Coping: The Ebola MainStreamMedia Lie?

imageI’ve mentioned this one multiple times, but if you haven’t been following the adventure of this global plague adventure series on TNT (which just got picked up for a second 13-week season, you’re missing a fictionalized television preview of what could be coming.

Not that it will be as bad and dire as all this, but with an Ebola case suspected in New York now, one of my liberal friends got in a decent poke at my calling officialdumb out on bringing the disease ashore rather than fitting out a ship and leaving the victims offshore.

For something like a deadly communicable disease, I would like to know that what we do to contain it will work.  To test the technology and methods, I’d rather see the first “live drill” done with as little duress and panic as possible, as totally monitored as we can make it.  The Emory University hospital facility has been around for 20 years, set up to handle an outbreak of whatever at CDC.  Thankfully that hasn’t happened, but it’s reassuring to me that they are treating a real patient there with plenty of forewarning, rather than trying it for the very first time in an emergency situation.

Think of it like an airplane.  Would you rather fly in a plane that had test flights first, or one that had only wind tunnel tests and computer simulations?

As a matter of fact, yes, my point exactly.  You don’t begin with a high-performance short-field landing in downtown Atlanta.

See the list of US Navy Hospital Ships.  We’ve forgotten a little something, eh?  Check the dates on ‘em.   Yet bioterror has been on the radar for how long?

And here’s why flying is safer than reading media reports on Ebola:  When a pilot takes up an airplane for the very first time, there is an incredible checklist of items to ensure that all risks have been systematically minimized.  There is taxiing, static engine run-ups, high speed taxi, bare liftoff and set-downs, and yes, depending on plane and tests, pilots wear parachutes.

Epidemiologists do…at least the medical analog…but only in the highest tech areas.

This is NOT the case with Ebola, or someone with the brains at the top would have moved a  Hospital or Quarantine Ship offshore (which should already have been set up for this kind of thing, again, it’s been in the movies since Andromeda Strain came out) and everyone sent there.

And I sill say this again, because it shows up (as one of numerous examples) in this WABC-TV report:  The MainStreamMedia is (as Ures truly sees it) failing it’s duty to due diligence with statements like this one (and I quote):

“It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, unlike an airborne virus like influenza or the common cold.”

That gives an impression of communicability that I’d suggest to you seriously understates the severity of risk.  To make my point, probable OTHER THAN BODY FLUID communicability has been documented since at least 1995 as even a 15-second search of the government’s own www.pubmed.gov website discloses.

Specifically I refer to:  Lancet. 1995 Dec 23-30;346(8991-8992):1669-71 where 10 researchers reported this:.

Abstract

Secondary transmission of Ebola virus infection in humans is known to be caused by direct contact with infected patients or body fluids. We report transmission of Ebola virus (Zaire strain) to two of three control rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that did not have direct contact with experimentally inoculated monkeys held in the same room. The two control monkeys died from Ebola virus infections at 10 and 11 days after the last experimentally inoculated monkey had died. The most likely route of infection of the control monkeys was aerosol, oral or conjunctival exposure to virus-laden droplets secreted or excreted from the experimentally inoculated monkeys. These observations suggest approaches to the study of routes of transmission to and among humans.

And PubMed cites from the Journal of Experimental Pathology (1995):

Abstract

The potential of aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head-only exposure aerosol system. Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 microns were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days. The illness was clinically identical to that reported for parenteral virus inoculation, except for the occurrence of subcutaneous and venipuncture site bleeding and serosanguineous nasal discharge. Immunocytochemistry revealed cell-associated Ebola virus antigens present in airway epithelium, alveolar pneumocytes, and macrophages in the lung and pulmonary lymph nodes; extracellular antigen was present on mucosal surfaces of the nose, oropharynx and airways. Aggregates of characteristic filamentous virus were present within type I pneumocytes, macrophages, and air spaces of the lung by electron microscopy. Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.

Now, here’s the critical point:  Solid scientific research suggests that Ebola virus is transmissible by aerosolized droplets.

The Material Safety Data Sheets online reports:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1, 6, 13). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear. Poor hygienic conditions can aid the spread of the virus (6).

I was a major market radio news director for more than a decade in a top 20 market and this may seem like a small nit to pick, but it is cases like this – where the use of a phrase could become critical to how the public perceives a threat and how it prepares to deal with the threat.

Let’s look at the quote I pulled from a mainstream source and see how it could be restated to more accurately reflect medical reality:

Instead of:

“It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, unlike an airborne virus like influenza or the common cold.”

How about:

“It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, and experimentally it can be spread as an airborne like influenza or the common cold in primate studies….”

I believe that would more accurately reflect the seriousness of the disease-spread potential.  There is a critical, perceptual, and motivational difference between permissive language (may be spread by) language and declarative (not communicable) language.

I believe the case is made clear in  the paper Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995: risk factors for patients without a reported exposure. m(emphasis added):

Abstract

In 1995, 316 people became ill with Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The exposure source was not reported for 55 patients (17%) at the start of this investigation, and it remained unknown for 12 patients after extensive epidemiologic evaluation. Both admission to a hospital and visiting a person with fever and bleeding were risk factors associated with infection. Nineteen patients appeared to have been exposed while visiting someone with suspected EHF, although they did not provide care. Fourteen of the 19 reported touching the patient with suspected EHF; 5 reported that they had no physical contact. Although close contact while caring for an infected person was probably the major route of transmission in this and previous EHF outbreaks, the virus may have been transmitted by touch, droplet, airborne particle, or fomite; thus, expansion of the use of barrier techniques to include casual contacts might prevent or mitigate future epidemics

I also believe the mass media are (wittingly or otherwise) understating the risk of Ebola transmissibility by other means.

Why might they understate?  Well, turning off air travel globally is one reason to consider impacts, after all, we live in the globalist’s paradigm and that doesn’t include grounded jets.  Sure, they might be a decent public health option, but where’s the ABSOLUTE PROOF of airborne spread?  It’s just monkeys  – but I would hasten to add:  so far.

This is one of those cases where I think everyone has reason to “trust but verify” and when you do that, MSM doesn’t look so good.  How much ad revenue is on the line with Ebola?  Could we be looking at a showdown between cash flow and common sense?

If any of my relatives happens to die of Ebola, I’d be calling a Harvey Specter-type lawyer because I believe a strong case could be made against local media for incorrectly failing to state the aerosolized risk attendant to this killer on our doorstep.

In news, as in medicine, the rule is:  First do no harm.

I’ve already got my “Harvey” searching Google for stories with the search phrase “not spread by.”  How many dead murines (rats and mice) does it take?

Tomorrow in Peoplenomics we’ll be talking about propagation speeds and developing a worst-case outlook as a personal planning scenario.

But hell, we don’t need conspiracies.  We’ve got ignorance and it’s doing just fine.

I’m just curious how many of the MSM types would volunteer for a “sneeze communicability test”?  And might the results of such a test be a more thorough breed of reporters and editors?

Tunnels and Disease, Reality Mimics Media

I don’t know if you do a lot of TV watching.  We don’t, but now and then we’ve checked out episodes of The Bridge.

Not to spoil the plot line if you have plans for it, but part of the set up is a woman who is widowed and lives outside of El Paso on a rather nice ranch with a horse barn. 

And what do you suppose is down in the basement of the barn?

Why, it’s a tunnel from Mexico which is (as things progress) not only a way for illegals to come into the country but also (as the plot evolves) a way for US-made weapons to be shipped back the other direction.

All of which revolves – in this part of the plot which is more complicated and has many more body parts as is the fashion in shockyouvision – tunneling.

For some reason people digging around in tunnels, which has been going on for years along the border seems to have been on the increase.  Just as “the walls” that Israel uses have likely driven Hamas to fig intricate tunnels, so too seems that breaking the border has gone underground, too.

imageThe Customs and Border Patrol staff has released a series of photos of some of the tunnel insides – as in this pic of supervisory Border Patrol agent Kevin Hecht working his way through a tunnel discovered in Nogales, AZ. 

Unlike the television series, this tunnel was found before use.

This particular border breaching effort has characteristics of both rudimentary and interconnecting tunnels and I sure hope the agents get serious bonuses for going into these things.  Why, just the scorpion potential alone is enough to send a flood of resumes to the Coast Guard, instead.  And if not that, certainly I can see the CBP recruiting amping up at the Colorado School of Mines…

Nevertheless, it’s getting to be just downright odd how certain aspects of television are showing up as real-time episodes of content that’s real-time on the next door news channel, know what I mean?.

OK, sorry for such a serious report this morning, but even with a fine sense of humor, sometimes we’ve just got to be serious now and then.

More here Thursday, Peoplenomics tomorrow, and write when you break-even…

George george@ure.net

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