This is the third Ebola article on this blog.
The first, Ebola, gave an informed overview of the disease based on proven scientific facts. Some people criticised this, they preferred the lies in the popular press.
The second article, It is probably time to really worry about Ebola, is fully cross referenced to scientific facts. Yet still it received criticism. Cognitive dissonance at work when some people are confronted with truths that differ from what Fox News says.
Let’s now look at the latest thoughts on transmission. The disease is doubling exponentially every 20 days, despite everyone trying not to catch it. It is killing lots of health workers who are trained not to catch it. So Ebola is vastly more contagious than some other viral infections, like Aids. Senator Rand Paul is a medical doctor, he has looked at the science and he thinks our governments are misleading us. The fact is that Ebola is airborne, you can catch it by breathing in droplets created when a contagious victim coughs or sneezes. The only debate is whether it only persists in large droplets, which fall to ground, or in miniscule aerosol droplets that remain suspended in the air. This University of Minnesota fully cross referenced article looks at the facts and concludes that it does and that health workers need a high level of hazmat protection to counter this.
The Minnesota article references a paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, “The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol” which you can read to see the full scientific method. One of its many conclusions is that Ebola virus in aerosols decays at 3.06% per minute, becoming 99% ineffective after 104 minutes. And remember that it just takes one virus to infect you. So a contagious passenger sneezing at the front 0f an airliner could theoretically infect everyone on it. When this fact sinks in people will surely be less enthusiastic about flying.
A problem with Ebola is that previous infections have been relatively small and in Africa, so our scientific knowledge is not great, especially knowing about the medical effects within human beings. So until very recently indeed it was thought that the incubation period was a maximum of 21 days. All our public health measures are based on this and it is what the CDC website is still telling us. Now the WHO say that this is true for 95% of confirmed cases, however the incubation period can be as long as 42 days. This means that everything we have been told about the spread of the disease and the risks from travelers coming from the infected countries is wrong. And 21,000 students from these countries just arrived in the UK.
Reading about the disease it is obvious that the single most effective prevention measure is keeping the virus from our hands. Frequent washing is good. Alcohol based hand cleaners are not very effective and their efficacy does not persist. The technology that does work is Byotrol, which gives up to 6 hours of protection. This is available in a wide range of products, as you can see from their website.
At long last our governments are starting to take notice of the severity of the situation. The USA and UK government have acted coherently and thrown lots of resources at it. Most other countries are still sleepwalking. We have the capabilities to contain and defeat this disease before it goes truly pandemic. It would help if the press and our governments were more honest with us.