Ebola Arrives in the US: Desparate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Ebola Arrives in the US: Desparate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Ebola has arrived in the US as confirmed by the CDC today. Since the Ebola epidemic started, >3000 people have died. The response to the outbreak has been poor and the disease has been spreading quickly in West African Countries and has now arrived in the US:

 

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The response to this epidemic begs the following questions be asked: 1. Was the response to the Ebola epidemic poor because of where it was occurring? 2. Will we now move faster because the disease has arrived in the US? Last month, we watched in awe when American volunteer physicians who became infected with the virus were airlifted and returned to the US for treatment with experimental drugs, then subsequently cured of the disease. Since then however, the stock of experimental drugs has been exhausted.

Some of the companies that were developing experimental drugs before the epidemic took hold had stopped clinical trials and/or production of more supplies when funding and/or interest in Ebola waned. Ramping up production of experimental drugs at this time cannot keep up pace with the spread of the disease. There is renewed interest to develop and use experimental drugs to try and control the epidemic even if these drugs have not undergone the usual rigorous clinical trial process to ensure that they are effective and safe for use in humans. What can we do other than try? Many people have died, many more are becoming infected right now, and unfortunately many more are going to die. Quarantines in affected areas have not helped bring the epidemic under control. Babies, children, and the elderly have no one to care for them because their parents and children who used to care for them have died. Some families have lost multiple family members to the disease. Doctors and nurses have died and the number of sick persons out number trained personnel including the volunteers who have traveled to the affected areas to help. Ebola survivors are pitching in to care for patients.

The situation appears hopeless especially for on the ground healthcare workers. WHO has acknowledged that the epidemic is out of control and they need help to curb it. Even with increased efforts to control the epidemic, WHO anticipates a reversal will not happen until the end of the year. Four days ago, CDC stated “if conditions continue without scale-up of interventions, cases will continue to double approximately every 20 days, and the number of cases in West Africa will rapidly reach extraordinary levels.” There is a need to try innovative and out of the box ideas to bring the epidemic under control. Here is one such idea: A HIV drug being used to treat Ebola. Watch the video here.

 

What do you think? Should such unproven measures be used? Shouldn’t we all be taking more action, me included? Is this Ebola patient in the US now going to galvanize us into action?

Here are additional news stories to help you decide:

  1. Why Raising Money For Ebola Is Hard
  2. Grieving But Grateful, Ebola Survivors In Liberia Give Back
  3. Worsening Ebola Crisis Elevates Sierra Leone’s State Of Emergency
  4. How Do We Stop Ebola? WHO Declares War On The Virus
  5. CDC: Estimating the Future Number of Cases in the Ebola Epidemic — Liberia and Sierra Leone, 2014–2015
  6. Health Officials Warn Ebola Is Spreading Faster Than Efforts To Contain It
  7. This Ebola Outbreak ‘Has Broken All The Rules’
  8. Johnson & Johnson Pushes Ahead With Ebola Vaccine
  9. Ebola Response Hampered By Limited Air Travel
  10. American Fighting Ebola Receives Blood Transfusion From Survivor
  11. How Ebola Kills You: It’s Not The Virus
  12. Ebola virus disease
  13. Questions and answers on Ebola
  14. Questions and Answers on Experimental Treatments and Vaccines for Ebola
  15. Ebola took her daughters and made her an outcast

This post was first published on LinkedIn pulse.

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