Tag Archive: ebola


ebola deputyAs we continue to monitor the growing concerns of Ebola here in the US, a second potential case is now under observation in the very hospital that Mr.Duncan, the Liberian national who knowing came to US carrying Ebola died in. This second potential case occurred on the same day that patient zero died.

As of 3pm today the patient taken from a Frisco care clinic to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Oct. 8 exhibiting possible Ebola symptoms has tested negative for Ebola, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a statement Thursday that Micahel Monning remains in good condition one day after he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The hospital says Monning does not have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Results of further testing are expected later Thursday.

Officials had said earlier that Monning was hospitalized out of an “abundance of caution” after falling ill Wednesday.

Monning went to an urgent care clinic in Fisco, a northern suburb of Dallas, and was exhibiting enough symptoms of Ebola to trigger a preliminary screening, Frisco fire Chief Mark Piland said. He did not specify the symptoms.

Although I personally watched the news conference wherein Chief Piland did state that Monning had 4 symptoms typical of early bola.

First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes. (WHO)

I would personally questions what symptoms Monnig had that would trigger a preliminary screening and further testing especially given that just 5 days ago, a man and his daughter who were from Liberia were held on a plane coming into Newark International after the man was vomiting and showing signs of ebola. It only took health officials several hours to confirm that he did NOT have Ebola.

And now, as of 3pm today, October 9th, Texas Health officials are saying Monnig who entered the apartment without any protective gear does not have Ebola. However, according to the city of Frisco communications office, CareNow administrators have decided to close tonight and remain closed until the morning of Oct. 10 while the facility undergoes deep cleaning.

The CDC still ascertains that the ONLY way to contract Ebola is with direct contact with infected bodily fluids. However, just a few days ago on October 6th the World Health Organization put out an update bulletin about Ebola transmission.

“The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, feces and vomit.
The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.
Saliva and tears may also carry some risk. However, the studies implicating these additional bodily fluids were extremely limited in sample size and the science is inconclusive. In studies of saliva, the virus was found most frequently in patients at a severe stage of illness. The whole live virus has never been isolated from sweat.

The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.”

It is also stated in their bulletin that:

“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.”

So far, according to reports, none of the family member who had direct contact with Duncan have come down with symptoms of Ebola. But their time is not yet up.

What is most concerning to me is that officials from the CDC continue to deny what the WHO says about transmission of Ebola, and the CDC’s comments that we will see more cases of Ebola in this country.

Why does this need to happen? Also of concern at this time is that as more ‘suspected’ cases are found not to be Ebola is that we as Americans could be lulled into a false sense of ‘security’ that our government and health officials are ‘containing’ it. I would question if false positives are a potential threat. I would also question why decontamination is needed at schools and at the care clinic where Monnig was seen IF what officials are saying to us are true. Just my personal thoughts. Over abundance of caution or ‘preparation’? While I am not trying to strike fear into the heart of anyone, I am just asking questions that need answers before we see another case here in the US.

Stay safe, be prepared
Survivingshtfmom

stressimmuneWe have one great defensive team to protect ourselves in this world full of germs, viruses and bacteria our immune system. We are born with it and while not perfect, it keeps us alive in most cases if we ‘catch’ something and it has a great memory for prior foreign invaders.

Our immune system is what keeps us from having to live a sterile environment and it’s in our best interest to keep our immune system strong so that when some invaders comes a knockin’ we have a fighting chance to live. I would hazard to guess that most people don’t even THINK about their immune system and what would happen if it went bye-bye or was seriously compromised. Day in and day out we go about our lives full of stress and surrounded by germs. So, in this day and age when we typically don’t eat right, sit around a lot and stress out about everything and ding our immune systems with literally hundreds of different chemicals everyday what can we do to support our immune system? Fight STRESS!!!

Stress…stress can kill you and that isn’t a joke…according to Paige Bierma, M.A
“Some kinds of stress — very short-term, that last only a matter of minutes — actually redistribute cells in the bloodstream in a way that could be helpful,” says Suzanne Segerstrom, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky who has conducted studies on stress and the immune system. “But once stress starts to last a matter of days, there are changes in the immune system that aren’t so helpful. And the longer that stress lasts, the more potentially harmful those changes are.”
The fight-or-flight response (short-term stress) goes something like this: When a villager in Africa sees a lion charging at him, for example, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland to create hormones called cortisol and adrenaline, which have many different effects on the body, from increasing heart rate and breathing to dilating blood vessels so that blood can flow quickly to the muscles in the legs. Besides helping him run away, this type of acute stress also boosts the immune response for three to five days (presumably to help him heal after the lion takes a swipe at him).
When humans experience stress, our bodies react the same way that animals’ bodies do. Once the lion is gone, a zebra or gazelle’s stress level will return to normal, but humans have more trouble getting back to our routines after a stressful event, whether it’s a car accident or a divorce. We’ll think about it, dream about it, and worry about it for a long time, and that sets us up for long-term problems, says Robert M. Sapolsky, a Stanford University stress expert and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.
Over time, continually activating the stress response may interfere with the immune system. How this affects your disease risk, Sapolsky suggests, depends partly on your risk factors and your lifestyle, including your degree of social support.

Infectious disease and stress:
A number of vaccine studies have also found that the immune system of highly stressed individuals have sluggish responses to challenges. In one study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, a pneumonia vaccine was administered to 52 older adults, including 11 people caring for spouses with dementia. After just six months, the levels of antibodies produced against pneumonia in the caregivers had dropped off, while the non-caregivers’ levels remained stable. A similar study in which 32 caregivers were given the flu shot also found that caregivers received less protection from the vaccine than did a control group of non-caregivers.
If you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to get sick — at least it seems that way. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine actually found that higher psychological stress levels resulted in a higher likelihood of catching the common cold. The researchers accounted for many variables — including the season; alcohol use; quality of diet, exercise, and sleep; and levels of antibodies before exposure to the virus — and concluded that higher stress was to blame for lowered immunity and higher infection rates.
In the meantime, there is enough evidence to convince us that we should find healthy ways to keep our stress levels down, which is advice we got from our grandmothers: Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
“Stress is inevitable,” Spiegel says. “The trick is to learn to manage it, to find some aspect of our stress and do something about it. Don’t think in terms of ‘all or nothing’ but in terms of ‘more or less.’ ”

An immune system that is continually ‘working, working, working’ never gets a chance to recover so when challenged by an invader it cannot mount an adequate defense.
Learn to manage your stress!

Stressful events are a fact of life and they can be even little ones like too much noise or activity going on around you. You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations. Learn to UNWIND in a healthy way.

Stress management strategies include:
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
Practicing relaxation techniques or learning to meditate
Fostering healthy friendships
Having a sense of humor
Seeking professional counseling when needed
Learn to say no! Set yourself realistic expectations and learn how to say “no” when your workload or social and family commitments get too much.
Learn to switch off. Leaving the office for the day? Then it’s time to switch off your work brain as well as your mobile phone. Unless you need to be on call for work, there’s rarely anything that can’t be solved the next day with renewed perspective.
Breathe! When we’re stressed, we tend to shallow breathe. Try to take deeper breaths into your diaphragm.

But hey! There is good news on the stress/immune system relation using herbs called adaptogens and these can be included into your healthy diet as herbal supplements. According to Frank M. Painter, D.C.:
The body expends a great amount of energy keeping itself in a heightened state of readiness. When weakened by prolonged stress–be it caused by lack of sleep, poor diet, chemical toxins in the environment or mental assaults–the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis can be compromised, and illness can result. Adaptogenic herbs have traditionally helped prevent the imbalances that can result from stress and have therefore prevented or minimized disease. At the core of an adaptogen’s scope of actions is the ability to help the body cope more effectively with stress. Specifically, adaptogens recharge the adrenal glands, which are the body’s nominal mechanism for responding to stress and emotional changes. The adrenals, which cover the upper surface of each kidney, synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These compounds are responsible for the changes that occur during the fight-or-flight reaction.

Well known adaptogenic herbs are:

Ginseng
Suma
Ashwaganda
Astragalus
Schisandra
Jiaogulan

And while mushrooms are not technically herbs Reishi, shiitake, maitake mushrooms have been shown to have adaptogen properties also.

Homeopathy can also play a role in reducing stress levels when needed and be apart of an overall stress reduction program:
According to Claire Zarb LCPH, it’s advisable to start with a 30c potency and take every hour or so when the feelings of stress are at their peak.

Argentum Nitricum
Ideal for treating anxiety, caused by the anticipation of a big event, such as an exam, party or public speaking event. Dizziness and diarrhea may also be experienced, especially in the morning. People who need this remedy are often enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency towards being quite impulsive. They often crave sweets which usually make their symptoms worse.
Gelsemium
When a dull, heavy, but restless, weariness dominates you, think of Gelsemium. A dose before an exam or interview can keep your mind from drawing a blank. Heavy fatigue with muscular weakness means it’s great for flu, restless colds, diarrhea and dull, pressing headaches. This can be a very steadying remedy, especially to quiet, often low-spirited people who dread public speaking.
Nux Vomica
This remedy’s reputation is based on its ability to treat modern day complaints of indigestion, intoxication, and stress. Nux Vomica acts to neutralize both the effect of stress on the mind, and excess intake of food, alcohol and drugs on the digestive system. Nux Vomica offers comfort when travel, hangovers, busy schedules, overwork, or late night meals cause digestive and mental distress. Ideal if you’re a ‘workaholic’ who is easily irritable and tired.
Lycopodium
Ideal for nerves and indecision and especially good if you worry a lot and battle with self-confidence (too much and too little!). Digestively, it applies to acidity, gas, bloating, colic and constipation. There may be a fear of change, irritability, obstinacy, stage fright and exam nerves.

And don’t forget the Food!
According to Michael Ozner, MD, the top 10 stress fighting foods are:
1. Spinach contains magnesium, which helps improve your body’s response to stress and may prevent migraine headaches.
2. Asparagus is a good source of folic acid, which produces serotonin and helps stabilize mood.
3. Beef helps stabilize mood by supplying zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
4. Dairy products such as milk and cottage cheese provide protein and calcium.
5. Nuts and seeds are good stress-fighting snacks. In addition to containing vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc, almonds also provide vitamin E, which, like vitamin C, fights stress-related free radicals that cause heart disease. Walnuts and pistachios are known to lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds include folate, which helps produce dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical.
6. Fruits such as oranges and blueberries contain vitamin C, which fights cancer-causing free radicals. Blueberries also counteract the effect of hormones such as cortisol, and bananas provide potassium, which lowers blood pressure.
7. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can boost serotonin levels and limit the production of anxiety hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
8. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fat and potassium, which lower blood pressure.
9. Milk, including skim milk, is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12 and also provides protein and calcium, which can reduce muscle spasms and tension and soothe PMS.
10. Crispy rice cereal or corn flakes aren’t necessarily low in sugar; however, they offer B vitamins and folic acid, which reduce stress. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk for a stress-fighting breakfast.
Four foods to avoid:
1. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can cause anxiety and raise stress hormone levels.
2. Sugar causes spikes in blood glucose levels and increases insulin. This affects your adrenal glands, which regulate stress hormones and help the thyroid regulate body weight.
3. Trans fatty acids such as hydrogenated vegetable oil are found in many baked goods and can hinder the immune system and increase the risk of heart disease.
4. Alcohol puts more sugar in the body, and excessive consumption can damage the adrenal glands.
While stress is just one factor in keeping the immune system healthy you can see that there are ways of helping the body to defend itself against stress and boost our body’s resiliency against stress. So get moving, eat ‘right’ and get your SLEEP and don’t forget to add homeopathy and herbs into your life to LIVE! Your immune system will love you!

Stay safe, be prepared!
survivingshtfmom

ebola1The CDC tells us we have nothing to worry about, they got it all under control. Frankly whenever I hear someone say that I go ‘uhhuh’ and take steps to protect myself or take action of some sort without panicking. Panic is fear based ignorance. The more we know about something the easier it is to avoid panic. While I still strongly urge all readers to be prepared for social isolating (the only surefire way of prevention) it is my hope that this will give you some basic information (and not the half truths the CDC is putting out there) on Ebola that will help you understand and be more informed about the hemorrhagic fever, Ebola. At the moment it is NOT considered ‘airborne’ but I do consider ‘aerosol’ droplets to be airborne. See this to understand more. And if not ‘airborne’ then what’s up with the respirators?ebolaclean9

When Ebola first appeared on the world scene it had a death rate of 95% and often burned itself out very quickly. At this point it kills about 50% of those who contract it which points to mutation of the virus. Mother nature has a way of surviving all joking aside. You can’t infect if you kill everyone who gets it. Remember, it has been found still in the blood (which is why they are looking at survivors as potential sources of a cure and/or vaccine) and semen of survivors. If you want the most unvarnished truth about Ebola please visit the WHO website. Our government and doctors are NOT telling us everything we need to know about Ebola. But you will get the truth at WHO. Why are they not telling us the truth? To avoid panic of course. How’s that working? The government has even had the nerve to criticize the media for its reporting on Ebola. But we also have a balance on the other side of those doctors and others in the know who are getting the truth about Ebola out. They do a lot of talking with reassurances and little facts or half truths.

The information below I have taken directly from the WHO website.
Key facts
• Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
• The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
• The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
• The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
• Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.
• Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
• There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.
________________________________________
Background
The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveler only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveler) to Senegal.
The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
A separate, unrelated Ebola outbreak began in Boende, Equateur, an isolated part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus family Filoviridae includes 3 genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. There are 5 species that have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first 3, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014 west African outbreak belongs to the Zaire species.
Transmission
It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids (vomit, sneeze/coughing) of infected people and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.
Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola.
People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.
Symptoms of Ebola virus disease
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms(fever is one). (so far as we know, but remember it is mutating). First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
Diagnosis
It can be difficult to distinguish EVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. Confirmation that symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection are made using the following investigations:
• antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
• antigen-capture detection tests
• serum neutralization test
• reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
• electron microscopy
• virus isolation by cell culture.
Samples from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; laboratory testing on non-inactivated samples should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions.
Treatment and vaccines
Supportive care-rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids- and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. There is as yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available yet, but 2 potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing.
Prevention and control
Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization (isolation). Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Raising awareness of risk factors for Ebola infection and protective measures that individuals can take is an effective way to reduce human transmission. Risk reduction messaging should focus on several factors:
• Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animals should be handled with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
• Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from 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. And keep your hands off your FACE!!!
• Outbreak containment measures including prompt and safe burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola, monitoring the health of contacts for 21 days, the importance of separating the healthy from the sick to prevent further spread, the importance of good hygiene and maintaining a clean environment.

The WHO recommendations for cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids suggest flooding the area with a 1:10 dilutions of 5.25% household bleach for 10 minutes for surfaces that can tolerate stronger bleach solutions (e.g., cement, metal) Footnote 62. For surfaces that may corrode or discolor, they recommend careful cleaning to remove visible stains followed by contact with a 1:100 dilution of 5.25% household bleach for more than 10 minutes.

From the MSDS on Ebola:
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: In an outbreak, it is hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected as a result of contact with an infected animal (15). Person-to-person transmission occurs via close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection or after death (1, 2, 15, 27). Nosocomial infections can occur through contact with infected body fluids due to the reuse of unsterilized syringes, needles, or other medical equipment contaminated with these fluids (1, 2). Humans may be infected by handling sick or dead non-human primates and are also at risk when handling the bodies of deceased humans in preparation for funerals, suggesting possible transmission through aerosol droplets (2, 6, 28). In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1, 6, 13). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear. Poor hygienic conditions can aid the spread of the virus (6).

INCUBATION PERIOD: Two to 21 days, more often 4 – 9 days (1, 13, 14).

COMMUNICABILITY: Communicable as long as blood, secretions, organs, or semen contain the virus. Ebola virus has been isolated from semen 61 days after the onset of illness, and transmission through semen has occurred 7 weeks after clinical recovery (1, 2)

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS
: Ebola virus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid (vinegar), 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder) (48,49,50,62,63).
PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Ebola are moderately thermolabile and can be inactivated by heating for 30 minutes to 60 minutes at 60ºC, boiling for 5 minutes, gamma irradiation (1.2 x106 rads to 1.27 x106 rads), and/or UV radiation (3, 6, 20, 32, 33).

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days (23). Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4°C (39 degrees) for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70°C (6, 20). Infectivity can be preserved by lyophilisation (a method of ‘drying’) My input here…that means surfaces!!!

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Blood, serum, urine, respiratory and throat secretions, semen, and organs or their homogenates from human or animal hosts (1, 2, 35). Human or animal hosts, including non-human primates, may represent a further source of infection (35).

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation, respiratory exposure to infectious aerosols and droplets, and/or direct contact with broken skin or mucous membranes (35).

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Work with, or exposure to, infected non-human primates, rodents, or their carcasses represents a risk of human infection (35).

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Personnel entering the laboratory must remove street clothing, including undergarments, and jewelry, and change into dedicated laboratory clothing and shoes, or don full coverage protective clothing (i.e., completely covering all street clothing). Additional protection may be worn over laboratory clothing when infectious materials are directly handled, such as solid-front gowns with tight fitting wrists, gloves, and respiratory protection. Eye protection must be used where there is a known or potential risk of exposure to splashes (39).

OTHER PRECAUTIONS
: All activities with infectious material should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet (BSC) in combination with a positive pressure suit, or within a class III BSC line. Centrifugation of infected materials must be carried out in closed containers placed in sealed safety cups, or in rotors that are unloaded in a biological safety cabinet. The integrity of positive pressure suits must be routinely checked for leaks. The use of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects should be strictly limited. Open wounds, cuts, scratches, and grazes should be covered with waterproof dressings. Additional precautions should be considered with work involving animal activities (39).

SECTION VIII – HANDLING AND STORAGE

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply suitable disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact time before clean up (39).

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all materials for disposal from the containment laboratory by steam sterilisation, chemical disinfection, incineration or by gaseous methods. Contaminated materials include both liquid and solid wastes (39).

Information is now surfacing about the original ‘patient zero’ who happened to be a 2 year old. Patient zero is the starting point of a disease and from there it spreads to others building up until it burns itself out.

Here in the US, our patient zero is the Liberian man and yes, I do believe that they don’t have it under control. Sloppiness has been job number one from the beginning and while I do believe that we as a country are in a better position to make the odds of living after Ebola is contracted (which at this moment is 50/50 in Western Africa) why test it? Remember, all a virus wants to do is LIVE and REPRODUCE so killing every host isn’t helping it, so it has to mutate and I believe that carelessness (as seen at the airports and in Dallas) will be our undoing.
ebolaclean5ebolaclean6ebolaclean2ebolaclean4ebolaclean3

I do believe that simply because we have never had to face a pandemic in our generation, that there are too many holes in the system and cultural/medical attitudes that will allow this disease to spread here in the US. Not to mention that Ebola looks very similar in presentation to other, less deadly diseases so I do believe that cases, such as the man who lied to get into the US and landed in Dallas, will happen again and again until our government stops allowing people from the infested areas of Western Africa into our country or makes it mandatory to be quarantined for 21 days when entering our country from potentially infected countries. We have done this before…that is what Elis Island was…a point of entry and quarantine area for those who came to America potentially sick. This sounds harsh, but I believe in this case it is important to do until this current Pandemic is stopped.

Stay safe, be informed and be prepared. Knowledge is the antidote to fear.
survivingshtfmom

shelter in placeOkay, so you have come to the conclusion that it would be a very smart idea to get some supplies together. But where to start? Below is just a jump start to get you going. Your personal circumstances will dictate what you can and cannot do.

Just think this way: if you knew a hurricane or blizzard was coming what would you get from the store? And then make sure you get enough for at LEAST one month if not three months (which is where I would personally be most comfortable starting from nothing). Tess Pennington has a great resource for what to buy if you can do so. But there are a lot of options including 30 day buckets made by various emergency preparedness companies that range from $60 to over $200 per person. Keep in mind these bucket NEED WATER and some way of cooking/heating.

Short term food supply

Long term food supply

Both of the links above will take you to Ready Nutrition

For those on a tight budget facing potential mandatory lockdown (or voluntary if you are smart in live in a high risk area) you can subsist on peanut butter, crackers, tuna, and other canned foods that can be bought cheaply. This is something only you can decide on since YOU know your circumstances. But lay in your food storage now before real fear sets in. Remember your pet too. Do what you can with what you can when purchasing your food items. And buy only what you WILL EAT.

Do you have a way of cooking outside of the microwave or your stove? Do you have enough ‘fuel’ to last and sit out in isolation for a few weeks to possibly months? And the biggest question, is do you know how to use that alternative cooking method. If you answer no to any of these questions then now is the time to either get one you can work (NO CAMPING STOVES INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!) and make sure you know how to use it now and have enough fuel on hand for daily use for at least a month. Personally if I lived in a city or other highly populated area I would go for minimal cooking. Less noticeable.

Do you have water? We use so much water in our daily lives to do so many things…cooking, cleaning, washing. The school of thought is 1 gallon minimum per day per person/animal. Frankly, I like to get 3 gallons going per person just to have extra. I learned this after going through Irene with no power for a week. Water is KING. Yes, right now you have electricity and the water is flowing…but the idea is not to wait for it to stop flowing before being ready for it not be flowing.

First Aid items. What is in YOUR house? The last place you want to be going in case of an outbreak or potential one is the doctors office, ER or Urgent Care especially if you can take care of it at home yourself. Most coughs, sniffles, bumps and bruises and other things can safely be handled at home. If you are sure, get a good home first aid book to walk you through things. But remember, have the little things ON HAND. There is no going out remember? Not unless you absolutely have to do so. Isolation is the only sure fire method of prevention. Again, Tess Pennington has a great ‘get you started list’.

First Layer of First Aid

More First Aid

Medications that you take regularly. Is that prescription filled? Keep it filled and don’t wait until the last moment to do so. I know and understand that many medications are only dispensed one month at a time, but see if that is due to pharmacy regulations/FDA/DEA regulations or if its an insurance thing. If its an insurance thing then you may want to go ahead and pay out of pocket for that extra refill before its due. Don’t hesitate to ask the pharmacy if they have some sort of discount card available as many do. If things start to look ugly, don’t hesitate to contact your private doctor and discuss options with them. It does not hurt to ask!

Sanitation is how you plan on keeping things clean and the garbage taken care of. This is a tough one for those who live in cities. We can all think back to when the garbage workers went on strike in New York. YUCK! So it would be best to minimize garbage, but on the otherhand, if water becomes an issue then you will need to go to using disposable items (or better yet, eat out of the can, yeah, I know gross, but we are talking drop dead situation here, no pun intended). If you have power and sewage still going on then you don’t need to worry about mother nature, but what about Toilet Paper? Got enough for a while? And what if that good ole toilet stops working for some reason? Need to plan for that too and there are many ways of dealing with this issue. Don’t forget cleaning supplies too. I always keep waterless ways of cleaning on hand such as surface spray and those moist floor cloths (found at dollar store). And use paper towels.

Again, I will refer to Tess Pennington’s 52 Weeks to Preparedness:

Sanitation 1
Sanitation 2

This is just a start up to get you thinking about what you would need in an isolation/mandatory quarantine situation so that you do not have to go out. While we have not come to that point where it is happening, the potential is there and I hope you understand the potential threat and take action now. Hey, look at it this way, you get something together now and if you don’t need it great! Then when the next storm comes around you can sit back and relax…you got it covered!

Don’t forget to visit Tess’s website for even more information on how to prepare for any situation. She is an awesome lady with tons of great, reliable information.

God bless and stay safe!
survivingshtfmom

busy citydeserted city
There is no cure for ebola. There is no treatment besides supportive care for ebola. But there is one sure fire way to avoid contracting ebola. Isolation.

With growing concerns over the ‘first’ case of diagnosed ebola in the US many are now very scared. At this point in time, an entire apartment complex is on lockdown (quarantine) voluntarily. Family members and friends (including children who went to school after coming into contact with the sick man) are in isolation. Some hospital workers, ambulance workers and now some people who were in the ER when patient zero first sought medical help, are now voluntarily in quarantine. The schools where the children attended are being treated as a biohazard as is the ambulance that the man who knowingly brought ebola to the US was taken to the hospital in. The CDC is actively looking for people he may have come into contact with right now, and the latest number of people that are of high concern is 100 (as of 10 am on October 2nd, 2014). Currently, there is someone in Hawaii that is in isolation suspected of having ebola.

While at this moment in time cases and potential cases are isolated (that are known), ebola, as we have seen in Africa, this has the potential to turn into a pandemic. Right now, the CDC says it has a contagion rate of 2. That means for everyone person who has ebola, that they will infect 2 other people. Do the math, those 2 people infect 4, 4 turns into 8 and it grows from there.

There is research out of Canada that ebola maybe airborne or very well has the great potential to become airborne. They are saying that only direct contact with someone who is infected (showing symptoms) may cause infection. However, what they are NOT saying is this: Droplets from sneezing and coughing may cause infection. How? Through what I call the ‘sneeze cloud’. We all understand how the flu is transmitted, well, same goes for ebola in this sense, except with ebola, chances are about 50/50 of living through it.

Given that the flu spreads rapidly through populations (most quickly through highly concentrated populations such as schools, work places, malls, buses etc. any place where there is a high number of people) we have the potential for ebola following the same path ways. Door knobs and handles, table surfaces, cell phones and your very own hand. Any place that sneeze/cough droplets land gives rise to the possibility of infection. And just as with the flu, someone coughing or sneezing near you (towards your direction) that sneeze cloud contains the virus. And that can be quite a distance and can linger in the air. Once your hand comes into contact with the virus you can then become infected through a cut, touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And while it has yet to be scientifically proven, it wouldn’t be too hard to see how people could become infected due to the sneeze cloud.

If one thing becomes clear, it is that our very way of life (living closely together, handshakes, riding buses, constant touching of surfaces and then our faces) sets up a potentially dangerous scenario in which the ONLY real prevention becomes ISOLATION from others. There is a reason why those who may have been exposed are being quarantined (voluntarily, though I would place bets that some due to financial concerns will break it) it is because those in charge KNOW that the only way to stop a full blown pandemic from occurring is isolation. That means not going to work, no school, no shopping, no getting together at the local bar or playground. It goes even further. But the fact remains that social isolation is the ONLY sure fire way to avoid contracting Ebola. Period, end of subject.

Think about what this means…there is a reason why the schools where the children who were potentially exposed to Ebola by patient zero were closed (and cleaned up as a biohazard area) and why those children are in quarantine. Because officials know that isolation is the only sure fire preventative.

Are you personally ready to socially isolate you and yours? There is at this time no real reason to panic. And the best cure against panic and fear is to be prepared to stay home for an extended length of time. At the very least, be prepared to stay home (quarantine) for at least one month, if not longer. But start with one month and do it now. Waiting until official word of a epidemic or pandemic is not the time to begin. Now, before it happens, when the potential threat is present is when you prepare. Do it BEFORE officials make you stay home.

Basics of preparation for a potential pandemic is not that much different from preparing for a hurricane, except you are looking at a month, if not longer.

Get your emergency supplies together.
Food, water, medical supplies, sanitation needs, personal security. You want to get as much together as possible so that you do not have to go out. Remember, the only true prevention is limiting contact with others. If you question this measure you only need to look at what is happening in Sierra Leone right now. They started with a 3 DAY lockdown and now have an indefinite ‘quarantine’ in place in areas where Ebola has hit hard in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola. People are having a hard time getting food, water and medicine. The streets are empty, business are closed. These people were not prepared for a lockdown.

The ball was dropped many times in this last week by many people who are our first line of defense against infectious diseases. This means that while ‘systems’ are in place to protect us. WE the public become the last line of defense, for ourselves, our families and our communities. Now is the time to prepare for what could quickly become a dangerous situation.

For more information on Pandemic Preparedness please visit Tess Pennington’s website, Ready Nutrition

Be safe and be prepared.
survivingshtfmom

target ebolaThe ‘impossible’ has happened. Ebola is now in the United States. More specifically, it is Dallas, Texas. Information coming out now is that this man flew to a European country, then to Dulles International Airport in Maryland and then down to Dallas, Texas. Timeline suggests that he was asymptomatic until a few days ago, when he went to the hospital and was told to go home, but came back 2 days later and got a ride in an ambulance that was NOT taken out of service until the official diagnosis came in. Did I forget to mention that he had close contact with children too? They are now staying home but last week they were in school when he first started showing symptoms. What a CLUSTER MESS. And ‘we’ have been ‘preparing’ and training and being oh so vigilant about ebola. Uhhuh.

I am not trying to cause any panic, but am going to be telling some truths here. There is no cure, no vaccine (of which most vaccines are only 40-70% effective) and the FDA is on a witch hunt against people who are talking about alternative ways of dealing with Ebola. WHO is saying that this strain of Ebola is becoming more ‘virulent’. Liberia is not on lockdown, but this man CAME FROM THERE. And apparently, so far, HE had no contact with anyone infected while there. Information and misinformation is flying all over the place. The CDC is not tracking all the people he may have come into contact with, just those who came in ‘close’ contact with him when he was obviously sick. Fact, they are still saying its not airborne, but Canadian scientists have proven that ‘fact’ to be incorrect. The hospital where the man is in ‘isolation’ does NOT have a ‘level 4’ biohazard unit, which means they are improvising. Children that he had direct contact with went to school. The ambulance and its workers, not to mention the doctors and nurses that dealt with him the first time just went into ‘quarantine’ when they finally figured out what was wrong with him. Fact, we already have a virus striking our children that is hospitalizing them at alarming rates and flu season is upon us. The CDC still says that if you aren’t symptomatic then you can’t infect someone else. They have ‘everything under control’ and ‘we have the BEST system to handle something like this’. Oh, and I forgot, apparently some sort of medicine to combat Ebola will be available by the end of the year with a vaccine potentially available early next year. AND our president who is ‘not worried about this’ signed and expanded an executive order to forcibly place individuals with flu like symptoms (but not those with the flu, but wait a minute, Ebola presents like the flu at first) into quarantine camps. Sounds to me like everything is under control…yep, yeah, sure….

My apologies for the sarcasm amongst the facts, we as a country need to be paying attention right now and be able to see through the word salads and assurances that all is well, because its NOT. Doctors and nurses are human beings and miss things, forget things, become tired or distracted. They are not infallible. Things HAPPEN. Like sending that guy HOME with prescriptions for antibiotics. They sent him HOME even though he told them he had recently been to Liberia.

We as Americans have been conditioned to show up at work even when sick, sometimes simply because we can’t afford to take a day or two off without loosing money or potentially our very job. We as Americans have a really bad habit of sending our children to school and daycare knowing full well that they are not feeling well. Again, because we can’t or won’t take off work or can’t find someone to stay with our children. And I forgot, big brother through No Child Left Behind demands doctors notes nowadays instead of just our word that our child is sick. My point here is this: We are setting ourselves up for an outbreak the likes we haven’t seen since the Spanish Flu, TB and Polio. We have forgotten in our arrogance and workaholic culture that our health is the most important thing we have as a country. And we forget that its not just about ‘us’ in the singular, but that we are connected to each other in intimate ways even though we don’t even know our neighbors. If you need any proof of this just look at how we handle the flu every year. We as a nation are NOT ready for an infectious disease. It is so far off our radar of possibility that denial and trusting the officials may very well cause a lot of deaths needlessly.

Again, I am not trying to scare anyone, I am making statements that I HOPE will wake you up and start thinking about things in more realistic terms. You are your best health advocate. And you are the only one who should be making decisions that are not only in your best interest, but also in the best interest of others. You don’t have to live in fear about ebola, but educate yourself, think about it, keep it simple and stay healthy. Pay attention to what is going on instead of trusting those in ‘authority’ that have everything under control. Prepare yourself to stay safe just in case Ebola does make it mainstream. That is the best hope and antidote we have against Ebola.

survivingshtfmom