Ebola is in the news a lot right now.
Could this be The Coming Plague that Laurie Garret warned us about in 1994?
By the late 1980s, with the world shaken by the strangest and deadliest arrival of all – HIV and AIDS – Garrett traveled widely in search of understanding: Why did new viruses and bacteria appear, seemingly out of nowhere? Why couldn’t modern medicine vanquish HIV and other newly emerging microbes? How were scientists battling these diseases? Had hubris put the arrogant biomedical world of the late 20th Century at peril?
– from her website
A recent depiction (below) of the rise of Ebola cases and deaths (cumulative numbers) appears on the wikipedia site.
The CDC is probably the most reliable source of information on the virus today. They provide a wealth of information about the virus, including that infection does not spread through the air, water or food (with the possible exception of some bushmeat – likely bats acting as a reservoir for the virus). And further, although Ebola does have a frighteningly long incubation period (of about 21 days), there is no evidence that asymptomatic persons can spread the disease.
When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
a sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
In recent news, two items sound eerily similar to those scrolling across the newswire in the game Pandemic 2:
August 8, 2014 – Experts at the World Health Organization declare the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa an international health emergency that requires a coordinated global approach, describing it as the worst outbreak in the four-decade history of tracking the disease.
August 19, 2014 – Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declares a nationwide curfew beginning August 20 and orders two communities to be completely quarantined, with no movement in or out of the areas.
With all this in mind, maybe it’s a good time to pack up your emergency preparedness kit. And, while you’re at it, check out this comic from the CDC to help determine what you need to include:
Imagine a ven diagram illustrating preparedness. How prepared should you be for flooding? fire? tornado? active shooter? zombies?? If you’re prepared for the apocalypse, surely you can handle a flood.
While you’re huddled in the basement waiting for the threat to pass, enjoy some music to keep your spirits up.