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Ebola Panic

Phantom

Uh, I didn't do it.
What are your thoughts on the Ebola outbreak that's been happening in Africa, and the American cases that have happened? Is Ebola something to be feared? Are the countries of the world properly prepared if it is? Or is the media making it more than it really is?

Thoughts?
 
Pronoun
he
Media are biased as usual, CDC is going maximum damage control and trying to downplay the situation. I say we just ban all flights to and from africa, the country and it's people should be isolated from the rest of the world where they can do no possible harm. That's all I'm going to say without going into a /pol/-level rant and getting ragebanned by the admins.
 

Phantom

Uh, I didn't do it.
I just realized I should give my take on it. To me? It's nothing to be feared here in the US.

I've been hearing people panicking, and saying the gov't is purposely doing nothing in favor of 'overpopulation control' or that it's a scheme to control the economy somehow.

You know what disease kills thousands of children and adults in the US? The flu. According to my research, the flu kills about 36k people a year in the US. Thirty. Six. Thousand. It kills, how many worldwide? An average of a HALF A MILLION a year.

How many has Ebola killed? Four thousand. Four.

They say if the Spanish flu returns it will kill nearly TWENTY MILLION people. And, unlike ebola, the flu has strains that are airbourne. The flu is common and it advances so quickly that we literally need to come up with new vaccinations for it every year. Oh, but there are vaccines for the flu! There are none for Ebola! We have no way to protect ourselves!

Oh, wait, so... that means you got your flu shot this year?

No?

Next time these people freak out about Ebola, maybe they should be getting a flu shot while they're at it.

Americans freak out about the stupidest things. Ebola is going to kill us all! The gov't is conspiring against us! Yes, sure. Worry about a random African disease that you have more of a chance of getting struck by lightning than contracting, but you're not gonna get that flu shot? Why? I'd bet you'd line up for an Ebola vaccine. Why not for the flu?

Where is the logic in that?
 
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Ether's Bane

future Singaporean
Pronoun
he
I just realized I should give my take on it. To me? It's nothing to be feared here in the US.

I've been hearing people panicking, and saying the gov't is purposely doing nothing in favor of 'overpopulation control' or that it's a scheme to control the economy somehow.


You know what disease kills thousands of children and adults in the US? The flu. According to my research, the flu kills about 36k people a year in the US. Thirty. Six. Thousand. It kills, worldwide? An average of a HALF A MILLION a year. How many has Ebola killed? Four thousand. Four. They say if the Spanish flu returns it will kill nearly TWENTY MILLION people. And, unlike ebola, the flu has strains that are airbourne. The flu is common and it advances so quickly that we literally need to come up with new vaccinations for it every year. Oh, but there are vaccines for the flu! There are none for Ebola! We have no way to protect ourselves!

Oh, wait, so... that means you got your get your flu shot this year?

No?

Next time these people freak out about Ebola, maybe they should be getting a flu shot while they're at it.

Americans freak out about the stupidest things. Ebola is going to kill us all! The gov't is conspiring against us! Yes, sure. Worry about a random African disease that you have more of a chance of getting struck by lightning than contracting. But you're not gonna get that flu shot? Why? I'd bet you'd line up for an Ebola vaccine. Why not for the flu? Where is the logic in that?
 

Music Dragon

Doosic Maggon
Pronoun
she
Media are biased as usual, CDC is going maximum damage control and trying to downplay the situation. I say we just ban all flights to and from africa, the country and it's people should be isolated from the rest of the world where they can do no possible harm. That's all I'm going to say without going into a /pol/-level rant and getting ragebanned by the admins.
This is appallingly ignorant on so many levels, but let's start with this: Africa is not a country.
 

kyeugh

probably the only american on here 🇺🇸🗽🦅
Pronoun
she/her
You know what disease kills thousands of children and adults in the US? The flu. According to my research, the flu kills about 36k people a year in the US. Thirty. Six. Thousand. It kills, how many worldwide? An average of a HALF A MILLION a year.

How many has Ebola killed? Four thousand. Four.
To be fair, here, it's not the amount that Ebola has killed as much as the fact that its mortality rate has shown to be much, much higher than the flu's. Reportedly, it's fatal about half of the time, and it's come to America. That Americans are upset about it doesn't seem too unreasonable.

On the other hand, some of the weird shit people have been cultivating about it isn't really excusable. Last week, I had to explain to my friend why Ebola won't turn her into a zombie.
 

MampersandF

bastard of puppets
Pronoun
any
Watching Americans freak out about this is like watching a mass-scale version of that one time people on Tumblr were freaking out about Chagas Disease. Yours is one of the very few places in the world where just about any house whatsoever has adequate installations, no matter how poor you are (short of, well, not having a house). You have enough running water to wash your hands regularly and you're probably not going to come anywhere close to anybody else's literal shit anytime soon, that alone shuts down just about any means of Ebola transmission. With those things out of the way, there just isn't a way for the regular American to catch Ebola. It's not even airborne; you could stick your nose inside the mouth of an actual Ebola patient and you wouldn't catch the disease as long as you kept your nostrils away from the saliva. Forget spanish flu; the fucking swine flu killed a shitton more Americans than Ebola ever will.

The traveling ban thing is also entirely ridiculous in its own rights. It's so ridiculous I can't take it seriously enough to ramble on it for another entire paragraph's worth.
 

hopeandjoy

yan ya yan ya yaa iii yaaa
Really, the whole panic is rooted in racism for the US. The whole panic revolves around the idea of Africa being a dirty, backwards place filled with stupid black people. Hence the stories of African-American children being called Ebola in schools and such.

As for the travel ban, it's a terrible idea. Way to reduce the number of American nurses and doctors willing to help treat victims.
 

Murkrow

Says "also" and "or something" a lot
Pronoun
he
To be fair, here, it's not the amount that Ebola has killed as much as the fact that its mortality rate has shown to be much, much higher than the flu's. Reportedly, it's fatal about half of the time, and it's come to America. That Americans are upset about it doesn't seem too unreasonable.
That and, the symptoms of ebola sound much more unpleasant than the flu. Although since the flu is much more common maybe it's just because we're more desensitised to how unappealing its symptoms sound.


And keep in mind that the flu isn't immune to this kind of hysteria! Remember swine and bird flu?
 

Phantom

Uh, I didn't do it.
To be fair, here, it's not the amount that Ebola has killed as much as the fact that its mortality rate has shown to be much, much higher than the flu's. Reportedly, it's fatal about half of the time, and it's come to America. That Americans are upset about it doesn't seem too unreasonable.

On the other hand, some of the weird shit people have been cultivating about it isn't really excusable. Last week, I had to explain to my friend why Ebola won't turn her into a zombie.
Ebola Zombies. The real threat.

There's being upset or concerned, then there's overreacting and acting like utter fools.

I mean, like you said. Zombies.
 

I liek Squirtles

sobble squad
Pronoun
he
Ebola's kind of taken a backseat here compared to the epidemics that are dengue fever and chikungunya. The media hasn't been as nearly as panicky as the US has been (at least the newspapers; not sure about the TV stations).

Now, this is what's been really worrying me. Recently, the president of the student council posted this story to the Model United Nations group. It mentions that Puerto Rico will host Ebola patients and that the Veterans' Hospital is preparing an Ebola ward. Now, that last part is true, but I'm really doubting the first clause. I don't trust the website (mainly because of the insane amount of ads, and the top stories as of this writing are "WW3 Is Here - US Government Is Preparing the World For WAR and US Financial Expert Says Economy Collapse Imminent! Don't Believe It? Watch This!" and
"Daughter Of Satanist Exposes Dark Secrets Of The Illuminati - Cisco Wheeler' which are obvious clickbait)

My real worry is that people will buy into this bullshit. I'm as scared of Ebola as anyone else (my biology teacher showed us Outbreak last year, that movie scared me incredibly), but this is just stupid.
 

shy ♡

whispers in gay
To be fair, here, it's not the amount that Ebola has killed as much as the fact that its mortality rate has shown to be much, much higher than the flu's. Reportedly, it's fatal about half of the time, and it's come to America. That Americans are upset about it doesn't seem too unreasonable.

On the other hand, some of the weird shit people have been cultivating about it isn't really excusable. Last week, I had to explain to my friend why Ebola won't turn her into a zombie.
Yeah, but then you look at the mortality rate of OTHER things like heart disease, which people aren't freaking out about. This is a general issue people tend to have - they freak out about (and donate to) causes that seem more SCARY rather than causes that genuinely are affecting the most people.

There was an infograph about this on tumblr a while ago but I can't find that ... But basically it boils down to people expect to die or become sick from SOME things, but other things seem very shocking for them. I'm not sure what goes into that determination process but figuring it out would probably be great for getting donation funds into well-needed organizations. :v

Also comparison to the flu isn't great because there's an actual vaccine for the flu.
 

Espeon

Mmhm...
Also comparison to the flu isn't great because there's an actual vaccine for the flu.
The major issue with strains of the flu, like swine and bird flu, is that the vaccine for seasonal flu is ineffective against these particular strains. Although it had a low spread rate, the H5N1 bird flu strain had a mortality rate of 60% and the major worry with these flu strains is that they will mutate to become readily transmissible throughout the human population from other species. In the particular case of bird flu, the annual migration of birds added to the worry that external control of the virus in wild populations would be highly unmanageable, leading very quickly to a pandemic of a very lethal flu strain. The likelihood of the virus mutating is more likely than just a random alteration in the genome of this virus because co-infection of multiple flu strains can lead to antigenic shift, where the two viruses will combine to create a third subtype of the virus - as such if bird flu had combined with a human strain of flu, the virus could have gone global quite easily.

Bear in mind I might be wrong about the exact specifics here, but in general: Current influenza vaccines are only effective against specific stains because of the way the vaccine happens to be constructed; they contain a cocktail of different viral triggers, which generates protection against multiple, usually seasonal strains. In the UK at the very least, this seasonal shot is remodelled based around the strains which are liable to be spreading through the population that year. Antibodies are generated against variable regions of the virus' haemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins. Since the flu virus is so prone to mutating and creating new strains through coinfection, flu can be quite prominent even in the face of vaccination efforts. Though work is being done to find an antibody generating site against a constant region which would then generate specific antibodies which would protect against all influenza strains, there's not really been a ton of success in delivering a cross-protective vaccine.

My point is that while I find the Ebola virus very threatening, it doesn't make these lethal flu strains any less scary. It's very flippant just to say that flu is less scary because there's a vaccine available for 'flu'. The topic is a little more complex than that. If anything, non-Western Africans are hundreds of times more likely to die of a flu strain going wild than they are of Ebola. They're more likely to die of a regular flu strain. The stats might be from 2010 for the non-Ebola stuff but, yeah. I realise this is really US-centric data too, and not representative of the world's likelihood of catching Ebola or stuff but, I can't imagine the data being ~too~ far of a stretch when applying it to a lot of other developed nations. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/how-deadly-is-ebola/

One of the major issues with the epidemiological spread of Ebola is that a lot of these nations in Western Africa don't have as appropriate disease-handling facilities, equipment and generally have a poorer disease-handling infrastructure. Infected fluids can also be contacted while the carrier is still asymptomatic, adding to difficulty in controlling the disease. Additionally, it doesn't help that vaccine development takes forever and the R&D budget on diseases seems to have 90% of it spent on diseases which affect 10% of the world's population. (clue: that 10% is rich people in developed countries). The thing which bothers me the most is that interest in vaccine development seems only to have really taken off ever since Ebola started to penetrate the borders of (surprise, surprise) more developed countries than those in West Africa. However, they do seem to be having some success with Ebola vaccines, though it might be a little bit too late before it actually becomes a thing, sadly. :/

On the topic of Heart Disease and other diseases of high mortality such as Cancer, is that a lot of these particular diseases are quite often age-related afflictions, and are also diseases of lifestyle. Sure, we can do a lot to circumvent Heart Disease by promoting a healthy lifestyle, but all that is going to do is shift the mortality statistic over to another disease - such as cancer. When we get better at dealing with that high level of cancer, another age-related disease is then going to become the major terminator of human life. The question with these diseases is if you don't want people to die of them, what disease do you want them to die of? I don't deny that these diseases are terrible and are indiscriminate in WHO they affect, but it is so much less likely that a 5-year old will die of cancer than an 80-year old. Anybody can catch Ebola regardless of age, and this is presumably why it is much more threatening to people than cancer or heart disease. Because of these diseases of age/lifestyle, I would personally expect to die of cancer, Alzheimer's or coronary artery disease, and expect to die of it at an 'appropriate' age, rather than dying of these diseases in the next few weeks – or of Ebola and Influenza in the next year.

On a slightly lighter and completely non-serious note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAz-F1QnyCk
 
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