Bad Is a Relative Term

CDC Director: Ebola Outbreak ‘Is Spiraling Out Of Control’ « CBS Atlanta

Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people this year and the World Health Organization says there could be as many as 20,000 cases before the outbreak is brought under control. Last Friday, it spread to a fifth African country — Senegal, where a university student who traveled there from Guinea was being treated.

There is no approved vaccine or specific treatment, just supportive care to keep them hydrated and nourished. Efforts have focused on finding cases and tracking their contacts to limit the disease, which spreads through contact with blood and other fluids.

If 20,000 deaths is a worst case, then this Ebola outbreak would  be, more or less, just another day in the life for Africa.

Posted in Africa, Disease permalink

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Bad Is a Relative Term — 2 Comments

  1. Not even 20k deaths. The current ebola outbreak has a mortality rate of a little over 50%. Call it 11k deaths. (Claims of ebola being over 90% fatal are based on an “oddity” in how diseases are reported. Different strains of the same disease have different lethality, different communicability, and so on. The most deadly strain of ebola was decades ago. It was 90%+ fatal. That outbreak also burned out very quickly because it was too fatal. Anyway, the “up to” numbers take that value, rather than the more common 60%-ish, or the current 52%.)

    I heard on a BBC news podcast interviews with Liberian middle class citizens in the US. (According to the reporter and some of the interviewees, most of the Liberian middle class is currently in the US, between civil war and other turmoil predating the ebola outbreak. I don’t know how true this is.) Several of them claimed that this was not just a West African problem, it’s a worldwide epidemic because all it takes is one person flying to New York City and then it’s game over, so the US needs to Do Something about the epidemic. I’m pretty sure “do something” translates to sending money. Well, first of all, fuck you very much for volunteering my money to take care of another country’s problems. And second of all, I’m pretty sure that a 100% ban on travel from Africa would contain the problem pretty well. And third of all, if Liberia’s civil war and epidemic are so overridingly important, why are you dragging your dumb ass back home to deal with the problems? (To his credit, the BBC reporter asked a couple people that question. To my utter shock, they both waffled on the answers.)

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