Friday, October 17, 2014

Germany and Ebola

Almost every night this week....the 8PM Channel One (ARD) news is leading off with the US Ebola scare stuff.  The curious thing is that they basically cut and paste off the entire CNN storyline of the day, and just repeat what CNN says.  Maybe that's ok, but you just wonder.

I noticed this week that a group (prominently known anyway) of German scientists.....National Academy of Sciences.....came out and noted that the current trend with Ebola is NOT repeating itself in the normal way as it'd done for two decades.

It's an interesting twist to this as they noted.  It generally got noted in the Congo.....went through a yearly grouping with maybe 500 folks who would pass away (max), and then kind clean itself up and disappear for a while, then repeat.  Rainy season, dry season.....type of thing.

This moved 1,500 km over to the western coast, and put itself in the midst of a group who'd never seen it before.  Medical advantages?  None.  The numbers game went wider this time around and has yet to peak.  Reasons given?  None really.

At the end of their commentary....they added a little hint, basically saying that the design of this Ebola strain is NOT the same as the one seen previously, indicating it's mutated in some fashion.  Beyond that.....they won't say much else.

It should be noted that this week, Germany tossed a fair amount of money toward the African efforts, and the one patient in Germany for treatment has passed away.  Beyond one new has come up with the disease.

The US response at the end of this week?  Oddly, the US Army folks going off to Africa got the last of their stuff ready and got ready to leave for the Ebola-assistance episode.  Note, the Army gave them four hours of training.  Yep, that was it.  It's hard to say if that was good training or lousy training.  I admit....yearly, when you talked about chemical warfare training in the 1970s or got four hours of training, and then ten minutes in some tear-gas chamber to experience the thrill of using a gas-mask.  Maybe four hours is enough.....maybe.

Finally, the US President identified his new expert or national lead on Ebola.  The guy is a political science background or medical experience.  It's hard to say what they really expected or wanted.....but I doubt if any news team will be interviewing the guy because he really doesn't know much beyond the political side of the story.  Maybe a wasted effort, but the US has some figure to be publicly known as the Ebola Czar.

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