Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.
Beth Emhoff Gwenyth Paltrow returns from a business trip to Hong Kong with a stop over at the Chicago airport, where she has sex with her former lover. Beth feels ill, but thinks the problem is jet leg. She travels back home to Minneapolis and spreads the virus to her son Clark and her husband, Mitch. Would society break down?
Would the military take care of us, explain things to us, or just do what they could without telling us what was happening? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
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Share this: Twitter Facebook More Pinterest. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Of these staff, 27 became infected with Ebola and 13 of them died. Investigations by MSF found that the vast majority of these infections occurred in the community, and not in its treatment facilities, which have an outstanding reputation for safety.vicentsoftware.cl/wp-content/omaha/6412.php
High-risk behaviours in the three countries have been similar to what has been seen during previous Ebola outbreaks in equatorial Africa, with adherence to ancestral funeral and burial rites singled out as fuelling large explosions of new cases. Medical anthropologists have, however, noted that funeral and burial practices in West Africa are exceptionally high-risk.
In Liberia and Sierra Leone, where burial rites are reinforced by a number of secret societies, some mourners bathe in or anoint others with rinse water from the washing of corpses. Understudies of socially prominent members of these secret societies have been known to sleep near a highly infectious corpse for several nights, believing that doing so allows the transfer of powers.
Zika: Where Are We Now?
Ebola has preyed on another deep-seated cultural trait: compassion. In West Africa, the virus spread through the networks that bind societies together in a culture that stresses compassionate care for the ill and ceremonial care for their bodies if they die. Some doctors are thought to have become infected when they rushed, unprotected, to aid patients who collapsed in waiting rooms or on the grounds outside a hospital.
As several experts have noted, when technical interventions cross purposes with entrenched cultural practices, culture always wins.
Control efforts must work within the culture, not against it. Traditional medicine has a long history in Africa. Even prior to the outbreaks, poor access to government-run health facilities made care by traditional healers or self-medication through pharmacies the preferred health care option for many, especially the poor.
Many surges in new cases have been traced to contact with a traditional healer or herbalist or attendance at their funerals. After the outbreaks began, the high fatality rate encouraged the perception that hospitals were places of contagion and death, further reinforcing the lack of compliance with advice to seek early medical care. Moreover, many treatment facilities, hidden behind high fences and sometimes draped with barbed wire, looked more like prisons than places for health care and healing.
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- Past Outbreaks?
Control efforts in all three countries have been disrupted by community resistance, which has multiple causes. Fear and misperceptions about an unfamiliar disease have been well documented by medical anthropologists, who have also addressed the reasons why many refused to believe that Ebola was real. People and their ancestors had been living in the same ecological environment for centuries, hunting the same wild animals in the same forest areas, and had never before seen a disease like Ebola. Equally unfamiliar were the response measures, like disinfecting houses, setting up barriers and fever checks, and the invasion by foreigners dressed in what looked like spacesuits, who took people to hospitals or barricaded tent-like wards from which few returned.
A second source of community resistance arose from the inability of ambulance and burial teams to respond quickly to calls for help, with bodies sometimes left in the community for as long as 8 days. The communities will comply with official advice if it benefits them. They are far less likely to comply if the result, like uncollected bodies, causes visible harm.
Burials performed by military personnel have been safe and efficient but not always dignified, especially in a culture that observes ancestral mourning rites and is accustomed to touching bodies of loved ones before they are buried in their finest clothes, in graves that are marked. Strikes by hospital staff and burial teams have further impeded control efforts. Most strikes occurred after staff were not paid for weeks or months, did not receive promised hazard pay, or were asked to work under unsafe conditions associated with the deaths of many colleagues.
In the face of early and persistent denial that Ebola was real, health messages issued to the public repeatedly emphasized that the disease was extremely serious and deadly, and had no vaccine, treatment, or cure.
Contagion vs. Outbreak
While intended to promote protective behaviours, these messages had the opposite effect. In their view, if death is almost inevitable, let this happen as comfortably as possible at home, amid familiar and well-loved faces. With time, and as entire households died of the disease, communities began to understand that keeping patients in homes carried a high risk for care-givers. However, the severe shortage of treatment beds, first in Monrovia and later in the western part of Sierra Leone, left families with few other options.
For unknown reasons that may include the stigma that surrounds this disease, the practice of hiding patients in homes continued in some areas, even after abundant treatment beds became available. The great stigma attached to Ebola explains why suspicious deaths are routinely tested for Ebola.
Bodies that test negative can be buried in the traditional way, and families are freed from ostracism by the community. The importation of Ebola into Lagos, Nigeria on 20 July and Dallas, Texas on 30 September marked the first times that the virus entered a new country via air travellers. These events theoretically placed every city with an international airport at risk of an imported case. The imported cases, which provoked intense media coverage and public anxiety, brought home the reality that all countries are at some degree of risk as long as intense virus transmission is occurring anywhere in the world — especially given the radically increased interdependence and interconnectedness that characterize this century.
All previous Ebola outbreaks occurred in countries with a number of long-tenured infectious diseases that mimic the early symptoms of Ebola and help keep the disease hidden. The initial symptoms of malaria, for example, are indistinguishable from those of Ebola. Cholera is likewise endemic in the area and caused a large outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone in that lasted most of that year.
Recent virological analyses have determined that the virus circulating in West Africa is genetically distinct from Zaire viruses seen in past outbreaks and in the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As scientists have noted, the virus in West Africa takes a different clinical course with different epidemiological consequences, although these differences do not affect the infectious period, case fatality rate, or modes of transmission.
In past outbreaks of Ebola virus disease and the related Marburg haemorrhagic fever, cases were concentrated in a small number of geographical foci, which simplified logistical demands. Under such circumstances, the principal responders, WHO, MSF, and the US CDC, could flood affected areas with staff and materials, hunt the virus down, and uproot it within several weeks to three months.
The situation in West Africa has been far more challenging, with cases reported in all or most parts of the three countries, including their capital cities.
The demands of addressing this broad geographical dispersion of cases outstripped international response capacity at nearly every level, ranging from worldwide supplies of personal protective equipment to the number of foreign medical teams able to staff newly built treatment centres. During , the outbreaks in West Africa behaved like a fire in a peat bog that flares up on the surface and is stamped out, but continues to smoulder underground, flaring up again in the same place or somewhere else. Unlike other humanitarian crises, like an earthquake or a flood, which are static, the Ebola virus was constantly — and often invisibly — on the move.
The Ebola outbreak demonstrated the lack of international capacity to respond to a severe, sustained, and geographically dispersed public health crisis. Governments and their partners, including WHO, were overwhelmed by unprecedented demands driven by culture and geography as well as logistical challenges.
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