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Ebola Outbreak Wreaking Havoc in West Africa; Is the Western World Next?

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history currently wreaking havoc in West Africa is sounding alarm bells throughout the world that it may only be a matter of time before it breaks out of the African continent and makes its way to the rest of the world. The outbreak, which was first detected in March of this year, has already killed 672 and has infected 1,201 individuals.

    Two American doctors who have been working with Ebola patients have become infected and are receiving treatment in isolation. A Liberian doctor has also succumbed to the virus, passing away on Sunday. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, one of the health officials in Liberia, was the first physician to die of the virus since this current outbreak began.

    Ebola is a difficult virus to detect and treat because patients typically don't show any immediate signs of illness after coming in contact with the virus. The symptoms take two days to three weeks to fully materialize, making it incredibly difficult to contain. There is no cure for Ebola virus and the mortality rate is anywhere between 50 and 90 percent.

    The virus has spread to three West African countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, and is certain to spread outward if doctors and health officials can not get a hold of the situation in the very near future. This outbreak has already far surpassed the most recent outbreaks dating back to the mid-1970's and has many health officials worried that they are on a race against time before it travels outside of Africa. The fact that an infected person can remain undetected for upwards of three weeks is a scary prospect for governments worldwide.

    Has anyone been following this story closely? What do you think the United States should do to prepare for an outbreak on its own shores? Multiple African countries have already set up isolation centers in their international airports to try to pick up passengers suspected of having the disease, but that is only a band-aid considering many people may not be showing any symptoms whatsoever and may not for weeks to come. Do you think it is inevitable for American airports to start doing the same thing in the near future? What else should or could we do to prevent it from spreading on American shores?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: The worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history currently wreaking havoc in West Africa is sounding alarm bells throughout the world that it may only be a matter of time before it breaks out of the African continent and makes its way to the rest of the world. The outbreak, which was first detected in March of this year, has already killed 672 and has infected 1,201 individuals.

    Two American doctors who have been working with Ebola patients have become infected and are receiving treatment in isolation. A Liberian doctor has also succumbed to the virus, passing away on Sunday. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, one of the health officials in Liberia, was the first physician to die of the virus since this current outbreak began.

    Ebola is a difficult virus to detect and treat because patients typically don't show any immediate signs of illness after coming in contact with the virus. The symptoms take two days to three weeks to fully materialize, making it incredibly difficult to contain. There is no cure for Ebola virus and the mortality rate is anywhere between 50 and 90 percent.

    The virus has spread to three West African countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, and is certain to spread outward if doctors and health officials can not get a hold of the situation in the very near future. This outbreak has already far surpassed the most recent outbreaks dating back to the mid-1970's and has many health officials worried that they are on a race against time before it travels outside of Africa. The fact that an infected person can remain undetected for upwards of three weeks is a scary prospect for governments worldwide.

    Has anyone been following this story closely? What do you think the United States should do to prepare for an outbreak on its own shores? Multiple African countries have already set up isolation centers in their international airports to try to pick up passengers suspected of having the disease, but that is only a band-aid considering many people may not be showing any symptoms whatsoever and may not for weeks to come. Do you think it is inevitable for American airports to start doing the same thing in the near future? What else should or could we do to prevent it from spreading on American shores?
    See also "the browning of America" this subject was discussed there as well.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    According to this NBC News article, Little Risk: Ebola's Just One Flight Away, But Risk is Low, CDC Says, the potential for reaching the US shores is pretty low right now.

    “Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population,” Stephan Monroe of CDC’s National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases told reporters in a conference call. It’s because you have to be in direct contact with someone who is ill to become infected.

    “Transmission is through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person,” Monroe said. That includes vomit, blood or diarrhea. “Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious,” he said.
    “People are not infectious prior to becoming symptomatic.”

    Yet the incubation period is 21 days, so the possibility of someone traveling to the USA could be a carrier. Hopefully such a person would be seeking medical help and isolated quickly. But if they don't?

    Of course if you are Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), then you are concerned that the children refugees from Central America might be carrying Ebola even though there is zero cases of Ebola in those countries. Sheesh.
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    I hate to say it, but it certainly does look like we are at the End Times. So many things are predicted in the Bible, and most people have just ignored it -- because they thought we all would live Forever. That human civilization had evolved so far, we could conquer anything that came along, and survive.

    But we have seen the Death of a Dream, that we could conquer Space & colonize the other planets. We had imagined that for centuries, & were so optimistic when we launched the Moon shot, after JFK set this ideal for us in 1963. We were in a Space Race with Russia, to see who could get there first, & be the first to inhabit the Moon. But now that is all on the ash heap, since we know it will never be done.

    And now the Mars exploration (by robots only) shows us that humans can never inhabit anyplace in our solar system, since none of the other planets has oxygen air, and water -- necessary to human survival. And it is impossible to carry enough with us, to stay up there for only a few days, & then get back home alive. The cost is unimagineable, so nothing would be gained, and it would totally bankrupt us.

    Plus NOW, we have no space shuttle of our own, so we are dependent on Russia to take us back & forth to the international space station. (that we designed). Think about it, we NO LONGER can manufacture our own space shuttles, because "Commie" Republicans sold the rights to manufacture all the parts & systems to other nations, so THEY get the jobs over there, & our stock market investors (GOP) here gets RICH while our own space mission is thrown to the ash heap. And the American people are out all the jobs & profits that could have been made right HERE, in the USA.

    But the Bible has been very explicit about End Times. It predicts that there will be severe storms & lots of earthquakes. (Look up how many earthquakes there are on planet earth every day, it will astound you). The Bible says it will get very HOT, (global warming?) -- and that there will be lots of Wars all over. (Hmmm -- it sure looks like a whole lotta wars are going on, just about everywhere, you gotta admit). And it says that there will be comets and asteroids falling out of the sky. (We have had a few of those in Europe fairly recently). It says water will get scarce, so people would be gnawing their tongues with thirst, but no water to drink. (Look at severe droughts going on now in California, & Arizona, with resulting wildfires & restrictions on water useage, as not enough to provide for all people living there). Then it says that horrible "sores & blisters" will be breaking out on people's skin, -- could it be Ebola? THIS IS JUST A FEW of the Predictions in the Bible. OH, this is IMPORTANT. The "Armageddon" is the FINAL WAR THAT WILL CAUSE THE END OF THE WORLD. Armageddon is a word that translates to "Plains of Megiddo" -- a very specific place in the Middle East -- it is the exact space where ISRAEL and PALESTINE & SYRIA are located. THAT is where the Armageddon (final war) will take place. As predicted by the Bible, centuries ago. BY THE WAY, do you notice any kinds of WARS going on there recently?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    eternal flame Wrote: I hate to say it, but it certainly does look like we are at the End Times. So many things are predicted in the Bible, and most people have just ignored it -- because they thought we all would live Forever. That human civilization had evolved so far, we could conquer anything that came along, and survive.
    The end times have been predicted to no avail for thousands of years. The Black Plague, which wiped out much of Europe, was considered to be the end of days. The 1918 Spanish flu, which infected more than a half billion people and killed 100 million of them, was also considered to be the end of days. Countless generations of humans have believed that they are so special and are THE chosen ones to witness the end of human civilization. They have always and will continue to be wrong.
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    It is so easy to "just dismiss" the very thought of End of Days ---- but YOU DID IGNORE the enormous amount of things that are OCCURRING NOW, not in some ancient times, ---- or just one or two little things that were predicted. But, pay attention that RIGHT NOW, almost EVERYTHING that has ever been predicted, is ALL HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, -- right here and now, in 2014.

    If you carefully read my post, you will see dozens of things that are happening RIGHT NOW, that have been predicted from hundreds of years ago. And it is not just a couple of things, but hundreds of things that are happening RIGHT NOW. The EVIDENCE is overwhelming, that certainly SOMETHING is happening -- whether it is the End of Days, or not. It is definitely some kind of world Phenomenon.

    The signs are Not, that any generation or any people are "so special" to witness the end of civilization. I never once thought that. It is basically the opposite, that we are going to suffer the "curse" of having to watch the end of civilization & all Life on earth. BUT it could be that all the signs are there, but it is not going to happen YET. That is perfectly FINE with me. I am definitely not in any rush to leave this planet anytime soon.

    I know that many people on the Hub are atheists or non-believers, which is their right. I never interfere with anyone's religion, or lack thereof. But I will gently remind them that approx 80% of Americans are listed as Christians, & I doubt we are all delusional or ignorant. The last time I checked, only about 2% of Americans were listed as Atheists. So understand that "believers" are still in the Wide Majority. And they deserve respect.

    Many believe the Bible is some kind of mythical old text of wild miracles & magical events. BUT in its basics, it began as the first written History of the ancient Hebrews (or Jewish) people. It records their generations of births (genealogy) & their struggles & beginnings with tribal disputes, & the lengthy time as SLAVES in Egypt. It tells of religious rituals & beliefs, and how that evolved over time. It tells of their enemies, & how they defeated several of them. It tells of the birth of Jesus, & how that evolved into the Christian religion. Jesus was born to a Jewish mother & father, & he studied at a Jewish synagogue, -- & many called him "rabbi" (which in Hebrew means "teacher.")

    The Romans crucified Jesus because they thought he preached about a new kingdom which would war with the Romans, & defeat them. (But Jesus' kingdom was not to be on earth, but in heaven). After he died, his disciples spread his message far & wide, to where the entire Earth has now heard the story of Jesus. (A poor baby boy - born in a barn - 2,000 years ago). Holding the Power of God in his tiny little fist.

    Now THINK ABOUT THIS. Let's just say that baby Jesus was really NOBODY, that he never did exist, or that he was just another illegitimate child, who happened to be captured by Roman soldiers & was crucified 20 centuries ago. That it ALL was just a Myth - holding in it No Truth at all.

    IF SO, why does the entire World celebrate a day in December, for the birth of a baby Jesus, born in a manger in Bethlehem 2,000 yrs ago?

    And why does the entire World celebrate a day in April, for a man Jesus, who after crucifixion, arose from the dead, on Easter Sunday?

    And there is only one man who ever lived on Earth, whose LIFE is used to measure the TIME & the CALENDAR of the World:

    The Year is NOW listed as 2014 A.D. -- (anno domini, the year of the Lord, 2014). -- (2,014 yrs since Jesus birth).
    And anyone born BEFORE Jesus, is listed as (example) -- born in 500 B. C. (they were born 500 yrs Before Christ.

    Somehow, I doubt the entire world would have set up their calendar to celebrate the life & death of an insignificant boy, Jesus Christ, ------ if he did not even exist. (But at least, it is a mystery to think about : )

    The Bible predictions of End Times are given in great detail, if you actually read them in my first post above. I tried to give at least a few dozen examples of things that were predicted, -- that NOW are coming true. Many times in the past one or two little things may appear, but THIS TIME, it is just overwhelming how many are coming true. (The Ebola epidemic may be a very bad sign).











  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    eternal flame Wrote: It is so easy to "just dismiss" the very thought of End of Days ---- but YOU DID IGNORE the enormous amount of things that are OCCURRING NOW, not in some ancient times, ---- or just one or two little things that were predicted. But, pay attention that RIGHT NOW, almost EVERYTHING that has ever been predicted, is ALL HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, -- right here and now, in 2014.

    If you carefully read my post, you will see dozens of things that are happening RIGHT NOW, that have been predicted from hundreds of years ago. And it is not just a couple of things, but hundreds of things that are happening RIGHT NOW. The EVIDENCE is overwhelming, that certainly SOMETHING is happening, whether it is the End of Days, or what. It is definitely some kind of world Phenomenon.
    It's easy to dismiss because the descriptions of the "end times" are so vague and/or so common that ALL those things are always happening RIGHT NOW. Earthquakes, storms, virus epidemics, war, corruption, mass murders, plagues, locusts, etc. All these things are constantly happening throughout all of human history.

    When the seas boil, the moon turns to blood and the sun goes out, then we can start talking end times. Right now this is just everyday problems that all of humanity has been faced with since the dawn of civilization.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "eternal" forget an old book written by "people" who did not live nowadays. Get real!! Just think about the billions of people on this globe and every continent. In the olden days their only attention was the "middle east" and the world was flat. So in order to destroy the whole human race you will need something more than ebola. Just think about the population in China etc. Also it is easy to isolate Australia, New Zealand etc.
    So don't panic; bibles are only pen and paper nothing else. I guess these "paper" books disolve faster than the human race.
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    I thank you two for being practical, in the face of possible world panic. I am a natural born reactionary if I see something that looks bad. I keep a fire extinguisher close by, even though I have nothing flammable. I keep an umbrella, even if it seldom rains. That kind of a person. While I am not in a panic, myself, I just enjoy keeping up on notable disasters, like the sinking of the Titanic, or several wars going on in the Plains of Megiddo (the place of Armageddon) etc --- since I don't think it has ever been as bad as it is right now. (Israel, Palestine, Syria, etc) are all trying to annihilate each other non-stop, with ever more lethal types of bombs & explosives. I feel so sad for the people living there who can't escape. And their poor little kids.

    Oh well, good thing I have my cartoon channel to take my mind off of bad things. Good old Daffy Duck, & Mickey Mouse, to calm us all down. ZZZZ
    Oh darn --- here comes Wonder Woman & Batman, -- to say there is serious Evil coming to Gotham City, --- & asking why the hell am I still sleeping?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    This conversation is about the Ebola outbreak. We already have countless religiously themed threads to discuss the end times on.

    While few people believe it, we are in the most peaceful time this world has ever seen. The mass media and the the fact that the world is so interconnected will make believe that the world is just falling apart at the seams, but that's just simply not true. Facts are facts.

    Now, can we all get back on the topic of Ebola please?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    As mentioned by Dutch, this conversation was started in the thread "Browning of America". I mentioned there that on the news they spoke about the great concern of this outbreak reaching or spreading to either: Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa or any other place with much higher populations. That could be a very bad situation because many countries are dealing with poverty, bad infrastructure, bad governments and poor health care. So while some situations are better than others (S. Africa is better than Nigeria) if this problem moved to a country with millions of citizens and active tourism.... it could escalate into a much bigger issue. I personally think that the US should consider travel restrictions until it becomes more under control.
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    I just finished reading your Ebola article & watching about 6 videos that were attached to it. They seem to be preaching Caution, so that people do not panic, but it HAS NO CURE. At least no easy injection or vaccine we could use, or anything else. Death gets 60% to 90% of the people infected, and it is relatively easy to get infected, even by touching dead bodies. Now when the doctors trying to help the African victims are coming down with the virus, and the natives are starting to "blame" the doctors for spreading the disease, it does not look too promising.

    Many African countries have already been infected, & it spreads (quote) "like a forest fire." Somebody can get on a plane with no signs of having Ebola, but pass around the virus to hundreds of people on the plane, & then also spread it around to hundreds in the airport. With all our modern technology, we are more vulnerable NOW, than in ages past, to passing the disease faster to millions of others, even in far off foreign lands.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    EF -- That's not true. A person must get in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person to get Ebola. In Africa, infected animals like chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines have helped spread the disease, but lately it has been advanced by human to human contact in areas without medical help or understanding of how to avoid getting sick.

    According to the World Health Organization, "Infection occurs from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles."

    It is not transmitted as an airborne pathogen on a plane. Of course if you are sitting next to a carrier and he sneezes on you, then yes, you could become sick your self. You wouldn't necessarily know that he/she is a carrier.
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    I agree that we might have to do some restriction of travel to some of those countries in the future. Maybe not yet. But the newsreel that I saw said that it can be transmitted even from the "sweat" of an infected individual. And on a plane, you can be sitting next to a person sweating, or sneezing, or drooling saliva, (even a child), & in the airline potties, you could even encounter some baby's urine in a diaper. (AAA will lower my rating for that one).

    Just now a little fly landed on my arm, & reminded me that insects can frequently carry disease. A mosquito could bite a person infected with Ebola, & later on bite somebody else. Or land in your soup. Whatever. Insects could become a danger in most tropical places. I guess the best thing to do is NOT go to Africa for a long time. Stay away from airports, & wear insect repellant. Avoid people who are sweating or drooling. (ha) There goes the family: )
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    We may have to limit transportation but I think it quite unlikely. Just about anything in this world can kill you. There are completely reasonable precautions to take and then there are very unreasonable precautions.

    Bug repellent would be a completely reasonable precaution. It's a small, practical step to take that doesn't interfere with life.

    Avoiding airports would be a bit unreasonable. If you need to travel, by plane is the safest possible way to do it. You can live in every international airport in the US for years and you are still more likely to die in a gruesome car accident than by a disease contracted at the airport, a plane crash, or a terrorist attack. I wouldn't suggest making an airport your new hangout or anything, (TSA might get a bit suspicious of a bunch of people suddenly loitering in the terminal.)

    Washing your hands is completely reasonable. Not touching other peoples' feces and urine is EXTREMELY reasonable.

    Somethings you can't reasonably avoid things. Shaking hands with a person who has a sweaty palm, a baby accidentally spits up on you, someone in line sneezes without covering their mouth, sometimes a mosquito does bite you. You just have to accept those as everyday risks that come with living in civilization.

    In short, there are risks with everything. The risks of an ebola pandemic in the US is so small that you shouldn't feel a need to make any major changes to you life style.