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A Couple Things About Ebola (Update)

ebolaTo begin, let me say that I’m not a virologist and I’m not an infectious disease physician. I think, though, that there are a few things that need to be said about Ebola. First, it seems like the mainstream media would like nothing better than for us to be frightened. I guess if your fear index goes up they sell more papers and get more hits online.

According to the CDC, there have been 887 deaths secondary to Ebola. All the deaths have been confined to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Unlike HIV in the late ’70s and early ’80s, we already have a large amount of knowledge regarding the Ebola virus. Fruit bats are the natural host of the Ebola virus. Most infections have come from handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines. Ebola spreads through direct transmission. It is not an airborne virus. In order to catch Ebola it must be absorbed through the mucous membranes or through a break in the skin. You must come in contact with direct secretions/fluids from an infected individual or animal in order for you to come down with Ebola.

As far as I know, people like Donald Trump are not experts in virology. Mr. Trump, however, thought it was extremely important for him to weigh in on whether or not infected Americans should have been flown to Emory University for appropriate care. I’m sorry, but I don’t ever want to be in a position where I would need to ask Donald Trump about how to take care of complex medical problems. On the other hand, if I need to build a skyscraper or a casino, he will be at the top of my list. If the folks at Emory and the CDC can’t take of Ebola patients then nobody can. They are the experts in infectious diseases.


By |2014-08-06T21:50:30-04:00August 5th, 2014|Healthcare|2 Comments

Can things get even messier?

In Iraq, I mean?

Those that want to paint a rosy picture of Iraq have always pointed to two areas that had been more stable, areas where normalcy was on the near horizon. The Shia-dominated south, largely patrolled by the British forces was on the mend, and the Kurdish north was another area where things were all peachy-keen. Well, the south has been less and less a model of civility as Shia infighting is on the rise and British troop withdrawals are moving forward. But at least we have the north….. right?

Au contraire, mon frere……

Turkish forces have been massing at the border, with the Turkish public, the Turkish military leaders and the leader of the main opposition political party in Turkey all itching to launch an invasion across the border into Iraq. The target? Kurdish separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK desires a Kurdish homeland, and we keep hearing about the Iraqi part of that, but Turkey’s southeastern provinces are also mainly Kurdish in population as well, and they are also part of the picture. Martial law has already been declared in three of those provinces because of fighting between the Turks and the PKK guerrillas.

turkey iraq map (more…)

By |2007-07-08T02:47:19-04:00July 8th, 2007|Foreign Affairs, Iraq|Comments Off on Can things get even messier?
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