Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ebola outbreak now a top story

In my comment to Bright Were The Halls Then at The Archdruid Report, I mentioned the some of the latest candidates for pandemics in the context of the fall of the Roman Empire.*
As for what caused that decline even in the Eastern Empire, you nailed it when you wrote "epidemics are thus a common feature in the history of declining civilizations."  One of them was Justinian's Plague, which reversed the Eastern Empire's attempt to reconquer what was once the Western Empire.  Today, we have MIRS and Avian Flu, and the latest outbreak of Ebola appears worrisome.
That was two weeks ago.  Tonight, Ebola was the top story in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Ebola outbreak) on Daily Kos.

Susannah Locke of Vox got to explain The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. The outbreak is unprecedented both in infection numbers and in geographic scope. And so far, it's been a long battle that doesn't appear to be slowing down.

The Ebola virus has now hit four countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria.

The virus — which starts off with flu-like symptoms and often ends with horrific hemorrhaging — has infected about 1,300 people and killed more than 700 since this winter, according to estimates on July 31 from the World Health Organization.
Follow over the jump for more of the latest stories about Ebola.

The University of Kansas got in on the story by advertising Researcher available to discuss Ebola outbreak in Africa.
The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has killed hundreds this year, including an American man working in Liberia who died earlier this month after a flight to Nigeria. Two other Americans working in Liberia, including a doctor, are also infected, according to published reports.

A University of Kansas expert who has studied health emergencies in Africa is available to discuss the current outbreak.
Not to be outdone, the University of Michigan offered Deadly Ebola: U-M experts available to discuss to journalists.
The University of Michigan has a number of experts in disease transmission, quarantine and response to infectious disease threats who can be consulted about the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Discovery News asked Can You Recover From Ebola?

Western Africa is experiencing the largest Ebola outbreak that humanity has ever experienced! Can you recover from this virus, and should we be trying to create a vaccine? Dr. Carin Bondar joins DNews to tell you everything you need to know about Ebola.
Finally, CNN reported First American Ebola Patient Comes Home.

A U.S. doctor infected with Ebola was able to visit with his family at an Atlanta hospital after being flown from Africa.
I'm glad the doctor at Emory was able to dispell the fear around bringing the two patients back to the U.S.  Ebola is very scary (in fact, it was the subject of the very first chapter of "The Hot Zone," which Stephen King described as "the scariest thing he'd ever read--and then it got worse") but it's not an immediate threat to people in the developed world.

*I have much more to say about that comment.  Stay tuned.

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