Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, October 31, 2014

Ebola and the Bike Ride, by rockync of The Swash Zone

I applaud Kaci Hickox for defying the reactionary political hacks and demanding release from a mandatory quarantine but I also fear for her safety. The pols and the media have managed to create yet more hysteria and hype which of course has brought out the craziest of the crazies. 

The comments concerning Kaci have run from take her nursing license, send her back to Africa to charge her with murder if anyone becomes infected and dies of ebola in Maine. 

Kaci does have the support of much of the actual medical community. HERE is a article from the New England Journal of Medicine which reads in part: "We have very strong reason to believe that transmission occurs when the viral load in bodily fluids is high, on the order of millions of virions per microliter. This recognition has led to the dictum that an asymptomatic person is not contagious; field experience in West Africa has shown that conclusion to be valid. Therefore, an asymptomatic health care worker returning from treating patients with Ebola, even if he or she were infected, would not be contagious. Furthermore, we now know that fever precedes the contagious stage, allowing workers who are unknowingly infected to identify themselves before they become a threat to their community." 

The ANA (American Nurses Association) has also made a statement HERE in regards to mandatory quarantine. This reads in part: 

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) opposes the mandatory quarantine of health care professionals who return to the United States from West African nations where Ebola is widespread. ANA supports registered nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, in her challenge of a 21-day quarantine imposed by state officials in Maine, her home state." 

There have been a total of 9 cases of ebola on American soil. Thomas Duncan is the only one who unknowingly brought it with him from West Africa and subsequently died of the illness. Of all the people he was in contact with, including family members who shared living quarters, only two people were actually infected with ebola from Mr Duncan and that was the two nurses who either broke protocol or were inadequately prepared by their hospital administration. Of all the people they came in to contact with, NONE have come down with ebola. The other six ebola cases were all Americans working in West Africa who were knowingly returned to the US for treatment in Atlanta, Nebraska and Oklahoma. No health care workers have become infected from treating these patients and they have all recovered. 

Now that the flu season is upon us, let's take a look at that. Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans come down with the flu. Of those 20,000-40,000 die from complications of the flu. Every year people go to work and interact with others while knowingly or unknowingly being infected with the flu. Unlike ebola where you have to symptomatic to be infectious, with the flu you have a 1-4 day incubation period and you can be infectious at least one day BEFORE symptoms appear! 

Can you imagine applying the same hair-brained logic to the flu as to ebola? Mandatory quarantine if you come in to contact with someone who has the flu. If you go to work with the flu and your co-worker's 90 year old Aunt Louise dies two weeks later from complications of the flu, you should be charged with murder. And if you won't stay home and you have an Asian strain of flu then we should just pack you up and send you and your flu to Asia! 

People need to get a grip and community leaders need to grow a brain - caving to public hysteria and pandering to the fear mongers because it is an election year is some of the WORST reasons to make unreasonable demands on decent, caring people who go above and beyond to do the work they love. 

We DO NOT have an ebola epidemic in the United States and there has NOT been a state of emergency declared anywhere in the United States due to ebola so therefore any mandatory quarantine is a criminal offense called unlawful restraint or kidnapping. 

This is the same kind of ignorance and irrational fear that led to witch burnings and the Grand Inquisition.


(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Absolutely, Kaci Hickox is well within her rights to challenge – not a legitimate legal authority in this instance – but an authoritarian mindset that trades on fear mongering, demagoguery and ignorance. Absolutely, the belligerent Governor “La Plague” is depriving her of her human rights. Unless there is a court order to the contrary, Ms. Hickox has every right to attend to her own business without state interference … as is the right of every citizen.

Shame on the governors of New Jersey (Governor Bridge Bully), New York (Governor Pro Domo), and Louisiana (Governor Jingo) for abusing their powers - fat egos aspiring to the rank of alpha chimpanzee among human beings!

Here’s an older article worth reading: Why Even Educated Conservatives Deny Science. “Mega amygdala megalomaniacs” I call them!

skudrunner said...

We can give credit to the news media for most things that turn into a panic and the ebola frenzy is no exception.

Why didn't she just go for a bike ride and not announce it, could it be to gain attention?

There does not seem to be a consensus from the gooberment as to what the policy should be. CDC differs with the military who differs from the states.

Maybe a good policy would be to stay out of crowds for 21 days because this is not an airborne disease, yet.

Ducky's here said...

Who is better able to make rational decisions, Kaci, a dedicated Johns Hopkins educated nurse or Paul LePage, a bloviating Teabag hack?

Governor La Plague. Yeah, he's a plague alright.

Then Booby Jindal blocks attendees at an important medical conference... and it drags on.

skudrunner, I think it is naive to blame Hickox for the attention this has attracted and not the hollow strutters on the political stage like Cuomo, Christie, Jindal and La Page as well as the media who want to turn this into a ratings feast.
Hickox is the principled one here.

Srta. Pregunta said...

How many people just this week commented that it only makes sense to quarantine asymptomatic people “just to be safe,” and then went to work while they have the flu?

rockync said...

Srta - the level of hypocrisy is astounding. People think nothing of spreading all sorts of illnesses which are much easier to catch such as the flu, Hep A, etc but expect a healthy person to remain under what amounts to house arrest for 21 days for no good reason at all. In the face of the current data,"just to be safe" is not a valid reason.

rockync said...

skudrunner - I don't think she announced her bike ride but the police and media were camped on her door step so it became a news event.

rockync said...

Ducky - totally agree, medical community should be making these decisions, not political hacks.

Rational Nation USA said...

SKUDRUNER, FOX News and Tea Bag Central, purveyors of hysteria and fear.

That's it in a tea pot.

okjimm said...

sheesh....ok, and just saying...why can't the news be like the know...each team has to take a bye week.

Like, no Ebola this week, then Benhazi has a week off....Boehner gets put on IR.....oh, oh, and we could trade Putin to Ireland....gees and instead of elections...LET'S JUST PUNT!!!!

ok, happy hour...gotta shower and go. Can't have a Post game unless you have the game.

Ducky's here said...

The court has ruled against La Page.

I still can't understand the panic.
She got a little exercise and took a bike ride away from town.
The town in question is Fort Kent, Maine so she was pretty much riding towards nothing.
It's not as if she were riding down Park Avenue, and even then she wouldn't be endangering anyone.

Oh well, the adults seem to be prevailing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky: "I still can't understand the panic."

I can.

It appears that the fright wing of the GOP are hoping this will turn into a raging epidemic so that they can continue to pile more onto President Obama.

So far, they've failed.

Because science.

One man who came here from Liberia died from ebola. One. Out of 300+ million people.

The medical people who contracted the disease and came to the U.S. for treatment are ebola free. The nurses from the hospital in Texas are cured.

The Cringe Fringe apparently are upset over this because they keep saying wait and see. It's as though they're hoping more people will die, just to prove, what?

What part of this by the low-information and high-panic ninnies on the right do they not understand?

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, with all due respect your hypotheses is less than scientific. It is based on conjecture and possibly bias.

While it seems obvious a certain segment of the GOP are willfully blind to rational thought your premise they are hoping ebola becomes a raging epidemic is, well, hyperbole and just as bad as the right wing hyperbole. You're better than to resort to devolve to that level.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, I qualified my statement by saying "it APPEARS the fright wing" of the GOP hope this will turn into an epidemic, not ALL GOPers. The extremists always believe the worst about the president, and part of their belief is that President Obama deliberately introduced ebola into the country (extremist pols AND pundits have stated this). So it appears those particular crazies would like to see the disease spread uncontrollably to that they can be proved correct.

Rational Nation USA said...

So, you believe the wack fringe is hoping for a real bona fide ebola pandemic because they can then point to Obama and say see, we told you so.

Assumption then is none of them have children, family, other loved ones, or friends.

Just trying to get my arms and head around the statement.

Shaw Kenawe said...

You're forgetting that these fringies hoped that Obama would fail BEFORE he was sworn into office. Did those fringe elements think about what a failed presidency would do to this country? A failed presidency would mean a failure in all areas that affect men,women, and children. It's an extreme position, but the fact is that many people hoped for failure. It's not far fetched to believe people who hate in that extreme would welcome a medical crisis so that their dreams of a failed presidency would be complete.

But that will not happen.

Rational Nation USA said...

A bit of talking around my point...

It is, conjecture and IMO hyperbole to inject the thought into discussion that anyone would hope for an ebola epidemic just so Obama would look bad or fail. That is beyond all reason as an epidemic could cost them their lives, the life of a child, parent, other loved ones, and friends.

There is such a lying as ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) and the statement in question is TPDS (Tea Party Derangement Syndrome).