What the hell is this damn Ebola nurse doing?

A Maine nurse back from treating Ebola patients in West Africa followed through on her vow to defy the state’s “voluntary” quarantine on Thursday, leaving her home for a bike ride.

Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend stepped out of their home Thursday morning and rode away on mountain bikes, followed by state police cruiser.

There was no immediate comment from state health officials, who were going to court in an effort to detain Hickox for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10. Police were monitoring her movements but couldn’t detain her without a court order signed by a judge.

Yes, I know all about constitutional rights and fully defend them. But damn the fool we’re talking about a contagious disease with a 50% kill rate here. It’s simply not sensible. So why’s she doing it?

And related question: would Typhoid Mary these days be able to claim discrimination if people refused to hire her as a cook?

47 thoughts on “What the hell is this damn Ebola nurse doing?”

  1. The nurse in question isn’t a modern day Typhoid Mary. More a modern day Mengele.

    Her intent is to bring about an Ebola epidemic in the US because that would vastly disproportionately affect the dark-skinned and minority communities (because low socioeconomic status is still strongly correlated with that in the US, sadly, and the poor will be the worst affected).

    It really is just plain old ‘kill the darkies’ white-supremacist vileness.

  2. Bloke in Costa Rica

    This is why we have mandatory quarantines: because left to their own devices people are absolutely awful at behaving sensibly and responsibly. The doctor in New York who currently has Ebola initially lied to investigators about where he’d been and with whom he’d been in contact. This is a genuine public health issue, unlike how much salt is in processed food or whathaveyou, and thus all except the most anarchically-inclined of libertarians would say it falls firmly within the remit of the State.

    The most emetic feature of the whole story is the oblivious sense of self-entitlement this dreadful Hickox woman has. Someone should don a HAZMAT suit and slap her silly.

  3. As a nurse who has worked with ebola patients, she understands – unlike state officials and the media – that asymptomatic people cannot spread the disease. This is the scientific reason that no public health body is calling for mandatory quarantine. The media/political panic machine is in the wrong here and Kaci Hickox is right in thinking that going for a bike ride in rural Maine while having no symptoms of disease is no threat to anyone.
    Tim, you are normally a champion of making evidence and facts central to policy-making but you seem to have fallen for the hype here.

  4. Silly woman.

    I would have thought that the cornerstone of libertarianism is that my liberty ends where yours begins. If I may be carrying a disease which is more likely than not to kill you it is my responsibility as a human being to take sensible steps to prevent passing it on to you.

    The only justification for government to exist is to:
    1) protect people from other people who want to harm them, by doing the things which only government can do – in this case preventing someone from doing something incredibly fucking stupid and dangerous TO OTHER PEOPLE

    If we can’t agree on that there’s not much hope for us.

  5. Judge – yes that has been said however there will be a point at which one goes from asympomatic to symptomatic and also a point at which one goes from non-contagious to contagious.

    These to points are unlikely to be contemporaneous. Furthermore nothing that has been said so far convinces me that the virus is not evolving and so this overlap could spread in this in an unpredictable way.

    She is most probably not a danger to public health but it still seems fucking stupid and dangerous, given that she might be.

  6. She is probably correct in her opinion that she is not contagious. She might be 99.9% sure.

    But we live in a culture which demands, on the Precautionary Principle, that we collectivise our entire economy and de-industrialise to stop Madagascar going underwater in the year 2500, but quarantining a handful of people for THREE WEEKS is an absolute outrage.

  7. B in I

    If she were taking a long haul flight or spending the day riding the New York subway, I would agree with you. She was riding a bike on country lanes. The only other people around were the media, who looked distinctly unconcerned about the possibility of catching a disease from her – they couldn’t get close enough!
    The problem with unscientific and unnecessary mandatory quarantine is that it discourages people from being honest and open about where they’ve been and who they’ve had contact with, or to seek treatment if they feel unwell. It also discourages people from treating and caring for real or potential patients.
    No public health body is calling for mandatory quarantine – just band-wagon jumping politicians and story-hungry media types.

  8. The point with the loony bitch isn’t what she does herself, but that she’s trying to stop quarantine altogether. She is deliberately attempting to create an epidemic, plain and simple.

  9. but that she’s trying to stop quarantine altogether.

    No, she is trying to stop quarantine for asymptomatic people, especially for those who have tested negative for infection. If she was trying to stop quarantine for symptomatic or tested-postive people, she would run straight in to Gibbons v. Ogden, a 1824 Supreme Court precedent (and plenty more recent stuff) upholding quarantine despite the Fifth Amendment issues.

    On the grounds that quarantine against deadly disease is an appropriate reason for a limitation in the exercise of a constitutional right.

  10. bloke (not) in spain

    BiC says “…This is a genuine public health issue, unlike how much salt is in processed food or whathaveyou..” & illustrates why there’s the diversity of opinion.
    Public Health has established such a record for down-right lying on matters it reckons are public health, when it comes to an actual public health matter, no-one knows whether to believe it.

  11. You can’t spread Ebola until you are showing symptoms of the disease; they are therefore taking away the liberty of somebody who is actually doing something to help solve this outbreak, and helping the people who are affected by it. Depriving good people of their liberty, for no reason other than fear, will simply discourage others who could help from helping.

    Good on her!

  12. bloke (not) in spain

    @james
    “You can’t spread Ebola until you are showing symptoms of the disease;”
    Who told you that? Do you trust them? Why? Who told them? Why? Can you think of a reason, they might be lying? That they don’t know or are not sure? Just made it up?
    On past performance, all perfectly valid questions.

  13. This is rather an appalling article.

    Why stop with that nurse: quarantine everyone she either was or might have been in contact?

    The answer to the question in the final sentence is probably ‘Yes’ particularly if Mary is of Politically Protected Minority status… and she ticks that box by virtue of gender… because private property rights no longer exist thanks to ‘progressive’ Government, so nobody can refuse to have someone on their premises unless the State says it is OK so to do.

    As for enforced quarantine, it is imprisonment contrary to Common Law and Habeas Corpus. It should not be done unless clear medical evidence that a real risk of contagion exists, or for the better care of the victim who may as a result of their disease not be competent to make an informed decisions about their treatment.

    Ebola has a ‘50% kill rate here’… where? I am, I suspect, deliberately misinterpreting the meaning of ‘here’ but Ebola kill rates are not derived from epidemics in Western developed Countries – has there been one I missed? – but among impoverished, malnourished, Africans with no access to modern medicine.

    Quarantine of people with no signs or symptoms of a communicable disease means we should all be quarantined because … who knows?

    Or at least all medical personal should be permanently quarantined because they are perpetually at risk… and of course anyone who has been to Africa.

    And why not ban products, particularly food, from Africa because, well, who knows who has touched it and what might be wrong with them?

  14. You are really extremely unlikely to pass this on until you are projecting gallons of virus-laden bodily fluids from every orifice. We are going to get a few cases in the west but it is not going to turn into a zombie apocalypse epidemic. Because we have far higher standards of hygiene and education than in West Africa, and don’t live in such close proximity as people in urban environments there. Even given ideal conditions for its spread (abysmal health infrastructure, uneducated population, low economic development, crowded cities, inadequate hygiene, and so on) we have, what, 10,000 reported cases (probably 3-4 as many unreported cases on top of that).

    This isn’t something you can take out into the population and spread around by sneezing.

    Anyone in this position should be pretty vigilant, and refrain from sex, sharing of razor blades and so on for a few weeks. But there’s no more reason to treat people like lepers than there was when HIV first reared its head.

  15. Lads, she not just asymptomatic. She has been tested for Ebola and found clear. “Kaci Hickox maintains isolation is unnecessary, as she has no symptoms and has tested negative for Ebola.” (BBC News)
    Judge is right but has understated the case.

  16. I’d have accepted quarantine from an excess of caution.
    Even though, based on the WHO data, she & Judge are right – you can only get Ebola from body fluids of the symptomatic (though if you survive your semen remains infected for I think 90 days). So even if she is infected, she’s not infectious.
    However successful diseases spread by being infectious in the asymptomatic and there’s an unquantifiable chance Ebola might evolve to do that.

  17. Oops, overlapped with John77. Of course if the BBC is correct, and if we can trust the CDC to run the test, she’s in the clear.

  18. “…they are therefore taking away the liberty of somebody who is actually doing something to help solve this outbreak…”

    In Maine…?

  19. SE>

    She’s trying to break the quarantine system, not to have it ruled illegal.

    JohnB>

    You’re completely wrong, having swallowed Hickox’s outright lies. Ebola infection cannot be detected at the point when she was tested. It is absolutely untrue to say that she has tested negative for the virus – the test was a deliberate attempt to mislead.

    Similarly, it’s just plain misleading to say that Ebola cannot be spread by the asymptomatic. That’s technically pretty much true, but the quarantine is because most Ebola patients don’t initially realise when they’ve entered the contagious stage.

    Look, if someone looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, they’re a duck. Hickox walks the walk of a racist, talks the talk of a racist, attempts ethnic cleansing, and so clearly is just a racist nutjob (or the puppet of one).

  20. Dave,
    She’s been working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone, helping dark-skinned patients. According to your racism theory, she went there to deliberately infect herself with Ebola, bring it back, and spread it amongst the population of Maine (which is 95% white) by going for a cycle ride in a rural area.

    No, you’re just spouting nonsense.

  21. So Much for Subtlety

    Dave – “The nurse in question isn’t a modern day Typhoid Mary. More a modern day Mengele.”

    Oh for F*cks Sake. Look Dave, when you’ve lost a fringe dweller like me, you have really lost the argument. There is no sane reason to think this.

    “Her intent is to bring about an Ebola epidemic in the US because that would vastly disproportionately affect the dark-skinned and minority communities (because low socioeconomic status is still strongly correlated with that in the US, sadly, and the poor will be the worst affected).”

    Sorry and you know this how? There is not even much reason to think this disease is going to disproportionately affect minorities. But if she was out to kill the Darkies what the f**k is she doing in Maine?

    She is arrogant in what she believes but there is not the slightest indication she wants to kill anyone. But there never is with people who spread disease

    Judge – “As a nurse who has worked with ebola patients, she understands – unlike state officials and the media – that asymptomatic people cannot spread the disease. This is the scientific reason that no public health body is calling for mandatory quarantine.”

    Except Ebola is not a well understood disease. We do not know what it can do. If one in a thousand people got it and could spread it without developing symptoms we would not know yet. As outbreaks are not well studied. People die too quickly. What is more being asymptomatic is not an on-off switch. She does not go from having no symptoms to being infectious. As far as we can tell. So it is hard to know what she has and what she can spread.

    Judge – “The problem with unscientific and unnecessary mandatory quarantine is that it discourages people from being honest and open about where they’ve been and who they’ve had contact with, or to seek treatment if they feel unwell. It also discourages people from treating and caring for real or potential patients.”

    You say this and it is a feature of public health policy but is it true? That is an interesting question. The experience we have had with Ebola so far is that it is not. People have lied anyway. The patient who died lied. The doctor who may have been infected lied. We do not seem to have any improvement here. Also, of course, HIV has turned out the same. We don’t judge and yet people lie. Cuba imprisons them and oddly enough does not have an HIV problem.

    The only thing that has worked in Africa so far as been quarantine. There is no reason for us not to adopt it.

    “No public health body is calling for mandatory quarantine – just band-wagon jumping politicians and story-hungry media types.”

    Because they have a vested interest. Quarantine is enforced by policemen and border officials. A mass epidemic is administered by public health officials. They have a natural bias to fund their pet causes, not the best outcome for public health. Vaccinations not barriers.

  22. Andrew M>

    Racists often do complicated things, but maybe she’s just a puppet of racists. Either way, she’s working for the cause of ethnic cleansing.

    The point is not that she’s trying to spread it herself, but that she’s trying to prevent the WHO-mandated quarantine from being applied in the US. That will lead to an epidemic, if she’s successful.

    SE>

    “There is not even much reason to think this disease is going to disproportionately affect minorities.”

    On the contrary, that’s hardly up for debate. The poor will be vastly worse affected than anyone else, and in the US they sadly still have a strong correlation between being poor and being dark-skinned.

    If you’re not clear on why the poor should be worse affected, consider how much more likely they are (especially in the US) to live in crowded areas, travel by public transport, and so-on. Then add that rich people will be able to afford to stay at home for a few weeks at the height of an epidemic, whereas the poor will still have to go out to work.

    This part really isn’t contentious.

    As for the motivations, she’s knowingly lying. She’s clearly not acting in good faith.

    You’re quite right about quarantine measures being necessary, though. Everyone arguing otherwise should read section two of this document:

    http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/131596/1/EbolaResponseRoadmap.pdf?ua=1

    The quarantine is mandatory. If an African country refused to follow it, they’d be sanctioned by the UN.

  23. Dave–just stop –you are talking out of your arse. A one woman plan to bring about genocide among American blacks?. Listen to yourself for Christ’s sake. Socialism has killed vastly more people than Ebola ever will.

    There is no reliable test for Ebola at all so we are all more at sea than people think. The PCR test works on minute amounts of genetic material–it can only show some contact with the virus. It cannot predict if the person is or will get sick A titer test (if it shows larges amounts of virus and antibody activity against said virus) might be more use but nobody has been told what tests are being done. Just Obamashite announcements and edicts.

    The woman is right to take a stand. O’Pukecare will put much more soviet-style medical power in the states hands ( they already want to use psych evaluations to attack gun owners) and a medical “state of emergency” is just too dangerous a weapon to allow the Federal Tyranny to do as it likes.

    As for the deadly pandemic danger of Ebola–well let us have a moments silence for the tens of millions of Western people who have died of AIDS just as predicted in the late 80s. Giving up all our freedoms is a small price to pay to stop such a tragedy from ever happening again.

  24. I find the whole hype about Ebola a joke. Yes a joke. Many more people are dying because of Malaria yet we don’t see adverts on all the channels asking for donations to aid the poor poor dark people.

    Why are we so scared about a disease that is primarily happening thousands of miles away and is unlikely to affect many of us?

    Is it because of the contagious nature of the disease that we in the west are scared shitless. Is it because the public health authorities (who we don’t trust about salt, sugar, fat, e-cigs) are taking the precautionary principle to the nth degree. Is it because the same authorities spout nonsense that 90% of people die from it (they don’t, survival rates are close to 80% if people have modern health care at an early stage). Is it because of the nasty nature of the disease that is hyped up to make out that it eats you from inside out. Is it because we need something new to be scared of now that there are no more Ruskies under the bed and the climate seems to be levelling off for the last couple of decades.

  25. SBML lad…you cannot contract malaria by contact. Malaria can be controlled by oublic health muasures. No one really knows with Ebola and the cure mesures are as inaccurate as all sts to do with this disease. It needs to be contained. viruses mutate very fast. So let’s not give it the chance.

  26. Like too many threads we get away from establishing what is known. Despite the hyperbole Dave actually has several good points.

    1. Current Ebola tests are not sufficiently sensitive to pick up infection in asymptotic carriers, so a negative test is worthless with regard to any need to quarantine.

    2. The symptoms can come on gradually or quite suddenly, so this person could already be capable of spreading Ebola and not know it, or could become so during her excursion without warning. At our present level of knowledge these are unlikely but certainly possible.

    3. Also, although the great majority of people infected manifest symptoms inside 21 days, it is certainly possible that some people could manifest later, but this is (as best we know) a low probability.

    4. Death rates are in the 30-60% range even with good western care. There is no treatment (other than experimental of unproven efficacy) except rehydration and general care. The virus can cause general organ failure, there is usually NO cure for that.

    All in all, and just IMHO, quarantine IS justified for this person, it is only 21 days for christ’s sake. If you have to pay them their salary or whatever, do so. Ebola isn’t the zombie apocalypse, but it could do a hell of a lot of damage if it is carelessly let loose.

  27. Bloke in Germany:
    “This isn’t something you can take out into the population and spread around by sneezing.”

    Up until a short while ago, according to the CDC, you could:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ebola-cdc-cough.jpg

    And the reason I am linking to a third party source is because the direct link tells us that the document is being “updated”:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/infections-spread-by-air-or-droplets.pdf

    So either the CDC has not been correct on this or the CDC has been wrong on this.

    It’s terribly reassuring to know that we have the best professionals on the case. All we have to do is check their information and follow their advice, and we need not concern ourselves with fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  28. “The Ebola test: let the test’s inventor speak

    by Jon Rappoport

    October 6, 2014

    NoMoreFakeNews.com

    Amidst the hysteria about Ebola, one stubborn fact sits like a rock: everything depends upon being able to accurately diagnose Ebola in each patient.

    And then it follows: you must examine the test that is being used to diagnose Ebola. Is it accurate? Does it have flaws? Is it being applied correctly?

    Because, if there is a serious problem with the test, the whole house of cards collapses. The entire narrative about Ebola is fatally flawed.

    Last week, when a man was admitted to a hospital in Dallas, the CDC held a press conference. CDC Director Tom Frieden stated that this patient had been diagnosed with Ebola—with a test that is “highly accurate. It’s a PCR test of blood.” (see the 2m06s mark in the video of the press conference.)

    This is, indeed, the test of choice for Ebola.

    However, as I’ve written, the PCR test has problems. It is open to errors. One of those errors occurs right at the beginning of the procedure:

    Is the sample taken from the patient actually a virus or a piece of a virus? Or is it just an irrelevant piece of debris?

    Another problem is inherent in the method of the PCR itself. The test is based on the amplification of a tiny, tiny speck of genetic material taken from a patient—blowing it up millions of times until it can be observed and analyzed.

    Researchers who employ the test claim that, as a result of the procedure, they can also infer the quantity of virus that is present in the patient.

    This is crucial, because unless a patient has millions and millions of Ebola virus in his body, there is absolutely no reason to think he is sick or will become sick.

    So the question is: can the PCR test allow researchers and doctors to say how much virus is in a patient’s body?

    Many years ago, journalist John Lauritsen approached a man named Kary Mullis for an answer.

    Source-1: For a brief excerpt from John Lauritsen’s article about Kary Mullis, see Frontiers in Public Health, 23 September, 2014, “Questioning the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: 30 years of dissent,” by Patricia Goodson. (See also this.)

    Source-2: For John’s 1996 article in full, see “Has Provincetown Become Protease Town?”

    “Kary Mullis… is thoroughly convinced that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. With regard to the viral-load tests, which attempt to use PCR for counting viruses, Mullis has stated: ‘Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.’ PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral-load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.”

    Kary Mullis is a biochemist. He is also a Nobel Prize winner (1993, Chemistry).

    And oh yes, one other thing.

    Mullis invented the PCR.

    That’s why he won the Nobel Prize.

    Mullis’ answer was succinct: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.”

    Translation: the PCR test can’t be used to say how much virus is in a person’s body.
    Therefore, the CDC’s gold standard for testing Ebola patients says nothing about whether they are sick or will become sick. It says nothing about why some patients do become sick.

    And the other problems with the test are significant as well: errors in carrying out the highly sensitive procedure; lab contamination of the sample taken from the patient; choice of a sample that is not a virus at all, or is the wrong virus.

    And upon this foundation of sand, the whole “Ebola epidemic” is being foisted on the public.

    In analyzing so-called epidemics and their causes for 27 years now (starting with my first book, “AIDS Inc., Scandal of the Century”), I have often pointed out that the diagnostic test is the key—unless people want to jump to conclusions and spread fear and walk down the wrong road, while patients die for reasons other than the stated causes—including misdirected and highly toxic medical treatment.

    Again, I point that out now.

    Jon Rappoport”

  29. So Much for Subtlety

    SadButMadLad – “I find the whole hype about Ebola a joke. Yes a joke. Many more people are dying because of Malaria yet we don’t see adverts on all the channels asking for donations to aid the poor poor dark people.”

    People don’t like novelties. We have learned to live with people over there dying of malaria. But ebola is new. In the same way that we could not tolerate gassing soldiers to death but were fine with blowing them to little pieces by artillery.

  30. Reading this post makes me wonder who its writer is and what he has done with the good Mr. Worstall whose blog I very much enjoy reading for its generally rational, liberal outlook.

    I don’t recall seeing people demanding that anyone who treated William Pooley be quarantined for three weeks when he was being treated in the Royal Free, and this is because even we Brits are not quite as moronically reactionary as our friends across the pond.

    Denying someone their liberty must happen for a better reason than simply because some official whose key skill set is kissing babies decides it must be so for the sake of appeasing a synthetic media crisis, which is exactly what Ebola in the US currently is.

  31. There’s this wonderful thing called the Internet that means that she can do virtually everything short of physical contact. It’s hardly the prison it would’ve been years past.

    I’d hope someone’s whose life choice is to be a nurse would accept nothing other than absolute minimum risk to those around them. ‘ Why bother disinfecting my hands? I’ve probaby not picked up anything dangerous’

  32. Quantitative PCR is not an oxymoron. I’m probably the only person spouting here who actually has hands-on experience of it.

    It’s not all that quantitative, to be fair (wasn’t back in my day anyway) but better than an oxymoron.

    There’s nothing special about PCR testing for Ebola. It’s a hugely sensitive and specific (if your primers are right) technique. You don’t need quantitation either.

    And to remain as off-topic as possible, my Mullis “Bacon number” is two, including one person who took his PhD in Mullis’ lab and one (now deceased) laureate. By all three accounts he’s a total kook.

  33. So Much for Subtlety

    Charlie T. – “Reading this post makes me wonder who its writer is and what he has done with the good Mr. Worstall whose blog I very much enjoy reading for its generally rational, liberal outlook.”

    It is a problem with the loss of trust in institutions we were talking about earlier. Public health officials in particular are well known on this blog for lying and making sh!t up. So we don’t trust them any more. The proper rational, liberal, response to anything a public official says is to assume they are lying weasels until they prove otherwise.

    The US CDC is not doing well on this, lying about Ebola not being transmitted through the air – well, quibbling over what exactly aerial transmission is. Until they show they have our interests at heart ….

    “I don’t recall seeing people demanding that anyone who treated William Pooley be quarantined for three weeks when he was being treated in the Royal Free, and this is because even we Brits are not quite as moronically reactionary as our friends across the pond.”

    And because the NHS has not yet screwed up as badly. When one of the nurses comes down with Ebola, and another nurse starts to show symptoms but is cleared by the authorities to fly, then we will start worrying. It is not a question of being reactionary, it is a question of not being sheep.

  34. Dave
    October 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    . . .

    Her intent is to bring about an Ebola epidemic in the US because that would vastly disproportionately affect the dark-skinned and minority communities (because low socioeconomic status is still strongly correlated with that in the US, sadly, and the poor will be the worst affected).

    It really is just plain old ‘kill the darkies’ white-supremacist vileness.

    Dude, have you *been* to Maine?

    96% white, 1.2% black, .3% other

    If she was a CIA plant attempting to destroy the minorities in the the US – well she’s going about it with the usual CIA efficiency.

  35. I notice that the people opposed to precautionary quarantine tend to be of the view that they know, FOR CERTAIN, the exact nature and limits of the disease and it seems that we’d just have to live with the consequences of them being mistaken, because whoops!

    The fact that so many trained medical staff from western nations have caught the disease might suggest there is some wiggle room for what we “know” and that a disease with no treatment or cure which kills 50% of the infected deserves a bit more respect.

    This isn’t some trivial exercise in “rights”. Any mistake by these people could mean many innocent lives are lost. Waving a loaded gun around a crowded room on the promise that you won’t touch the trigger is a lot less safe than leaving the gun in another room, away from people.

  36. Mr Black: “The fact that so many trained medical staff from western nations have caught the disease might suggest there is some wiggle room…”

    THIS! Squared.

  37. Dave,

    SE>

    “There is not even much reason to think this disease is going to disproportionately affect minorities.”

    I didn’t say that … SMFS did. If you are getting the two of us confused, I think it is time for you to head off to CiF.

  38. > Except Ebola is not a well understood disease. We do not know what it can do. If one in a thousand people got it and could spread it without developing symptoms we would not know yet. As outbreaks are not well studied. People die too quickly. What is more being asymptomatic is not an on-off switch. She does not go from having no symptoms to being infectious. As far as we can tell. So it is hard to know what she has and what she can spread.

    Very rare that I agree 100% with SMFS. Well said.

    People forget about evolution. Flu hasn’t been wiped out yet because pigs can catch both human flu and duck flu and the Chinese live in close proximity to duck and pigs. The two viruses meet in the pigs and swap genes, making human flu evolve way too fast to be eradicated. HIV+ men tend to think it’s OK to have sex with other HIV+ men, not understanding why they’re told not to (which I hardly think is their fault: the medical profession are crap at explaining such things). The reason is that two men who are both HIV+ could actually have different strains of the virus, and allowing those strains to meet in the same host speeds their evolution, making it more difficult to develop effective treatments. The early belief that HIV would only be contracted by gay men was based on truth: there was indeed a strain of the virus that spread most effectively via anal sex. But then another strain developed that spreads most effectively via vaginal sex. The reason that second strain did so well was that it was given so much opportunity.

    Something as dangerous and as unstudied as Ebola, the sensible thing to do is to deny it opportunities.

    Anyone here know for sure what Ebola does in a cold climate? Anyone? No, thought not. If we’re going to find out, how about we do it in a lab, not by chucking it at the public to see what happens.

  39. Mr Black,

    > The fact that so many trained medical staff from western nations have caught the disease might suggest there is some wiggle room for what we “know”

    Exactly.

  40. Mr Ecks,

    > well let us have a moments silence for the tens of millions of Western people who have died of AIDS just as predicted in the late 80s.

    Has it not occurred to you that there might be some link between the dire warnings and the massive change in behaviour that stopped the warnings coming true?

    I see this same bollocks spouted about swine flu and avian flu. “All that fuss, and it turned out to be nothing.” No, it turned out to be nothing because of the fuss.

    “My car still hasn’t crashed. Told you it didn’t need brakes.”

  41. What massive change in behaviour?. People still shagged before and after AIDS. A few more may have used condoms–but many were already. Did Durex shares turn out to be the new Poseidon Nickel?. Or did the 90s become a sexual desert of abstinence?. Don’t think so.

    And as for Deadly Bird Flu–what mega-precautions stopped that Squander?. Stop feeding the birds?. Bollocks indeed.

  42. @Pat

    “I’d hope someone’s whose life choice is to be a nurse would accept nothing other than absolute minimum risk to those around them. ‘ Why bother disinfecting my hands? I’ve probaby not picked up anything dangerous’”

    This. Also, I’d hope a nurse dealing with outbreaks of scary communicable diseases would realise that a big portion of society *will* have a shit-fit (pun intended) when she leaves the house, even if the science doesn’t show any risks. Because layperson vs scary communicable disease.

  43. The fundamental problem is that she won’t have to pay the cost of her actions, if she does become infectious. I’d say, if she’s too precious to spend a whole three weeks in quarantine, she should:

    1. Take out insurance to cover the full cost of dealing with the consequences if she is infected.

    2. Face an attempted murder charge for anyone infected, and murder for anyone who dies of such infection.

    Since so many people here are sure she’s not going to infect anyone, the insurance shouldn’t cost much, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *