Sunday, December 14, 2014

Another Ebola Round-Up

Given the all but predictable info-dumps on the weekends, the latest:

(Reuters) Liberia's elections have gone from on to off and back to on, currently for Dec. 20th.

(WaPo) Johns Hopkins has designed a vastly-improved next-gen moonsuit for Ebola caregivers to wear.
Takeaways: it's months from production and distribution (if that even occurs), so currently it's total vaporware this side of next summer. Or perhaps ever.
It's also exactly the isolation spacesuit all the naysayers said we didn't need to use to keep health care workers from getting infected. It's amazing what a dose - or 20,000 of them - of reality does to all those cheery "We can handle this stuff" bull$#!^ assertions. Remarkably, you can't find those people opening their yaps about things now. How curious.

(CTV) Sierra Leone reports the 12th doctor there now infected with Ebola. At this rate, they won't have any doctors left at all in a couple more months, other than outsiders come to help. They've gone 1 for 11, with the other 10 dead, on previous MDs infected. Interns have gone on prolonged and repeated strikes demanding actual protective gear, and almost all the doctors who have been infected had it happen while treating patients in other non-Ebola areas, indicating the Ebola-infected are going to other (non-screened) treatment areas, and cross-infection has already or will soon wipe out the entire minimal health system in the country unless everyone everywhere is treated as an Ebola patient 24/7/365.

And the best of the bunch, from (NPR) : What Happens When You Let Illiterate Retards Run  A Crisis (quoted in its entirety, as it was just too good to chop up)
As part of Sierra Leone's broader effort to contain the deadly Ebola virus, the country opened a new ambulance dispatch center in September in the capital, Freetown. Along with a new Ebola hotline, the center is considered an important step forward in the war on Ebola.
But on the center's second day of operation, a series of errors put the life of an apparently healthy 14-year-old boy at risk.
The dispatch center is situated in a meeting room at the Cline Town hospital just north of downtown Freetown. Inside the room, a group of men and women are huddled around a table full of laptops. Safa Koruma, a technician, points at a message on a screen. It describes a possible Ebola patient, reported through the hotline, with the words "vomiting and very pale."
Koruma forwards this message — along with hundreds of others — to the nearest health official. A community health worker is then supposed to evaluate the patient and assess the likelihood of Ebola.
"Probable" Ebola cases end up on a large whiteboard on the other side of the meeting room. It's the master list for ambulance pickups.
Victoria Parkinson, of the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative, is one of the directors of the center. She points at a name on the board with the number five written next to it, indicating the number of cohabiting family members.
"We want to get that [person] quickly, because there's many people in the home that could be infected by," she says.
One of Parkinson's colleagues, Ama Deepkabos, writes down an address and hands it to an ambulance driver. "It's 7 Hannah Street, 555 Junction. Do you understand?" she says, imitating the local Krio accent. "Go directly to the patient. No other stops!"
The driver nods and hustles out to the dirt parking lot, along with a nurse. I attempt to speak with the driver and nurse, but neither speaks good English. They step into a white Toyota SUV with the word "Ambulance" in large red letters, and pull out of the parking lot.
Sierra Leone is in the midst of a three-day national lockdown, intended to slow the spread of Ebola, so the roads are clear. The ambulance speeds across town and is waved through multiple police checkpoints.
After two wrong turns and several stops for directions, it eventually bounces down a long dirt road in Waterloo, a rural suburb 15 miles southeast of Freetown.
The driver and nurse spot the person they believe to be the patient: a 14-year-old boy in a blue T-shirt slouched on a white lawn chair.
They get out and put on glimmering white protective suits, surgical masks and rubber gloves. They walk over and escort the boy, who is able to walk on his own, into the back of the ambulance without touching him. They kick the door closed behind him.
The boy's guardian, Suleiman Espangura, is the principal of a nearby high school. He recently took the boy, Ngaima, into his custody because his family was moving to a rural part of Sierra Leone, and Ngaima wanted to stay at his current high school near Freetown.
"He likes to play football," Espangura says of the boy. "And he's very clever. We [teachers] like children who are clever."
Espangura says he's unclear why Ngaima is being taken away in an Ebola ambulance. He says the boy doesn't have any signs of Ebola — no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea. He just has a headache and a slight loss of appetite.
But because Espangura had heard multiple public service announcements encouraging people to report any signs of illness, he contacted a health official and was told a community health worker would come to evaluate Ngaima. Instead, an Ebola ambulance showed up.
Espangura says the ambulance driver and nurse asked him if Ngaima was "the patient." Espangura said yes, thinking the men were here to evaluate him. Instead, they ushered the boy into the ambulance and whisked him away.
The ambulance rushes across town to a military hospital with an Ebola isolation unit set up outside — a series of white plastic tents with a blue tarp stretched around the perimeter.
The hospital guards, in military fatigues, tell the ambulance driver and nurse that Ngaima is not on their list of expected patients. A heated argument ensues. The driver insists that he is merely following instructions, and that this is the correct patient.
One of the guards eventually calls the head of the hospital, who consents to admitting Ngaima. The driver and nurse spray the back of the ambulance with chlorine and open the door to let him out. Ngaima steps out of the vehicle and disappears behind the blue tarp fence, into the Ebola ward.
A few minutes later, another Ebola ambulance arrives. The military guards are expecting this patient. But they say the beds beds are now completely full — Ngaima has taken the last one. The new patient is admitted anyway.
It's not clear exactly what went wrong here. But now, a 14-year-old boy with a headache is sitting inside an Ebola isolation center.

It's really heartwarming that Sierra Leone's Ebola response is being administered with the same tenderness and regard for common sense and patient outcomes as our own Veteran's Administration, by people that put the Keystone Kops' sketches to shame. And don't worry, if little Ngaima didn't have Ebola when he arrived in the treatment center, he soon will. 


  1. And that boys and girls, is why people stopped turning at Ebola 'treatment' centres

  2. Sssshhh!
    You'll wake the media up!

  3. A matter of perspective about real danger and manufactured danger, do these folks hate whitey? Fear cops? Do the marchers in the US hate whitey? Fear Ebola?
    A matter of perspective, Ebola or a white cop which scares you most.