PATENT No. CA2741523A1
US Govt. Holds Patent on Ebola –
|Publication number||CA2741523 A1|
|Application number||CA 2741523|
|Publication date||Apr 29, 2010|
|Filing date||Oct 26, 2009|
|Priority date||Oct 24, 2008|
|Also published as||EP2350270A2, 4 More »|
|Inventors||Jonathan S. Towner, 4 More »|
|Applicant||Jonathan S. Towner, 5 More »|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Classifications (21), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: CIPO, Espacenet|
Hysteria is driving the conversation on Ebola. On Twitter, Facebook, blogs, TV; everywhere you look and listen there are stories relaying shock and horror regarding a contagious and deadly illness caused by a virus for which there is no cure. Is all this hysteria warranted? Not entirely.
Seeing as how I’m a nurse, I get questions fired at me over and over about Ebola. I am going to address as many of them as I can here. This won’t be an exhaustive resource for the Ebola Virus, but it may help the laymen who merely wants to understand what’s going on, and how to avoid getting infected.
What is Ebola?
From the CDC:
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.
The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.
Wiki on the disease caused by the Ebola Virus:
Ebola virus disease (EVD), Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), or simply Ebola is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Typically, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally.
The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected human or other animal. Spreading through the air has not been documented in the natural environment…
Male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via semen for nearly two months…
No specific treatment for the disease is yet available. Efforts to help those who are infected are supportive and include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweet and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids. This supportive care improves outcomes. The disease has a high risk of death, killing between 50% and 90% of those infected with the virus. [more]
Although it’s being said that the virus has not been proven to be transmitted through the air, in theory it is possible if a person infected with Ebola coughs, and you subsequently inhale enough droplets containing the virus to become infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) has this to say about airborne transmission:
“Theoretically, wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently, could transmit the virus – over a short distance – to another nearby person. This could happen when virus-laden heavy droplets are directly propelled by coughing or sneezing (which does not mean airborne transmission) onto the mucus membranes or skin with cuts or abrasions of another person.”
Again, while spreading Ebola this way is theoretically possible, the WHO statement says there are no documented cases of Ebola spreading this way. When doctors and disease detectives interview people who have had Ebola, “all cases were infected by direct close contact with symptomatic patients.”
While the Ebola virus has been detected in bodily fluids other than blood — including breast milk, urine, semen, saliva and tears — there’s no conclusive evidence showing that the virus really spreads this way. [more]
More about symptoms:
- Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.
No FDA-approved vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) is available for Ebola.
Symptoms of Ebola are treated as they appear. The following basic interventions, when used early, can significantly improve the chances of survival:
- Providing intravenous fluids (IV)and balancing electrolytes (body salts)
- Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure
- Treating other infections if they occur
How can the average person avoid getting infected with the Ebola Virus?
[Avoid] direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home. [more]
This morning I was watching TV coverage of the Ebola outbreak and the likelihood of it spreading rampantly in the United States. In one story there were nurses demonstrating, holding signs and chanting. This particular group of nurses were calling for more extreme measures to be taken by hospitals in America, and that they are worried that we are not ready to care for patients here who are infected. Most if not all of these nurses were women. They showed footage of health care workers in Africa covered head to toe in protective garments, gas mask like head coverings, etc. We want gas masks too!!!!
Then, they broke to a story on a nurse convention where several were talking about how America will proceed with the care of Ebola patients, and containment. A male nurse eloquently stated that nurses, who will be on the front lines in battling this disease in America, have been caring for patients with highly infectious diseases for many years; that we’ve been taking care of patients with HIV, Hepatitis, and various other viruses and bacterias, and we know what to do.
Caring for Ebola patients will be no different. We will adhere to already established protocols. We will make sure you are all o.k.
I found it interesting that the female nurses were behaving in a hysterical manner, and a male nurse was able to calmly state the obvious. They don’t call unnecessary outrage hysteria for nothing. Get a grip girls. This is not to say that all female nurses are getting their panties in a bunch over the prospect of caring for Ebola patients. Some actually are able to understand that the only difference between Ebola, and other infectious diseases is the mortality rate.
Ebola is deadly. The average Flu can be as well, but not to the extent that Ebola is. So, although Ebola is highly contagious, it is not more contagious than many of the other diseases we are already caring for due to it’s low R0 number which is around 1.34 to 1.83. This is much lower than diseases such as Measles (R0 = 12-18), or Mumps (R0 = 4-7).
Nurses treat all patients as though they may be infected with something. We don’t treat an HIV patient any differently than we do patients with Flu, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, etc. except when talking about protective garb and/or isolation techniques. In caring for patients who are infected with something that is contagious, we do the same thing every time. We wear gloves, and in some cases gowns and masks. We wash our hands (a lot). We dispose of infected materials properly. There may a difference in the type of masks, gloves, or isolation techniques, but as already said, we already know what to do.
The general public does not need to be quite as anxious as they currently are. Avoid close contact with sick people. Wash your hands a lot. For those who are sick, cover your mouth when you cough, stay away from crowds, and keep your bodies and environment clean.
The main problem I see, is people being allowed to travel from the area where the main outbreak has been occurring, which is West Africa. If you are an American or other nationality going into regions where Ebola is prevalent, you should be expected to stay there until the outbreak is under control. Infected citizens of Africa should not be allowed to travel outside of that country to others. Our military should not be sent there (which they already have) to “fight” this disease, then come back and potentially spread it here.
Health care workers, infectious disease specialists, doctors, and nurses have been fighting Ebola for decades. We’ve attempted to educate those in countries where it occurs the most by raising awareness of what causes it, and how to avoid getting and spreading it, yet these people have failed to do much if anything at all to avoid becoming infected.
How many billions if not trillions of dollars of American money has been spent combating diseases such as this in African territories? Oh, just a paltry $750 million here on Ebola, or a few billion there worldwide on HIV. Yet, we’ve got patients right here who can’t afford their own treatment for every day illnesses despite the wonderful Obamacare thats been forced upon us.
It’s clear that there are citizens of certain countries that are ineducable. They have not yet learned to take care of themselves and avoid disease despite trillions of dollars, and decades of instruction and treatment. There is no way these people will ever evolve if we keep coddling them. This may seem like an extreme view coming from a nurse, but let me explain. Once I quit coddling and hovering over certain patients, they seem to take the bull by the horns and learn to get better on their own. It is possible for people to change, but not if we keep smothering them with our benevolence.
You cannot force ineducable people to learn. They have to experience complete life threatening disaster before they will change. We cannot do this for them. They have to evolve on their own, or they will never evolve at all. I’m not saying to never attempt to teach. I am saying that we should teach, re-instruct, then let them sink or swim on their own. They will either do and get better, or they will die. Why should strong nations such as America always need to carry these people from cradle to grave? We’ve been trying to save Africa from itself for decades. They have not responded by consistently evolving to a higher level of health and well being. Perhaps it’s time we gave up on them and move on to better educating and saving our own people?
So, to recap on Ebola:
- Yes, it’s deadly.
- No, you will not get it if you take basic precautions that you do with any sick person.
- No, you do not need to get hysterical over it.
- No, we should not be expected to fight a disease that is rampant in a country where it always will be.
- People from countries where the outbreak is rampant should not be allowed to travel to other countries until the virus is contained and under control.
Any questions? Please feel free to ask them and I will do my best to get an answer for you.
Source and find more: returnofqueens.com
Find more: ‘Business With Disease’