Yesterday, the CDC issued this statement on their website
In addition, Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for disease control and prevention gave the following press conference:
Now, I'm not saying that the freaks have come out of hiding on this one, but if you want a laugh, go to the video on YouTube and read the comments! As expected, the tin foil hat society has chimed in with words like "chemtrails" and "apocalypse". I think it's time we put this into perspective!
Now, in no way am I going to downplay the importance of this development. This is a serious disease which, when left UNTREATED, can have a mortality rate as high as 90%. However, it will not be left UNTREATED here in North America. In fact, with simple isolation, hydration and antiviral treatments offered by western medicine, this number has been brought down to somewhere around 40% and 50%. Not that this is a great number, but it sure shows that ebola is not an automatic death sentence.
One thing that we do know for sure, is that the case that has been identified, has some significant points about it. The patient was free in the public, showing symptoms, for at least 4 days prior to being isolated. Showing symptoms means that the patient is able to spread the virus to others through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, vomit, semen, saliva, etc. The common entry points are through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. These are not new facts...we all probably recognize these facts as the same ones we talk about when discussing the spread of the flu or common cold.
Another disturbing fact is that the patient presented at the hospital with symptoms 2 full days before being admitted and isolated. This means that regardless of how many time we've been told that identification protocols are in place, they are not always effective. Why the patient was initially turned away has not been so far publicly disclosed, it is clear that there are holes in the protocol. This could be understandable, as the initial symptoms resemble those of the common flu.
With an incubation period of up to 3 weeks, only time will tell how far this might have already spread. It is not out of the realm of reasonable thought that this patient may have sneezed, coughed, vomited on, or urinated on (guys...we've ALL peed on a public toilet seat at least once right?) on his daily routine, thus possibly transmitting the virus. The person who contracted it can then develop symptoms and become contagious up to 3 weeks later, possibly somewhere across the continent...and the epidemic begins.
Now, I'm not making a call to action here yet, as that would be premature, but we should all be aware that this could become something serious in the coming days or weeks. Keep your ear to the ground, but do so in an intelligent way. There are already unconfirmed rumors that at least 2 other cases have been discovered, but so far, nothing "official" has been released. Please don't let panic govern your actions.
My personal approach to this is to observe the same protocols that I do when the yearly flu outbreak occurs. I avoid contact with those who display symptoms, wash or sanitize my hands often, avoid touching my face, and of course, avoid touching surfaces in public places...especially in public bathrooms.