Charlie Sheen’s announcement that he is HIV positive has created a huge uproar as critics attack him from every direction, but the truth is that Charlie Sheen is simply a reflection of our society as a whole. You see, the truth is that it isn’t just big Hollywood stars that are engaged in insanely risky sexual behavior. According to the CDC, there are 110 million cases of sexually-transmitted disease in America today, and another 20 million STD cases are added to that total every year. The United States has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world, and more than half of all Americans will have a sexually-transmitted disease at some point during their lives. Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the U.S. has at least one sexually transmitted disease, and our nation spends $16,000,000,000 a year treating STDs. So go ahead and point a finger at Charlie Sheen if you want, but just remember that he is only a very small part of a raging national epidemic.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am certainly not defending Charlie Sheen. I am simply pointing out our hypocrisy. We love to tear others down while not realizing our own faults.
On Tuesday morning, Charlie Sheen told the world that he is HIV positive. The following is how USA Today announced the story…
Charlie Sheen is HIV positive, he told Matt Lauer during a much-touted exclusive Today show interview Tuesday morning.
The actor, whose drug use, rehab stints, legal issues, outbursts, on-set antics and many romantic entanglements have shaped his bad-boy image, confirmed the news, which had been swirling since Monday.
Of course Charlie Sheen is not being criticized for being HIV positive. Rather, the reason why so many people are jumping on him is because he continued to have unprotected sex even after he learned that he had HIV…
When Lauer asked Sheen if he had engaged in unprotected sex since his diagnosis, the actor responded in the affirmative. “The two people I did that with were under the care of my doctor and they were completely warned ahead of time.”
Talk about stupid.
And yet millions of other Americans are also running around having casual sex with people even after becoming infected with a sexually-transmitted disease.
For example, let’s take a look at chlamydia. According to the CDC, last year we broke the all-time record for the number of new chlamydia cases reported…
Chlamydia cases had dipped in 2013, but last year’s total of more than 1.4 million — or 456 cases per 100,000 — was the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC.
The chlamydia rate was up almost three percent from 2013, new figures revealed.
The CDC is also reporting that cases of gonorrhea and syphilis are rising as well…
The CDC report revealed gonorrhea cases totaled 350,062, up five percent from 2013, and the most contagious forms of syphilis jumped 15 per cent to 20,000 cases.
What makes these numbers even more heartbreaking is the fact that our young people are being disproportionately hit by these diseases.
Of the 20 million new STD cases each year, Americans from the age of 15 to 24 account for about half of them.
This should not be happening. We have dramatically failed our young people, and the numbers just keep getting worse.
But instead of changing course and trying to do things differently, our entire culture continues to promote casual sex. As I wrote about just recently, the average American spends an average of 293 minutes a day watching television. And these days it is hard to find any show on television that is not talking about sex, and sometimes the commercials are the worst. I get so disgusted when I am trying to watch a football game and a Viagra commercial comes on. The reason I get so disgusted is that I know that millions of little boys are watching the games along with their fathers, and these commercials are communicating things to them that they do not need to know yet.
We need to teach our young people that there are rules, and that there can be very serious consequences for breaking those rules.
Above, I wrote about the latest numbers for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, but there are other STDs that are raging out of control as well. The following statistics for HBV, genital herpes and HPV come from the American Sexual Health Association…
- One out of 20 people in the United States will get infected with hepatitis B (HBV) some time during their lives. Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than HIV.
- Approximately half of HBV infections are transmitted sexually. HBV is linked to chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- It is estimated that as many as one in five Americans have genital herpes, a lifelong (but manageable) infection, yet up to 90 percent of those with herpes are unaware they have it.
- With more than 50 million adults in the US with genital herpes and up to 776,000 new infections each year, some estimates suggest that by 2025 up to 40% of all men and half of all women could be infected.
- Over 14 million people acquire HPV each year, and by age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we have a massive problem in this country.
But we certainly don’t want to hear about “morality”, do we?
We don’t want it anywhere in our schools, in our courts, in our government or in our entertainment.
We just want to do whatever we want to do, but then we are shocked when we learn that there are very serious consequences for being so reckless.
This STD epidemic is going to continue to rage out of control until we find a solution.
So how do we solve this problem?
Is there any hope that things can be turned around?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
Barack Obama and the head of the CDC need to quit saying that we know exactly how Ebola spreads. Because the truth is that there is much about this virus that we simply do not know. For example, a top Ebola scientist that is working in the heart of the outbreak in Liberia says that this version of Ebola looks like it could be “a very different bug” from past versions. Other leading scientists are echoing his concerns. And yet Barack Obama and Thomas Frieden continue to publicly proclaim that we know precisely how this virus behaves. Not only is that bad science, but it could also potentially result in the unnecessary deaths of a very large number of people. For example, Obama has refused to implement an Ebola travel ban because he is greatly underestimating the seriousness of this virus. This decision could turn out to be incredibly costly. If what you will read about below is true, we could be dealing with some sort of “super Ebola” that nobody has ever seen before.
Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is on the front lines fighting this disease in Liberia. He is one of the top authorities in the world on Ebola, and what his team has been seeing under the microscope is incredibly sobering…
Now U.S. scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease believes the current Ebola outbreak may be caused by an infection that spreads more easily than it did before.
Dr Jahrling explained that his team, who are working in the epicentre of the crisis in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, are seeing that the viral loads in Ebola patients are much higher than they are used to seeing.
He told Vox.com: ‘We are using tests now that weren’t using in the past, but there seems to be a belief that the virus load is higher in these patients [today] than what we have seen before. If true, that’s a very different bug.
‘I have a field team in Monrovia. They are running [tests]. They are telling me that viral loads are coming up very quickly and really high, higher than they are used to seeing.
‘It may be that the virus burns hotter and quicker.’
Other top scientists are making similar observations.
The following comes from a recent article posted on Washington’s Blog…
The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Michael Osterholm – is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert.
Dr. Osterholm just gave a talk shown on C-Span explaining that a top Ebola virologist – the Head of Special Pathogens at Canada’s health agency, Gary Kobinger – has found that the current strain of Ebola appears to be much worse than any strain seen before … and that the current virus may be more likely to spread through aerosols than strains which scientists have previously encountered.
I have posted video of that talk on C-Span below…
But even if we were dealing with the exact same strain of Ebola, that does not mean that our leaders are telling us the truth when they say that it is not an airborne virus.
Just check out the following quotes from top scientists about the spread of Ebola from a recent Los Angeles Times article…
Dr. C.J. Peters, who battled a 1989 outbreak of the virus among research monkeys housed in Virginia and who later led the CDC’s most far-reaching study of Ebola’s transmissibility in humans, said he would not rule out the possibility that it spreads through the air in tight quarters.
“We just don’t have the data to exclude it,” said Peters, who continues to research viral diseases at the University of Texas in Galveston.
Dr. Philip K. Russell, a virologist who oversaw Ebola research while heading the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Development Command, and who later led the government’s massive stockpiling of smallpox vaccine after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, also said much was still to be learned. “Being dogmatic is, I think, ill-advised, because there are too many unknowns here.“
And I have written about this before, but so many people don’t know about this that it bears repeating. The following is an excerpt from a news story about a study that was conducted back in 2012 that demonstrated that the Ebola virus can be transferred from one animal to another animal without any physical contact whatsoever…
When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.
The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.
Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.
Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.
So when Barack Obama and Thomas Frieden get up and tell us that they know with 100% certainty that Ebola is not airborne, they are lying to you.
There is so much about this outbreak that we simply do not know.
Our public officials should be honest about that.
Instead, it seems like they are flying by the seats of their pants and just saying whatever they think will keep everyone calm.
We are potentially facing the greatest health crisis of this generation, and bad science and false assurances are not going to help anyone.
Sadly, Barack Obama just continues to make bad decision after bad decision. This includes his very foolish decision to send thousands of U.S. troops right into the heart of the Ebola death zone.
It is being reported that these troops are only going to get just four hours of Ebola training, and the Pentagon is saying that they “will only need gloves and masks” to protect themselves…
Troops from the 101st Airborne Division leading the military response to Ebola in West Africa will only need gloves and masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus, so said Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
“They don’t need the whole suit – as such – because they’re not going to be in contact with any of the people,” the commander of U.S. troops in Africa said.
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne will primarily be building hospitals, ultimately leading what could be a contingent of 4,000 American service members. They’ll be housed either in tent cities at military airfields or in Liberian Ministry of Defense facilities, Rodriguez said.
Soldiers’ health will be monitored through surveys and taking their temperature on their way in and out of camps. If a service member does get sick, Rodriguez said they will be flown home immediately for treatment.
Who is going to be held accountable when these young men and women start coming home sick?
So far the federal response to this Ebola crisis has been a parade of incompetence.
And yet we continue to be told that “everything is under control”.
I don’t know about you, but I have a bad feeling about all of this.
For the moment, our top public health officials are quite adamant that there absolutely will not be a major Ebola outbreak in the United States. But what if they are wrong? Or what would happen if terrorists released a form of weaponized Ebola or weaponized smallpox in one of our major cities? What would such an event do to our economy? I think that we can get some clues by looking at the economic collapses that are taking place in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone right now. When an extremely deadly virus like Ebola starts spreading like wildfire, the fear that it creates can be even worse for a society than the disease. All of a sudden people don’t want to go to work, people don’t want to go to school and people definitely don’t want to go shopping. There are very few things that can shut down the economy of a nation faster. Considering the fact that our big banks are being more reckless than ever, we better hope that we don’t see a “black swan event” such as a major Ebola outbreak come along and upset the apple cart. Because if that does happen, our Ponzi scheme of an economy could implode really quick.
Right now there is just one confirmed case of Ebola in Texas. If they isolated him before he infected anyone else, we might be okay for the moment. But already we are being told that there may be “a possible second Ebola patient” in Dallas…
Health officials are closely monitoring a possible second Ebola patient who had close contact with the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S., the director of Dallas County’s health department said Wednesday.
All who have been in close contact with the man officially diagnosed are being monitored as a precaution, Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in a morning interview with WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient,” he said. “So this is real. There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”
We have learned the name of the man that is confirmed to have Ebola. His name is Thomas Eric Duncan and when he went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last Friday, he told them that he was feeling quite ill and that he was from Liberia. You would have thought that should have set off major alarm bells. But instead, he got sent back home…
The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday.
The decision by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to release him could have put many others at risk of exposure to the disease before he went back to the ER two days later, after his condition worsened.
Thomas Eric Duncan explained to a nurse Friday that he was visiting the U.S. from Liberia, but that information was not widely shared, said Dr. Mark Lester, who works for the hospital’s parent company.
So a fully contagious Duncan had the opportunity to spread the virus around for another 48 hours before he was finally admitted to the hospital for treatment.
And it wasn’t just adults that he potentially exposed to the disease. It is being reported that he had “close contact” with five students that attend four different Dallas schools. Local media is reporting that the names of those schools are Tasby Middle School, Hotchkiss Elementary School, Dan D. Rogers Elementary and Conrad High School.
Predictably, many parents are already pulling their kids out of school in the Dallas area.
It shall be very interesting to see how many kids actually show up for school tomorrow morning.
But this is what happens to a society when the fear of Ebola takes hold. People almost immediately start shutting down their activities and staying home.
Over in West Africa, months of Ebola fear is starting to take a major toll on the economy. For example, the president of Guinea says that his economy is on the verge of complete collapse…
Guinea has been more successful in containing the Ebola epidemic than its immediate neighbors in West Africa, but the loss of revenue caused by the crisis has left the country in dire financial straits, President Alpha Condé said after concluding a round of meetings at the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. Condé said Guinea would need about $100 million until December to cover its budget gap, which will grow if Ebola is not tackled by the end of the year.
“The slowing down of our economies due to Ebola requires that most of our countries get some budgetary support … it’s going to be crucial that we get that support so our economies don’t completely collapse,” he said.
And things are even worse in Liberia. The Washington Post says that Liberia is descending “into economic hell”…
Liberia, the West African nation hardest it by Ebola, has begun a frightening descent into economic hell.
That’s the import of three recent reports from international organizations that seem to bear out the worst-case scenarios of months ago: that people would abandon the fields and factories, that food and fuel would become scarce and unaffordable, and that the government’s already meager capacity to help, along with the nation’s prospects for a better future, would be severely compromised.
If thousands of people start getting Ebola in major cities all over America, the same thing will happen here too.
A major Ebola pandemic in America would mean an almost total economic shutdown and basic essentials would start disappearing from the marketplace almost immediately. Just check out what is happening in Liberia even as you read this…
The basic necessities of survival in Liberia — food, transportation, work, money, help from the government — are rapidly being depleted, according to recent reports by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Even though economic demand would drop through the floor for most things, prices for food and other essential supplies tend to skyrocket during a major emergency. The IMF says that the inflation rate will hit approximately 13 percent in Liberia by the end of the year even though economic activity has declined dramatically. It is going to become extremely challenging for most families over there to feed themselves.
And as economic activity withers, tax revenues also dry up. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are all facing massive revenue shortfalls, and they are asking for international assistance.
But if the same thing happened in the United States, do you think the rest of the world would send us lots of money to help us pay our bills?
I don’t think so.
Needless to say, an Ebola outbreak is not good for financial markets either. News of the confirmed case of Ebola in Texas helped push down the Dow more than 238 points on Wednesday, and airline stocks in particular declined sharply.
If there are no more confirmed cases of Ebola in Texas, things will probably get back to normal for U.S. markets.
But if Ebola does start spreading and cases start popping up all over the country, that could be just the thing to burst our massive stock market bubble.
Let us hope that this is just a false alarm.
Let us hope that our public health authorities have everything under control.
Nobody should want to see thousands (or potentially millions) of fellow Americans get sick and die.
Unfortunately, scientists tell us that it is only a matter of time before another major pandemic of some sort ravages this nation.
When that happens, will our fragile economy be able to handle the shock?
Ebola continues to spread an an exponential rate. According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of all Ebola cases have happened in just the last three weeks. At this point, the official numbers tell us that approximately 3,500 people have gotten the virus in Africa and more than 1,900 people have died. That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace. One team of researchers has used computer modeling to project that the number of Ebola cases will reach 10,000 by September 24th if current trends continue. And if the spread of Ebola does not slow down, we could be dealing with 100,000 cases by December. Even the WHO is admitting that the number of cases is likely to grow to 20,000 before too much longer, and global health officials are now starting to use apocalyptic language to describe this outbreak.
For people in the western world that have never seen anything like this other than in the movies, it can be difficult to grasp just how horrible this epidemic truly is. In the areas of west Africa where Ebola is spreading, fear and panic are everywhere, food shortages are becoming a serious problem and there have been reports of dead bodies rotting in the streets. People are avoiding hospitals and clinics because of paranoia about the fact that so many health workers have contracted the disease. According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 health workers have gotten the virus so far and more than 120 of them have perished.
We have never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes, and the scary part is that this might only be just the beginning.
The following are 16 apocalyptic quotes from global health officials about this horrific Ebola epidemic…
#1 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic, and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now.”
#2 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “Riots are breaking out. Isolation centres are overwhelmed. Health workers on the frontline are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers.”
#3 David Nabarro, senior United Nations system coordinator for Ebola disease: “This outbreak is moving ahead of efforts to control it.”
#4 Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director-general for emergency operations: “This far outstrips any historic Ebola outbreak in numbers. The largest outbreak in the past was about 400 cases.”
#5 Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization: “…we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months”.
#6 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “You have a very dangerous virus in three of the countries in the world that are least equipped to deal with it. The scale of this outbreak has just outstripped the resources. That’s why it’s become so big.”
#7 Gayle Smith, senior director at the National Security Council: “This is not an African disease. This is a virus that is a threat to all humanity.”
#8 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined.”
#9 Vincent Martin, head of an FAO unit in Dakar: “This is different than every other Ebola situation we’ve ever had. It’s spreading widely, throughout entire countries, through multiple countries, in cities and very fast.”
#10 Dr. Richard Besser, health and medical editor for ABC News: “Emergency rooms are closed, many hospital wards are as well leaving people who are sick with heart disease, trauma, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, malaria and all the everyday health emergencies with nowhere to go.”
#11 Bukar Tijani, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization regional representative for Africa: “Access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in the three affected countries and their neighbours.”
#12 Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security: “People are hungry in these communities. They don’t know how they are going to get food.”
#13 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “This is for sure the worst situation I’ve ever seen.”
#14 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.”
#15 Official WHO statement: “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”
#16 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets.”
Despite all of these warnings, a lot of people in the western world are not too concerned about this epidemic because they have faith that our advanced technology will prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States and Europe.
But I wouldn’t be so certain about that.
So far, the most promising experimental Ebola drug seems to be ZMapp. In clinical trials, it has been doing very well on monkeys.
However, it hasn’t turned out to be a silver bullet for humans so far. Two out of the seven people that have received ZMapp have died, and as CBS News recently explained, current supplies are exhausted and it takes a really long time to make more of this stuff…
ZMapp’s maker, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, has said the small supply of the drug is now exhausted and that it will take several months to make more. The drug is grown in tobacco plants and was developed with U.S. government support.
Kobinger said it takes about a month to make 20 to 40 doses at a Kentucky plant where the drug is being produced. Officials have said they are looking at other facilities and other ways to ramp up production, and Kobinger said there were plans for a clinical trial to test ZMapp in people early next year.
The cold, hard truth is that Ebola is a brutally efficient killer for which we do not have a cure at the moment.
And what makes things even more complicated is that a different strain of Ebola is now spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A treatment that works for one strain of Ebola may not work on another strain.
So let us hope and pray that Ebola does not reach the United States.
If it does, it could potentially spread like wildfire.
If hundreds of doctors and nurses are becoming infected with Ebola, what chance is the general public going to have? This is not just a question that many of us are asking. As you will see below, this is a question that the World Health Organization is asking. When dozens of health workers started getting Ebola, nobody could explain how it was happening. More precautions were taken and health workers were even more careful than before. Then the number of sick health workers rose to 170. Even more measures were taken to keep doctors and nurses from getting the disease, but now just a couple of weeks later we have learned that a total of 240 health workers have contracted the virus and more than 120 of them have died. Overall, more than 2,600 people have been infected with Ebola since this outbreak began and more than 1,400 people have died. This virus continues to spread at an exponential rate, and now we have learned that there are confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When are people in the western world going to wake up and start taking this disease seriously?
The mainstream media has told us over and over again that Ebola “does not spread easily” and that we have nothing to be concerned about in the United States and Europe.
But if that is true, then how in the world have hundreds of doctors and nurses gotten sick? They go to extraordinary lengths to avoid getting the virus. The following is from an official World Health Organization statement that was released on Monday…
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa is unprecedented in many ways, including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected.
To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died.
During past outbreaks, a few health workers have contracted the virus. But once the virus was identified and proper safety measures were put into place, “cases among medical staff dropped dramatically”. Unfortunately, the WHO says that this outbreak is “different” and the virus continues to spread among medical personnel…
In the past, some Ebola outbreaks became visible only after transmission was amplified in a health care setting and doctors and nurses fell ill. However, once the Ebola virus was identified and proper protective measures were put in place, cases among medical staff dropped dramatically.
Moreover, many of the most recent Ebola outbreaks have occurred in remote areas, in a part of Africa that is more familiar with this disease, and with chains of transmission that were easier to track and break.
The current outbreak is different. Capital cities as well as remote rural areas are affected, vastly increasing opportunities for undiagnosed cases to have contact with hospital staff. Neither doctors nor the public are familiar with the disease. Intense fear rules entire villages and cities.
Needless to say, the fact that so many doctors and nurses are getting sick has created a tremendous amount of panic in areas of Africa were Ebola is spreading. Here is more from the WHO statement…
The fact that so many medical staff have developed the disease increases the level of anxiety: if doctors and nurses are getting infected, what chance does the general public have? In some areas, hospitals are regarded as incubators of infection and are shunned by patients with any kind of ailment, again reducing access to general health care.
The loss of so many doctors and nurses has made it difficult for WHO to secure support from sufficient numbers of foreign medical staff.
I think that the WHO has brought up a legitimate question.
If hundreds of doctors and nurses are getting the virus even after using protective equipment, what chance is the general public going to have?
Of course one of the big problems is the misinformation that is being spread through the mainstream media. We have been told over and over that Ebola can only be spread “through direct contact with infected body fluids”, but scientific studies have shown that this is simply not accurate. Dr. Ronald R. Cherry believes that this bad information could be contributing to the spread of Ebola among medical personnel…
We know that airborne transmission of Ebola occurs from pigs to monkeys in experimental settings. We also know that healthcare workers like Dr. Kent Brantly are contracting Ebola in West Africa despite CDC-level barrier protection measures against physical contact with the bodies and body fluids of Ebola victims, so it only makes sense to conclude that some — possibly many — of these doctors, nurses, and ancillary healthcare workers are being infected via airborne transmission. It makes perfect sense that sick humans, as they vomit, have diarrhea, cough, and expectorate sputum, and as medical procedures are performed on them, have the ability to shed infectious Ebola particles into the air at a similar or higher level compared to Sus scrofa (wild boar) in the pig-to-monkey study.
There had been hope that a “miracle drug” known as ZMapp could be used to save the lives of at least some of these doctors and nurses, but there is a problem. It turns out that some of the people that have gotten this drug have died anyway. The following is from a news report about one of these individuals…
A Liberian doctor treated with experimental American anti-Ebola serum ZMapp has died, a minister in the west African nation said on Monday.
Abraham Borbor had been improving but died on Sunday night, Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told AFP.
“He was showing signs of progress but he finally died. The government regrets this loss and extends its condolences to the bereaved family,” Brown said.
Meanwhile, Ebola continues to spread. As I mentioned above, cases of the disease have now been confirmed in Congo. Not only that, it turns out that two different strains of Ebola were discovered by the medical tests…
Numbi said that one of the two cases that tested positive was for the Sudanese strain of the disease, while the other was a mixture between the Sudanese and the Zaire strain — the most lethal variety. The outbreak in West Africa that has killed at least 1,427 people in West Africa since March is the Zaire strain.
So now we have multiple strains of Ebola being spread around out there.
And the truth of the matter is that even the authorities admit that they have absolutely no idea how many people actually have Ebola. As CNN recently reported, the WHO says that the official numbers “vastly underestimate” the scope of this pandemic…
“The outbreak is expected to continue for some time,” the WHO said in a statement Thursday. “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”
We could potentially be on the verge of the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
But in the western world there is very little concern about this disease right now. Most people seem to believe that it poses absolutely no threat to those of us living in the United States and Europe.
Hopefully they are right.
But what if they aren’t?
What would a global pandemic look like for a disease that has no cure and that kills more than half of the people that it infects? Let’s hope that we don’t get to find out, but what we do know is that more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines of fighting this disease have ended up getting it themselves. The top health officials in the entire world are sounding the alarm and the phrase “out of control” is constantly being thrown around by professionals with decades of experience. So should average Americans be concerned about Ebola? If so, how bad could an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. potentially become? The following are 25 critical facts about this Ebola outbreak that every American needs to know…
#1 As the chart below demonstrates, the spread of Ebola is starting to become exponential…
#2 This is already the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history by far.
#3 The head of the World Health Organization says that this outbreak “is moving faster than our efforts to control it“.
#4 The head of Doctors Without Borders says that this outbreak is “out of control“.
#5 So far, more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines fighting the virus have ended up contracting Ebola themselves. This is happening despite the fact that they go to extraordinary lengths to keep from getting the disease.
#6 There is no cure for Ebola.
#7 The death rate for this current Ebola outbreak is over 50 percent, and experts say that it can kill “up to 90% of those infected“.
#8 The incubation rate for Ebola ranges from two days to 21 days. Therefore, someone can be carrying it around for up to three weeks without even knowing it.
#9 For the first time ever, human Ebola patients are being brought to the United States. And as Paul Craig Roberts so aptly put it the other day, all it would take is “one cough, one sneeze, one drop of saliva, and the virus is loose“.
#10 This has already potentially happened in the United Kingdom. A woman reportedly collapsed and later died on Saturday after she got off of a flight from Sierra Leone at Gatwick Airport.
#11 A study conducted in 2012 proved that Ebola could be transmitted between pigs and monkeys that were in separate cages and that never made physical contact.
#12 This is a new strain of Ebola, so what we know about other strains of Ebola may not necessarily apply to this strain of Ebola.
#13 Barack Obama has just signed an executive order that gives the federal government the power to apprehend and detain Americans that show symptoms of “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”
#14 And as I noted the other day, federal law already permits “the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease”.
#15 According to the CDC, there are 20 quarantine centers around the country that are prepared to potentially receive Ebola patients…
#16 The CDC has set up an Ebola “quarantine station” at LAX in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.
#17 The largest health emergency drill in New York City history was conducted on Friday.
#18 The federal government will begin testing an “experimental Ebola vaccine” on humans in September.
#19 We are being told that the reason why we don’t have an Ebola vaccine already is due to the hesitation of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a disease that has “only affected people in Africa“.
#20 Researchers from Tulane University have been active for several years in the very same areas where this Ebola outbreak began. One of the stated purposes of this research was to study “the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons“.
#21 According to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, researchers from Tulane University have been asked “to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak“. What in the world does that mean?
#22 The Navy Times says that the U.S. military has been interested in studying Ebola “as a potential biological weapon” since the 1970s…
Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates — in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died — and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.
#23 The CDC actually owns a patent on one particular strain of the Ebola virus…
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as “EboBun.” It’s patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. You can view it here.
It is being reported that this is not the same strain that is currently being transmitted in Africa, but it is interesting to note nonetheless. And why would the CDC want “ownership” of a strain of the Ebola virus in the first place?
#24 The CDC has just put up a brand new webpage entitled “Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals“.
#25 The World Health Organization has launched a 100 million dollar response plan to fight this Ebola outbreak. Others don’t seem so alarmed. For example, Barack Obama is getting ready to take a “16 day Martha’s Vineyard vacation“.
Many are attempting to play down the threat from this virus by stating that unless you “exchange bodily fluids” with someone that you don’t have anything to worry about.
If that was truly the case, then how in the world have more than 100 health workers contracted the virus so far?
Health professionals that deal with Ebola take extreme precautions to keep from being exposed to the disease.
But despite those extreme measures, they are catching it too.
So if this virus does start spreading all over the globe, what chance is the general population going to have?
Feel free to disagree with me if you like, but I believe that this could potentially be an absolutely catastrophic health crisis.
Hopefully I am wrong. Please share what you think by posting a comment below…
If the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history reaches the United States, federal law permits “the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease”. These individuals can be “detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary”. In other words, the federal government already has the authority to round people up against their will, take them to detention facilities and hold them there for as long as they feel it is “reasonably necessary”. In addition, as you will read about below, the federal government has the authority “to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill”. If you want to look at these laws in the broadest sense, they pretty much give the federal government the power to do almost anything that they want with us in the event of a major pandemic. Of course such a scenario probably would not be called “martial law”, but it would probably feel a lot like it.
If Ebola comes to America and starts spreading, one of the first things that would happen would be for the CDC to issue “a federal isolation or quarantine order”. The following is what the CDC website says about what could happen under such an order…
Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.
Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.
Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.
In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are “police power” functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society.
“Isolation” would not be a voluntary thing. The federal government would start hunting down anyone that they “reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease” and taking them to the facilities where other patients were being held. It wouldn’t matter if you were entirely convinced that you were 100% healthy. If the government wanted to take you in, you would have no rights in that situation. In fact, federal law would allow the government to detain you “for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary”.
And once you got locked up with all of the other Ebola patients, there would be a pretty good chance that you would end up getting the disease and dying anyway. The current Ebola outbreak has a 55 percent percent mortality rate, and experts tell us that the mortality rate for Ebola can be as high as 90 percent.
Once you contracted Ebola, this is what it would look like…
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.
The “external bleeding” may include bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and just about every other major body cavity.
So how is Ebola spread?
Well, medical authorities tell us that it can be spread through the blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen of a person or animal that already has Ebola.
If you are exposed to the disease, the incubation period can be from anywhere from two days up to 21 days. But the average is usually about eight to ten days.
In other words, you can be spreading it around for over a week before you even know that you have it.
There is no vaccine for Ebola and there is no cure.
Not everyone dies from the virus, but most people do.
Needless to say, this is about the last disease that you want to catch. And the doctors that are treating Ebola patients in Africa are going to extreme lengths to keep from getting it…
To minimise the risk of infection they have to wear thick rubber boots that come up to their knees, an impermeable body suit, gloves, a face mask, a hood and goggles to ensure no air at all can touch their skin.
Dr Spencer, 27, and her colleagues lose up to five litres of sweat during a shift treating victims and have to spend two hours rehydrating afterwards.
They are only allowed to work for between four and six weeks in the field because the conditions are so gruelling.
At their camp they go through multiple decontaminations which includes spraying chlorine on their shoes.
But despite all of those extraordinary measures, multiple doctors have already gotten sick.
For example, one of the doctors leading the fight against Ebola, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, died on Tuesday…
A doctor who was on the front lines fighting the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has died from complications of the disease, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday.
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan fell ill early last week while overseeing Ebola treatment at Kenema Government Hospital, about 185 miles east of Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown.
He was treated by the French aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres — also known as Doctors Without Borders — in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, up until his death, spokesman Tim Shenk said.
And two American doctors that went over to Africa to help fight the disease are now battling for their own lives…
Dr. Kent Brantly, who was treating victims of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, is currently being treated in an isolation unit in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, the AP reported Tuesday.
“I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease,” Brantly said in an email Monday to Dr. David Mcray, the director of maternal-child health at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. The Texas-born Brantly, 33, completed a four-year medical residency at the hospital, the AP said.
Brantly’s wife and two young children left Liberia to return to Abilene, Texas, days before he began to show symptoms of Ebola. They are being monitored for any signs of fever, a City of Abilene spokeswoman told the AP.
A second American, aid worker Nancy Writebol of Charlotte, N.C., is also stricken with Ebola, according to CBS/AP. Writebol had been working as a hygienist to help decontaminate people at an Ebola care center in Monrovia.
This is not like other Ebola outbreaks.
Something seems different this time.
But instead of trying to keep things isolated to a few areas, global health authorities are going to start sending Ebola patients to other parts of the globe. For example, one German hospital has already agreed to start receiving Ebola patients…
A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic.
A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche Welle reports. Doctors assure that the utmost precautions will be taken to make sure the disease does not spread during treatment. The patients will be kept in an isolation ward behind several airlocks, and doctors and nurses will wear body suits with their own oxygen supplies that will be burned every three hours.
Will Ebola patients also soon be sent to hospitals in the United States?
And of course there are many other ways that Ebola could spread to this country. For instance, all it would take would be for one infected person to get on one airplane and it could all be over.
Federal authorities seem to have been preparing for such an outbreak for quite a while. As my good friend Mac Slavo has pointed out, “biological diagnostic systems” were distributed to National Guard units in all 50 states back in April…
The Department of Defense informed Congress that it has deployed biological diagnostic systems to National Guard support teams in all 50 states, according to a report published by the Committee on Armed Services. The report, published in April amid growing fears that the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus might spread outside of West Africa, says that the portable systems are designed for “low probability, high consequence” scenarios.
Some 340 Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS) units have thus far been given to emergency response personnel. The systems are “rapid, reliable, and [provide] simultaneous identification of specific biological agents and pathogens,” says executive officer for the DOD’s Chemical and Biological Defense group Carmen J. Spencer.
Let us certainly hope for the best.
Let us hope that this latest outbreak fizzles out and that we won’t even be talking about this by the end of the year.
But experts are warning that if a major global pandemic does break out that millions upon millions of people could die.
If that happens, many people will go crazy with fear.
And we got just a little taste of some of the paranoia that an Ebola epidemic in America would create in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week…
A corridor of Carolinas Medical Center – Main’s Emergency Room was roped off on the first floor, near the entrance Wednesday.
A security guard was posted outside, to prevent anyone from crossing the line.
During a 4 p.m. press conference Katie Passaretti, who is an infectious disease specialist with CMC, said precautions were put into place when patient was brought in Tuesday night. The patient was traveling from Africa and arrived at the hospital around 11:30 p.m.
Around 3 a.m. the security precautions were put into place at the hospital, Passaretti said.
Passaretti said they determined the patient did not have Ebola. The patient has been discharged home.
It is not too hard to imagine forced quarantines and people being rounded up and shipped off to Ebola detention facilities.
In fact, if Ebola were to start spreading like wildfire in this country, many people would actually start demanding such measures.
For example, one member of Congress is already proposing that citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (and any foreigner that has recently visited those nations) be kept out of the United States…
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed that citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as “any foreign person who has visited one of these nations 90 days prior to arriving in the United States” be kept out of the country. He urged the secretaries to “consider the enhanced risk Ebola now presents to the American public”.
So what do you think about all of this?
What do you believe will happen if Ebola comes to America?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a “luxury item” for most American families? This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month. Leading the way is the price of shrimp. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of shrimp has jumped an astounding 61 percent compared to a year ago. The price of pork is also moving upward aggressively thanks to a disease which has already killed about 10 percent of all of the pigs in the entire country. And the endless drought in the western half of the country has caused the size of the U.S. cattle herd to shrink to a 63 year low and has pushed the price of beef to an all-time high. This is really bad news if you like to eat meat. The truth is that the coming “meat crisis” is already here, and it looks like it is going to get a lot worse in the months ahead.
A devastating bacterial disease called “early mortality syndrome” is crippling the shrimping industry all over Asia right now. According to Bloomberg, this has pushed the price of shrimp up 61 percent over the past 12 months…
In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.
This disease has an extremely high mortality rate. In fact, according to the article that I just quoted, it kills approximately nine out of every ten shrimp that it infects…
Cases of early mortality syndrome, which destroys the digestive systems of young shrimp, were first reported in China in 2009, said Donald Lightner, a professor of animal and comparative biomedical sciences at University of Arizona in Tucson.
The disease, which kills about 90 percent of the shrimp it infects, traveled from China to Vietnam to Malaysia and then to Thailand, he said. Cases also were reported in Mexico last year, Lightner said.
A different disease is driving up the price of pork in the United States. It is known as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and in less than a year it has spread to 30 states and has killed approximately 7 million pigs.
The price of bacon is already up 13.1 percent over the past year, but this is just the beginning.
It is being projected that U.S. pork production could be down by as much as 10 percent this year, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of 2014.
The price of beef has also moved to unprecedented heights. Thanks to the crippling drought that never seems to end in the western half of the nation, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.
Over the past year, the price of ground chuck beef is up 5.9 percent. It would have been worse, but ranchers have been slaughtering lots of cattle in order to thin their herds in a desperate attempt to get through this drought. If this drought does not end soon, the price of beef is going to go much, much higher.
As prices for shrimp, pork and beef have risen, many consumers have been eating more chicken. But the price of chicken is rising rapidly as well.
In fact, the price of chicken breast is up 12.4 percent over the past 12 months.
Unfortunately, this could just be the very beginning of this meat crisis. As I wrote about recently, some scientists are warning that we could potentially be facing “a century-long megadrought“.
And right now, there are no signs that the drought out west is letting up. Just check out the map posted below. It comes from the U.S. Drought Monitor, and it shows how the drought in California has significantly intensified since the beginning of the year…
And considering how much the rest of the nation relies on the agricultural production coming out of California, it is very alarming to see that the drought is getting even worse.
Right now, things are so bone dry in most of the state that it is easy for wildfires to get out of control. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a state of emergency in San Diego County because of the vicious wildfires that are raging there…
Officials ordered another round of evacuations early Thursday north of San Diego as gusty winds and near 100-degree temperatures offer little relief from at least nine fires that have consumed a 14-square mile area of Southern California.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Diego County, which frees up special resources and funding for the firefight.
The fires, coming earlier than normal in the wildfire season, are being fed by brush and trees left brittle by prolonged drought. They are also being whipped by a Santa Ana wind system that reverses the normal flow of wind from the Pacific Ocean and creates tinderbox fire conditions.
For the first time in its 14-year-history, the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks drought, designated the entire state of California as in a severe (or worse) drought.
If you do not live out west, you may have no idea how very serious this all really is.
For years, I have been warning about the potential for dust bowl conditions to return to the western half of the country.
Now it is actually starting to happen.
And we already have tens of millions of people in this country that are struggling to feed themselves. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity“.
So what happens if drought, diseases and plagues continue to cause food production in this country to plummet?
Those that have studied these things tell us that there is a clear correlation between food prices and civil unrest. For example, the following is a short excerpt from a recent Scientific American article…
Since the beginning of 2014, riots have occurred in countries including Thailand and Venezuela. Although they’re different cultures on different continents, these mass protests movements may all have one commonality; increasing food prices may have contributed to their occurrence. The cost of food has been steadily increasing in both Thailand and Venezuela; last month demonstrators in Caracas took to the streets marching with empty pots to protest food shortages. According to Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and fellow researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), events such as these may be anticipated by a mathematical model that examines rising food costs.
The events of 2014 aren’t without precedent; the price of food has provoked (and placated) throughout history, beginning in Imperial Rome when Augustus introduced grain subsidies. In recent years, the Middle East has been particularly affected by the cost of grain. Centuries after Egypt developed bread as we recognize it, the nation experienced a bread intifada – the country rioted for two days in January 1977 following Anwar Sadat’s decision to drastically decrease food subsidies. More recently, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, the price of grain rose 30 percent between 2010 and 2011. Then, on January 25, 2011 a new revolution began in Egypt.
Could rapidly rising food prices cause civil unrest in the United States eventually?
It won’t happen today, and it won’t happen tomorrow, but some day it might.
Meanwhile, you might want to start carving out a significantly larger portion of the family budget for food for the foreseeable future.