Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

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Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby safeleo on August 21st, 2014, 7:54 pm 

Alright, this is going to be a bit of a ramble here, but I wanted to have a serious discussion with people about this whole thing. So when the 2014 Ebola Outbreak hit, there was a lot of stuff about people freaking out (per usual, if the media so much as breaths the word "infection" there's going to be a panic) and I did write a couple of paragraphs on why I personally think Ebola is no threat to first world countries, and that it probably wouldn't spread much further in Africa either, depending on certain things. Anyway, after this whole cure came out and they helped the two Americans recover (I refuse to say that they cured them yet), I've seen a lot of people saying things along the lines of "oh, now that two white people get it you suddenly have the cure?" and "why didn't you give it to the Africans" and that kind of stuff. To my understanding, the company that made the test cure had only 5 doses, and the cure was previously untested. (I'm not talking about the blood transfusions going on in Africa, I'm talking about the supposed cure.) To be perfectly honest, the fact that we gave an untested cure to someone is more terrifying than Ebola it's self. Back in the 60s or 70s, I don't remember the exact period, there was a drug called Thalidomide that was meant to treat morning sickness in pregnant mothers. This drug was tested to the extent that the AMA required back then, and was distributed across the country. As it turned out, a weird side effect of this drug was severe deformities in children because of a slight variation in the molecule that made up the drug. That is what a tested drug could do, I can't imagine giving someone an experimental drug. It's kind of like playing russian roulette with a random number of bullets in the gun. Anyway, these are my thoughts on the whole thing, to be honest I think they gave the drug to the doctors first because they didn't want to make it look like they were abandoning Americans, and if something does happen to come up with the cure later on, they don't want to deal with the international backlash.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Eclogite on August 21st, 2014, 9:10 pm 

So, you would rather take the chance that you would be in the 15% who recover from Ebola naturally than to take a structured anti-body combination that has proven fully effective on mice and primates, even when the latter are given doses of Ebola far in excess of lethal?
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Hendrick Laursen on August 22nd, 2014, 12:48 am 

Hey
Just for a little ref I came.
Thalidomide was first introduced in 1957 by Grünenthal GmbH, a German Drug Company located in Aachen. The use of Thalidomide on pregnant women caused over 10,000 abnormal babies were born, some with severe health problems. It was 1961, when the use of Thalidomide was banned in the US.
However, some think twas the last conspiracy of Nazi Regime. I dunno.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby safeleo on August 22nd, 2014, 6:33 am 

Eclogite » August 22nd, 2014, 11:10 am wrote:So, you would rather take the chance that you would be in the 15% who recover from Ebola naturally than to take a structured anti-body combination that has proven fully effective on mice and primates, even when the latter are given doses of Ebola far in excess of lethal?


I just think we should use caution when throwing drugs around. Just because something is effective mice and primates does not make it 100% safe to use in people, and the possible effects of a faulty drug can, in my opinion, far outweigh dying from Ebola. I also think we should stay away from mortality rate estimates, because they are notoriously unreliable. Because so few people have been infected by so many different strains, its really difficult to gauge the mortality rate. Estimates are anywhere from 50% to 95%, depending on the strain and time of outbreak.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Eclogite on August 22nd, 2014, 7:28 am 

safeleo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:33 am wrote:I just think we should use caution when throwing drugs around.

1. On what basis do you characterise treating two individuals with these drugs as "throwing drugs around"?
2. What evidence do you have that this action was taken without due caution?

safeleo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:33 am wrote:Just because something is effective mice and primates does not make it 100% safe to use in people, .
Plans were already in place to begin testing on human subjects next year (or possibly 2016). All the testing that can reasonably be done before human trials begin has been done.

If you believe that any drug is 100% safe to use you are wholly mistaken. Every drug has side effects, many of them fatal.


safeleo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:33 am wrote:, and the possible effects of a faulty drug can, in my opinion, far outweigh dying from Ebola.
I would be interested to learn what outcome is less welcome than dying from Ebola. Would you elaborate?


safeleo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:33 am wrote:. I also think we should stay away from mortality rate estimates, because they are notoriously unreliable. Because so few people have been infected by so many different strains, its really difficult to gauge the mortality rate. Estimates are anywhere from 50% to 95%, depending on the strain and time of outbreak.
So, in discussing a major epidemiological situation you feel we should ignore one of the corner stones of epidemiology in relation to potentially fatal diseases. It's an interesting approach and one that would cause me to smile if I did not think you were serious.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby safeleo on September 30th, 2014, 1:59 am 

To Eclogite: Thank you for your response. I joined this website to practice being involved with an enthusiastic scientific community. I realize I still have a lot to learn, and especially on a topic such as this (which I am fiercely passionate about) is difficult for me to admit that I know next to nothing about diseases or pathology. Looking back on my comments, they were nowhere near properly supported or argued. Of course I know that all medicines have side effects, and I was suggesting that permanent infertility, for example, might be a worse fate than dying with the Ebola virus, but this was largely based on my own personal feelings and not the least bit based on what's realistic. And of course, although mortality estimates differ depending on the strain, 50% - 90% are still terrible odds for anyone suffering from this disease, and even a small betterment of these odds would be favorable. I am wholly ashamed to say that I made this post and the subsequent statements with no research whatsoever, and it is quite embarrassing that this post has my name on it. I realize my mistakes.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby edy420 on September 30th, 2014, 5:13 am 

Countries where Ebola kills easily are the same countries where diarrhea is fatal.
Hygiene, while not itself a killer, is a catalyst for outbreak.

Considering the statistics, I have a higher risk of being hit by a bus, or even a plane.
Why all the concern?

Heh, reading my own post I can't help but feel ignorant on the topic, considering the lack of research I have put in, and the level of importance.
So could someone enlighten me.
Show me the evidence that should compel me to require concern, and I don't mean media propaganda.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby CanadysPeak on September 30th, 2014, 12:55 pm 

safeleo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:33 am wrote:
Eclogite » August 22nd, 2014, 11:10 am wrote:So, you would rather take the chance that you would be in the 15% who recover from Ebola naturally than to take a structured anti-body combination that has proven fully effective on mice and primates, even when the latter are given doses of Ebola far in excess of lethal?


I just think we should use caution when throwing drugs around. Just because something is effective mice and primates does not make it 100% safe to use in people, and the possible effects of a faulty drug can, in my opinion, far outweigh dying from Ebola. I also think we should stay away from mortality rate estimates, because they are notoriously unreliable. Because so few people have been infected by so many different strains, its really difficult to gauge the mortality rate. Estimates are anywhere from 50% to 95%, depending on the strain and time of outbreak.


50 % to 95 % mortality ? Whew!! For a minute there, I thought this stuff was dangerous.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Watson on September 30th, 2014, 1:23 pm 

Some weeks ago, it was reported that contaminated items were being stolen. Presumably this would have caused outbreaks in other areas, deliberately or otherwise.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Darby on June 26th, 2015, 1:09 pm 

Latest big news: Rapid Ebola diagnostic successful in field trial (26-Jun-2015)

Simple fast and low cost test featuring a diabetic lancet and a test strip. 100% detection, 92% specificity (some false positives required retesting).

That's a HUGE game changer, with regards to detection and containment.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Hendrick Laursen on July 12th, 2015, 5:15 pm 

I don't think this is good news, the stolen stuff.
Many a mad people are out there who could trigger a microbial war for nuisance.
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Re: Thoughts on the Ebola Outbreak

Postby Watson on July 12th, 2015, 5:27 pm 

Ya I have been waiting for it to hit the news again, but maybe with quick action and the new detection it may not be an issue. And you have to think the thieves are dead.
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