Ebola Nightmares

Up front: Shove your accusations of “panic mongering.” Someone has to ask these damn questions.

UK Ebola case feared after British man dies in Macedonia

A British man suspected of having contracted Ebola has died in Macedonia.

The UK Foreign Office said it was urgently investigating the reports.

A British citizen travelling with the unnamed man said they had not been to any areas affected by the deadly virus, a Macedonian government spokesman said.

And:

Later the government spokesman said the man’s travelling companion told the authorities they had travelled directly from the UK to Skopje.

Did he get it from the plane? If someone with Ebola gets bodily fluids onto a plane, is that plane then “hot” and able to transfer the virus to other passengers who happen to touch an infected surface?

And really, you better hope it was the plane that was “hot.” Because if it wasn’t, then there’s someone out there with communicable Ebola no one knows about.

Update: It wasn’t Ebola at all: British ‘Ebola victim’ in Macedonia did NOT have the disease and died after massive drinking binge, health officials say

Ebola crisis: global response has ‘failed miserably’, says World Bank chief

Kim’s warning that the global community was still not “moving fast enough” came as the Ebola virus claimed its first victim in the US and news of a case in Spain sent shares in travel and airline companies tumbling on stock exchanges.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

So I’m not the only person wondering about commercial airliners becoming “hot zones.”

And: Striking Airline Cabin Cleaners at LaGuardia Cite Ebola

“The workers are really worried because they tend to be exposed to bodily fluids,” including by cleaning out bathrooms on airplanes, said Amity Paye, a spokeswoman for the union.

The employees of Air Serv Corp. said conditions in general are unsafe, citing freezing temperatures, sweltering heat and gloves that tear too easily, exposing workers to potential hazards. The concern has recently turned to the Ebola virus, and not having been properly trained to reduce the risks, Paye said.

The front line of defense are worried too.

What happens if Ebola gets a foothold in a country where people blow themselves up, such as Iraq? Or an area controlled by ISIS? Do you really think a worldwide medical response would even be possible?

What happens if Ebola gets into China? What if a worker in a Foxconn factory assembling devices for Apple dies of it? Immediate import ban on those devices until everyone can be assured it can’t be transmitted — and if you think that’s going to be possible in China, where lying and cheating seems to be an ingrained part of the culture — not to mention a government that likes to cover things up — I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

It was unimaginable just two months ago that there would ever be a case of Ebola in America.

Yet it has happened.

While everyone was thinking, “It’s just Africans” dying, that narrow-mindedness and tunnelvision led to the disease escaping its “confines” and moving to America and Europe (Spain, and perhaps now Macedonia as well).

This crisis has been sold all wrong.

The only thing people seem to understand — and value — today is money.

If a Foxconn worker dies in an assembly plant, think of the effect even a few weeks of production stoppage will have on the worldwide economy. That Apple stock that’s been sky-high will crash to earth faster than the mythical Icarus. And how many other companies rely on Foxconn for production? The list is longer than you can possibly imagine.

We’ve outsourced manufacturing to so many other countries that an Ebola outbreak in one country can have a devastating financial cascade effect that would make the 2008 financial meltdown look like a weak performance by amateurs.

All of you greedsters out there, smug that you’re far, far away from Africa — the source of your wealth actually resides in other countries. So you’d better wake the hell up before your paper worth is revised down to zero.

Save this post.

Because if we manage to beat back Ebola this time, something else can come along later.

There’s always the flu.

Previously here:

Closer To Us Than Ebola
CDC’s Frieden Makes Claim. This Is So No One Forgets.
Chikungunya Virus Rages On
Hot Zone America
The Eventual Death Wave

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Ebola Nightmares

  1. Martin

    Here in Spain is all about this…And this is scary. Panic tweets all over. people are really very worry.

  2. Ric Day

    I’ve been expecting this since I read Laurie Garrett and Preston’s books on Ebola almost a decade ago. It was always obvious that a few infectious people moving from Africa to Europe and/or America would launch the virus into those continents.

    The nurse who died in Spain was infected by the gown she wore when working with Ebola patients. The guy in Macedonia – either the plane or (far more likely IMHO) another passenger.

    There was little incentive to work on cures for Ebola before now. The people dying were poor Africans and poor people can’t pay for state of the art drugs, at least not at the prices Big Pharma wants for them. Much easier to let them die. At least until the number of deaths and the TV pictures start to make that embarrassing.

    Foxconn and many, many other labor-intensive assemblers in Asia and elsewhere? Yes. Potentially a really big problem. Though not nearly as big as the garments and textiles companies, which are _always_ looking for the cheapest possible labor in truly 3-world countries.

    Time to stock up on life’s necessities and hunker down to weather ths shit storm.!

    • You gave me a bit of a fright. Went offline, so was out of the news loop. The nurse in Spain hasn’t died — yet(?).

      • She’s fighting bitterly for her life still. However, the Spanish procedures, communication and the whole treatment of the issue, dog included, has been an absolute farce. I recommend you to follow The Spain Report, an English-speaking publication about Spanish issues. They’re reporting really well about the circus that has been going on.

        Just an interesting tidbit: if she survives, she may be prosecuted for endangering the public. The people who made the decision for bringing back not one, but two NBQ priests in a situation where Spanish healthcare can barely make ends meet as it is will not.

  3. Martin

    This is a complicate discussion , what can you do with two or your people dying in Africa? The government ,yes,make a mistake because it wasn’t ready… but you cant let that people die there alone.Spain is not Africa. The Priest where old people. US also brought people back and survive. But there are much younger. I don’t know ,now we see as a mistake because of the nurse,but in that moment we all saw that different. just me.

    • You leave them to die, like you’ve been leaving all the other people who happened not to be Spanish. The Spanish taxpayer shouldn’t be fueling the wishes of martyrdom of the NBC priests, who have in turn infected this innocent woman.

      And don’t bring the US as an example: the American citizen who died took the plane to the US not knowing that he had Ebola. No other country has taken one person who was known to be infected before the flight We have taken two, not one, TWO old priests at huge costs (north of $1M each) and we’re patently showing again and again that Spain can’t handle infectious episodes. As we speak there is a Legionella outbreak as well which has taken 30 lives already.

      If the nurse hadn’t been infected, it would still have been a mistake to bring two old priests with nothing else to bring to the world but fear and suffering. The difference is that now the mistake is universally known and laughed at.

  4. tech lover

    Let’s get some things straight because I love your site and I am really embarassed to read articles like this one here

    – Embola is not air-transmitted.It’s like AIDS, and has a history of many decades in Africa.The virus population stays low and can NEVER be an outbreak because the virus itself is LETHAL, so virus carriers cannot infect a lot of people like AIDS does.

    – Please stop this “macedonian” nonsense.Macedonia is a whole region in northern Greece and this Slavian country is called FYROM (a region of former yugoslavia named by Tito).You are welcome anytime to visit real Macedonia, see the tombs of Philip II ( father of Alexander the Great) in Vergina and judge with your own eyes.Until then please do not spread propagada (it is really bad for your own reputation)

    – The patient in FYROM died from other causes, not EMBOLA.

    – I suggest eating less for dinner and stop having nightmares.Enjoy life like I know you do

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