The Panic Containment Team Speaks: Ebola Poses "Little Risk" To The US, CDC Claims: Is It Wrong?

Tyler Durden's picture

In the aftermath of the news from the past week that at least two US citizens have been infected with the Ebola virus, a very unpleasant if nagging question has appeared: can the virus spread to the US? According to NBC, "the Ebola virus, which has infected two U.S. humanitarian workers in Liberia, is only a short plane ride from any city on Earth. But federal health officials say it’s not a big worry for most Americans."

Maybe it should be.

Recall that last week's Ebola stunner came when not only did an Ebola patient die from the disease in the world's 4th most populous city, Nigeria's Lagos, but when he was intercepted while at the airport: how many people he may have come in contact with is anyone's guess even if the government swears they have all been quarantined.

It’s the first time this virus has moved by jet, even though public health experts love to warn that any disease is just a flight away from anywhere with an airport.

Perhaps the fact that the CDC had to go out as far as making an official statement for the record shows just how increasingly worried Americans are. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population,” Stephan Monroe of CDC’s National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases told reporters in a conference call. It’s because you have to be in direct contact with someone who is ill to become infected.

“Transmission is through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person,” Monroe said. That includes vomit, blood or diarrhea. “Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious,” he said.

The incubation period can last for as long as 21 days, meaning it can take 21 days for someone to develop symptoms after being in contact with an infected person. So in theory, someone could be infected and get on a plane to travel to the U.S. before he or she got sick. But the odds of this are low.


There’s no need to control travel in and out of the U.S. CDC says. It has quarantine stations in major airports and agents can forcibly isolate or quarantine people with symptoms of Ebola and other diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, plague or bird flu.

How does the CDC hope to contain the potential threat? Apparently so far the first and only line of defense is... interrogation? Careful questioning can usually rule out a disease such as Ebola. In this case, it would be asking people if they’ve been to West Africa in recent weeks or in close contact with someone who had been and who was ill. One wonders how honest potential carriers would be if they knew the rest of their short lives could be spent under CDC quarantine.

"U.S. health experts pulled this off with MERS -- the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, which was carried into the country twice by travelers, both of whom recovered fully without infecting anybody else."

And another denial:

“The likelihood of this spreading out of West Africa is very low,” Monroe said. While it’s possible someone ill could get on a plane, they couldn’t spread the virus to someone who just happened to be sitting nearby. “It is very unlikely they would be able to spread disease to their fellow passengers,” Monroe said. CDC worries more about airborne viruses such as measles, which can spread silently.

And even more attempts to contain any possible panic:

“People are not infectious prior to becoming symptomatic,” he stressed. And once in the U.S., doctors should isolate a patient quickly. “We are fairly confident that the standard of care in the U.S. would prevent much of the transmission of the virus were to show up here,” Monroe said.


We do not anticipate this will spread in the US if an infected person is hospitalized here but we are taking action now by alerting healthcare workers in the US and reminding them how to isolate and test suspected patients while following strict infection control procedures.” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden added in a statement.

The CDC is correct about the infectious phase. The problem is that while Ebola symptoms are quite glaring, such as fever, throwing up, and general pain, only about half of all Ebola cases show the bleeding that so frightened people, and that’s only in very advanced cases. The rest of the symptoms can be confused for your garden variety flu.

Still, despite all assurances,  the CDC has issued a “level 2” alert, which cautions people in the affected region to avoid contact with anyone who seems infected. CDC also issued a health alert, a reminder to doctors in the U.S. "Ebola virus disease poses little risk to the U.S. general population at this time. However, U.S. healthcare workers are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of Ebola virus disease in patients with compatible illness who have a recent (within 21 days) travel history to countries where the outbreak is occurring, and should consider isolation of those patients meeting these criteria, pending diagnostic testing," it reads.

Bloomberg has some more details on the potential spread of the disease which has so far managed to spread beyond Africa only once, but as Bloomberg notes, "that doesn’t mean it can’t happen now, infectious disease experts warn."

The symptoms appear from two days to three weeks after infection, meaning it’s possible for an infected person who doesn’t feel ill to board a plane, said Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading in the U.K. Since Ebola in its earliest stages can resemble nothing more than flu, no one else would know either, he said.


The symptoms appear from two days to three weeks after infection, meaning it’s possible for an infected person who doesn’t feel ill to board a plane, said Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading in the U.K. Since Ebola in its earliest stages can resemble nothing more than flu, no one else would know either, he said.


“One person per plane load would have something that you would possibly call flu-like symptoms,” Neuman said in a telephone interview. “Do you want to detain all those people coming into your airport? Do you have the manpower to do that, and send them all for testing? It’s expensive, and difficult.”


The question of trans-continent infection became more key this week after Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian government worker who took a July 20 flight to Lagos, Nigeria, died from Ebola five days later. His death gave Africa’s most populous nation its first case, a frightening hint at how global air travel may enable the spread of disease.


“We’ve known it’s a risk ever since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak, and now it’s finally happened,” Neuman said. “He could have gone anywhere on this flight.”

The 1994 case:

Fruit bats are thought to be the natural host of Ebola virus, according to the WHO. Monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, porcupines and forest antelope can also be infected, and human outbreaks can begin when people eat the meat of infected animals, according to the WHO.


The only case in which an Ebola victim was known to be taken out of Africa by aircraft came in 1994, when a 34-year-old Swiss zoologist became infected with the virus while performing an autopsy on a chimpanzee in Ivory Coast.


Eight days later, she developed chills, then diarrhea, an all-body rash, temporary memory loss and was flown to Switzerland by air ambulance for treatment, accompanied by health workers wearing masks, gloves and gowns. She recovered without infecting anyone else.


The Ebola outbreak is expected to go on for some time and will be difficult to stop as it can easily “re-ignite” from even one case, the CDC’s Monroe said. Even if there are no new cases, it would be 42 days before health workers would be sure the outbreak was over.

But the biggest smoking gun, and perhaps the reason why 2014 may be the new 1994, is this:

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BiteMeBO's picture

Obamao will stop it at the border.  

espirit's picture

I'd pay for a one way ticket to see the Washington Monument.

GetZeeGold's picture



Just get away from the damn right now. If I claim to be an you suppose Canada will take me?


Give us you tired huddled masses and pestilence.....please.

Headbanger's picture

Well that does it

We're all gonna die from ebola now


Does Obamacare cover mass funeral fire costs?

Oh wait... That would add to fucking global warming.

but we need it cause this summer is so cold.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



I imagine ISIS is recruiting suicide barfers. Barry will buy plane tickets for the moderate ones, only. And probably the children, too. They are very good at barfing.

flacon's picture

Epidemics are always an excuse for MORE GOVERNMENT and LESS FREEDOM. 

knukles's picture

Plus, we're exceptional


PS  Question:  Is this the same perceptions management panic containment team that does the finagling in stocks?

Sudden Debt's picture

if you want it to be... yes... it's all under control...


Davalicious's picture

The Mexicans will scoot back home and play with their Obama phones till the epidemic passes. No use having free health care only to bleed out of your eyes.

CheapBastard's picture

“The crisis is all contained,” Bernanke told all the peeples…..nothing to worry about….



“It’s only a tiny leak,” the Japanese PM re-assured his peeples…nothing to worry about….

hedgeless_horseman's picture




I doubt the CDC or the TSA or the NYPD would be able to spot or stop a suicide barfer.

-Officer, which subway gets me to Times Square?

-First, let me shake your hand and thank you for your service, soldier.  Are you sick, son? 

-No, sir, I just had too much to drink last night at the Yankees game.

-I understand.  Great game!   It is the gray "S" to 42nd Street.  It is the track on the right.   Enjoy the city!


The American who joined the Syrian rebels becomes the first known US suicide bomber

The man was identified as Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, a US citizen from Florida He went under a different name in Al-Nusra - Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American).

Abu Hurayra was among four Al-Nusra men who carried out suicide bombings on army positions in Idlib province, northwestern Syria on May 25. Dozens were killed and wounded, though exact numbers of casualties are still unknown.

In the 17-minute video about ‘the life and death’ of Abu Hurayra, the 22-year-old American from Florida appears smiling and saying he looked forward to going to heaven.

Manthong's picture

What if patient zero is an indiscriminate and hyper-active gay flight attendant?   

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Gay sex spreading a deadly African virus around the world?   Don't be ridiculous! 

It's not like gays shoot their body fluid into other men's mouths and assholes indiscriminately.

CheapBastard's picture

That guy doesn't look like an Abdul Mohammed Akbar Sameer Jabar. More like Joe down at the local McDonalds.



Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Bleeding and tearing of membranes which is most worrisome ...

So one of those acts seems more dangerous than the other.

So happy guys, you've got that goin for ya!

Oldwood's picture

At this point you can only hope there is no God.

Tall Tom's picture

That is almost infinitesimal odds that there is NOT. A probability which is so close to zero may, for practical purposes, be considered zero.


Anything less tha 10-50 is considered by any COMPETENT ENGINEER as an absurdity BY DEFINITION.


I have demonstrated that by the Mathematics before on this site in the comments sections previously.


 He does not understand that the odds for a Chance Manifestation of the Physical Universe, which I have demonstrated before is 10-10123 He does not understand that is (10123 - 50) Orders of Magnitude greater than that of an Absurdity.


If it was not a Chance Manifestation then it was a Designed Manifestation which one must infer a Designer.


Of course this is from the EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of the Physical Universe.


Anything else is mere speculation as there is no evidence for Infinite Universes, nor, can there ever be. By definition the Big Bang Event was a Singularity and any information outside of that event is unobservable because of the Event Horizon.


So it is pointless to talk with him rationally as he refuses to consider the most rational of the languages, Mathematics, and he lacks the understanding of the Physical Sciences.


I do not bet on long odds as that is a Sucker's Bet. But I am sure that the Casinos love him.

Socratic Dog's picture


Religionistas, please fuck off.  I prefer the trolls

EBT excepted's picture

Everyone likes a little whiff of their own brand...

icanhasbailout's picture

There is nothing religious per se about the spiritual implications of physical evidence.

I personally find the Planck length to be quite remarkable, since that appears to be the resolution of our universe, and that the universe has a resolution at all is mind-blowing.


Tall Tom's picture

Isn't that cool? I used to trip and contemplate it while tripping.

Loose Caboose's picture

Religion is nan's interpretation of god's mind.  As powerful as the human brain is, it is still woefully unequipped to understand the mind of god, the mind at the centre of creation.  It's like an ant trying to understand the internet.  Hopeless.  Religions have hijacked this idea of god and crafted it to suit their purposes over the centuries.  The real god is something undefinable, unreachable and unknowable.

Monty Burns's picture

You know something is true only when it's been officially denied.

JeffB's picture

Or the U.K. officials who ridiculed those who worried about Mad Cow disease, because "You can't get it from cows.".

Settle down and be reasonable. Nothing to worry about here.



DeadFred's picture

I imagine that in some universe somewhere the CDC would give an honest evaluation but this isn't that universe. Much as I dislike the Kenyan guy he doesn't have to tell them to lie. "We believe there is a real threat to the safety of America and everyone should be concerned" - just not gonna happen.

Oldwood's picture

This is threat we live under. The highly concentrated power vested in world governments and especially in world health organizations relies on people put in charge that are supposed to be the smartest of the human race, but this leveraging, especially when politics has entered the equation, can put us all at significant risk. Be it failed socialist paradigms or simple wishful thinking, a few at the very top can doom us all "with the stroke of a pen". It always seems that the smartest people create the greatest advances but also the greatest blunders. As the leveraged risks increase, all it takes is a few, or even one to end it all. These humanitarian efforts may possibly lead to this end.

But fuck it. Lets just book a bunch of chartered Malaysian Airlines excursion trips to Ebolaland and see what happens. There's bound to be a derivative for that, right?

IndyPat's picture

Yet, they are also great opportunities for a mass culling.

For instance, say you have an indigenous population that is growing restless with its current government and it's economy, lack of employment, lack of law and what have you. Say that same government has an uneducated agrarian replacement population waiting in the wings....

Oh....never mind. That's just crazy talk.

Bad Attitude's picture

I'm glad the CDC has assured us there is little risk for those of us in the US. But, this assurance comes from the regime that lies about everything.

Forward (over the cliff)!

XitSam's picture

Government at all levels sees its number one job as to prevent "panic".  Go look at health or disaster planning sessions for the last 50 years. And look at their statements during a crisis, all "don't panic."

Why?  Because that's when government loses control.  And government is all about control.

GetZeeGold's picture



Does Obamacare cover mass funeral fire costs?


Yeah....if you can afford the deductible.

knukles's picture

Well they already got a billion or 2 of those cheesy disposable plastic coffins.
Be prepared!

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Is it wrong?


We're from the government and we're here to help

Manthong's picture

FEMA management job posting-  “Local and Regional Cart Masters”.. must be capable of calculating load weight and balance of two wheeled carts, able to walk long distances repetitiously clanging  a cowbell while loudly chanting “Bring out your dead.”.

IndyPat's picture

FEMA just put out a huge purchase order for these.

Scott Gas Mask (proto)

Kinda stylish? Wear one on the subway tomorrow. Might wake a few passengers....

General Decline's picture

When I eventually get kicked off zerohedge for anti Semitic remarks, I'm coming back as "Suicide Barfer"

90's Child's picture

It'll happen eventually as I've learned first hand.

IndyPat's picture

He's Zero Hedge's resident Eugenicist.

He makes ol' Margaret look down right loving and warm.

IndyPat's picture

No, he was a leading expert in the field of anti-Zionism.

XitSam's picture

"I imagine ISIS is recruiting suicide barfers."

And where are the "immigrants" being put?  Many are put on military bases in the US.  

Unintended consequences or following the plan?  Doesn't matter does it?

lakecity55's picture

No, it is a great plan to wipe out the military so Obamabola's Military is all that's left.

ShrNfr's picture

However, dead people are a renewable resource.

Headbanger's picture

That's right!

Soylent Green is people!

So that's what this ebola pandemic is all about.

Solving the world hunger problem

exi1ed0ne's picture

Most of the US population is hyped up on pharmaceuticals so no thank you.  Biodiesel for the scooter riding fatties on the other hand. . .