars and Queen for the good posts. Im not worried anymore.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 09-Aug-14 09:56:13

apparently there are people in the UK back from west Africa, but they are under quarantine at their homes, being telephoned daily by doctors watching them , there's one in wales, but others ''around the uk'' so it sounds like they have a good grip of things: no one actually has symptoms either

AnAirOfHope82 Sat 09-Aug-14 10:19:06

Can you give a link for that Doom?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 09-Aug-14 11:03:37

There was a story about the Welsh man on the BBC this week, AnAirOfHope, but I can't find it now.

RiceBurner Sat 09-Aug-14 11:12:47

Thank you Queen Stromba. (You should be writing all that relevant and reassuring info in the DM?!)

Stratter5 Sat 09-Aug-14 11:36:40

Don't know about the man in Wales, but the man in New York has been confirmed as not having Ebola. The Saudi Arabian case is not being reported any more, but I did come across an announcement from them yesterday, saying that 'the second suspected case had been confirmed as not Ebola'. Still nothing about the first case, and it's impossible to infer anything from that press release.

Flu terrifies me. Ebola does not. The more I learn, the more obvious it is that this devastating disease will very likely not have any impact upon us here.

misstiredbuthappy Sat 09-Aug-14 11:39:25

I live in wales thats what made me panic confused

Stratter5 Sat 09-Aug-14 11:42:50

Wales is a big enough place, lovely. I live in Lincolnshire, and a single suspected case here wouldn't concern me; they are already voluntarily housebound, and under surveillance.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 09-Aug-14 11:43:03

As far as I can remember, the man from Wales has been to West Africa, is asymptomatic and is isolating himself at home. I'm not sure if he's even been in contact with anyone with Ebola. The BBC story was only a couple of paragraphs.

misstiredbuthappy Sat 09-Aug-14 12:16:12

I shall come out of hiding then grin

ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 09-Aug-14 13:32:03

there's one in Canada now too, in hospital with fever & flu symptoms, total quarantine

ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 09-Aug-14 13:33:56
ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 09-Aug-14 13:39:08
AnAirOfHope82 Sat 09-Aug-14 14:50:49

Thanks for the links.

Micksy Sat 09-Aug-14 14:50:55

The story of Sawyer in Nigeria is very interesting. Google Sawyer and indiscipline. Apparently Nigerian officials have not given a consistent story. There are rumours that Sawyer went crazy when told he had Ebola and urinated on staff. The comments, some of which appear to have been written by friends and family hint at him having been shot rather than dying of Ebola. There is also talk that he was so insistant that he had malaria that he was not immediately placed in isolation.
Disclaimer - I have no idea of the trustworthiness of websites such as frontpageafricaonline.com

ChaffinchOfDoom Mon 11-Aug-14 10:02:19

Liberia is struggling, but the Canada case is not ebola

all these people who come back from west Africa and are very ill, but not with ebola..how many nasty illnesses are there? malaria I suppose, but don't people take anti malarials?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 11-Aug-14 10:40:25

I think typhoid might present similarly but not sure. Most would probably get themselves vaccinated against that, but it's not unheard of for people to go abroad and catch it.

I'd imagine anybody who's been to that area and has flu-like or gastro symptoms is going to need to be checked out. Even if it only turns out to be something mild like flu or noro. And there's a few of those bugs going round at the moment.

fun1nthesun Mon 11-Aug-14 10:43:48

Rafa I saw a story on sky news asking a David Goodwin to get in urgent contact with the police (having travelled overseas). I then saw a story saying he wasn't in any trouble and had been contacted. I immediately thought ebola (probably falsely grin).

However I thought I would internet search for that a couple of days later and it had disappeared!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 11-Aug-14 10:54:46

Knowing Sky News it could be anything. They might have found his missing cat or something. grin

AbbieHoffmansAfro Mon 11-Aug-14 14:25:00

don't people take anti malarials?

Locals and returnees? No, often they don't. Too expensive, too many side-effects, keeping the newer drugs as the last line of defence rather than using them routinely. Last time I went, my relatives took a rather sniffy view of travellers using the remaining effective drugs as a prophylactic. They took them only in a real emergency, and not if they got a mild case.

ChaffinchOfMegalolz Fri 29-Aug-14 17:00:40

so,.... 1stcase in Senegal sad a Guinean student, I'm reading.

also lots of speculation that it is airborne as people inexplicably caught it even with barrier nursing; plus the animals testing vaccines, though separate, infected each other...?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now