Ebola Control Goes 'Medieval': From Patient Zero To Pandemic In 7 Months

Tyler Durden's picture


A report in The New England Journal of Medicine traces the spread of the recent Ebola outbreak from Gueckedou, Guinea, to nations worldwide. As The NY Times reports, West African governments have gone 'medieval' as they have revived a disease-fighting tactic not used in nearly a century: the “cordon sanitaire,” in which a line is drawn around the infected area and no one is allowed out. And most worryingly, Reuters reports that a nurse who had close contact with a Liberian Ebola patient skipped quarantine in Lagos and went to her home in the eastern city of Enugu, where she made contact with 20 other people.


As NY Times reports,

Cordons, common in the medieval era of the Black Death, have not been seen since the border between Poland and Russia was closed in 1918 to stop typhus from spreading west.


The phrase cordon sanitaire, or sanitary barrier, appears to date from 1821, when France sent 30,000 troops into the Pyrenees to stop a lethal fever raging in Spain from crossing the border.


Plans for the new cordon were announced on Aug. 1 at an emergency meeting in Conakry, Guinea, of the Mano River Union, a regional association of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three countries hardest hit by Ebola, according to Agence France-Presse. The plan was to isolate a triangular area where the three countries meet, separated only by porous borders, and where 70 percent of the cases known at that time had been found.




“It might work,” said Dr. Martin S. Cetron, the disease center’s chief quarantine expert. “But it has a lot of potential to go poorly if it’s not done with an ethical approach. Just letting the disease burn out and considering that the price of controlling it — we don’t live in that era anymore. And as soon as cases are under control, one should dial back the restrictions.”

*  *  *

But here is how it started...


read more here...

* * *

But, as Reuters reports, containment is a problem:

A nurse who had close contact with a Liberian Ebola patient skipped quarantine in Lagos and went to her home in the eastern city of Enugu, where she made contact with 20 other people, the government said on Wednesday.


Information Minister Labaran Maku said the nurse, herself a suspected case, and her 20 contacts were all under surveillance in Enugu, bringing the total number being watched in Nigeria to 189.

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Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:58 | 5088090 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

And where are Bill and Melinda?


Have they made any comment on this?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:02 | 5088112 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Wake me when they stop having unprotected sex in West Africa.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:03 | 5088116 Publicus
Publicus's picture

The troops will be infected as well, they are not wearing spacesuits.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:05 | 5088128 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

NLNK some genetic biotech will be testing a vaccinne on guinea pigs....i mean on africans in 2 weeks

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:07 | 5088137 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Funny story, Guinea pigs don't produce Vitamin C.

"Just letting the disease burn out and considering that the price of controlling it — we don’t live in that era anymore."

Never go full retard, Mr Scientist.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:10 | 5088154 MalteseFalcon
MalteseFalcon's picture

No cordon sanitaire in the  air!!  Keep 'em flying, baby!!!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:45 | 5088314 knukles
knukles's picture

A "corodon sanitare" is not Medieval.  It's simply an effective means by which to stop the pandemic from spreading that was used centuries ago and should be used now as it's the only thing that has or will work.
That's like saying drinking water is medieval.
You want medieval?  Try the shite passed off as science in today's educational systems.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:14 | 5088497 A L I E N
A L I E N's picture


Maybe people possess some form of premonition with all the zombie apocalypse thoughts/movies since ebola seems like it could make that scenario a reality..

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:08 | 5088793 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

These countries can not even feed their own population let alone cordon off an area. This article is entertaining.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:12 | 5088823 bob_stl
bob_stl's picture

If they hadn't brought all of the sick people together, the disease would have burnt itself out by now.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:34 | 5088932 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

This whole story sounds like it's describing "quarantine" to me.  Medieval?  It's the single most effective method of limiting infectious disease spread ever conceived.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 21:17 | 5090243 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"The troops will be infected as well, they are not wearing spacesuits."

But they do have full metal jackets.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:12 | 5088480 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Newtonian vs. Quantum physics

Circa 1500 vs 1900's...

Can we move into the 21st century before it expires please?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:02 | 5088768 knukles
knukles's picture

Zadok!  Spot on!  Newtonian assumptions (gravity) carried over into Einstein's works, excluding the electro-magnetic force, are, essentially, Medieval!
Taking stuff even a step further, Lanza's new inter-disciplinarian interpretations of things quantum, in conjunction with Thornhill and Talbott take us into a new and ultra modern view which relies on little insofar as assumptions and fairy tale explanations are concerned.

The Quantum extended ever so claenly to the very Cosmos!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 21:29 | 5090284 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Yes, so very much agreed. It rather amazes me to that when I wrapped my mind around those concepts, re-examined my perspectives, and consciously opened my consciousness (yes, intended) that the Word of God made so much more sense. It just has so little to do with what people who claim to speak for God say it does.

Consider these from the perspective of quantum (and new variations et al) physics. Does it not speak to the nature of the universe?

Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 

Faith being the union and manifestation of thought, emotion, feeling, and ultimately the physical abstraction often referred to as the 'real world' that isnt so real after all.

Thanks for the thought exercise...

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:46 | 5094374 UnpatrioticHoarder
UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

The EU rocks! Electric Universe, that is. Google Thunderbolts Project. It will blow your fucking mind

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:25 | 5088564 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

" It might work"

Just blew my lunch out my nose laughing. A few million medieval skeletons in mass graves may differ with that Pollyanna prediction.


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:07 | 5088789 knukles
knukles's picture

Dontcha just love it?  "might work"
Lordie, Lordie, Lordie.

In the absence of a better plan, why not employ the one that's so far been seen to be the one that works best?

And that "might" is coming form an educated "man of science"
Or maybe that's the problem.
Today's men of science have no room for the medieval.
Hence should be casting Newton and Einstein aside in favor of Bohr, Lanza and Thorhill & Talbott.

But then again ....

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:52 | 5089028 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

In our macroscopic environment Newtonian physics works just fine (and will continue to work just fine).

"Better Plan"?? Wonder just how long before some bright spark decides that incineration works well.

How do you "incinerate" a city city the size of Lagos? I believe all the "Nuclear Powers" have a large collection of "just the right devices".

But don't worry - the "Cream of Society" will remain well protected. Us members of the "Skimmed Milk Set"? Maybe not so much.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 20:24 | 5090068 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"" It might work"

Just blew my lunch out my nose laughing. A few million medieval skeletons in mass graves may differ with that Pollyanna prediction.



Napalm - better living through modern chemistry.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:31 | 5090525 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Ok, please stop. Now I'm trying to quell hysterical laughter and trying to scrape up the last few shreds of my sanity and dignity strewn on the floor. I'm about ready to come to the conclusion if this virus gets any traction, we are just fucked. After pouring over 35 Ebola technical articles on pathogenesis, cell surface protein shielding, ineffective innate inflammatory response, ZMAPP... It's hopeless. This virus is just too pathogenetic. And here I was shaking in my boots afraid of a novel coronavirus or an H5N1 outbreak. Silly me.


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:12 | 5088157 power steering
power steering's picture

The disease is spread through the sharing of our precious bodily fluids and undercooked fruit bat

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:13 | 5088179 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


Fruit Bats 50% off!

Pre-cooked in microwave bags!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:27 | 5088242 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

I just cancelled my 'Bat of The Month" club membership and hope they didn't send August's selection, Chef Ogunro's Late Summer favorite, "Sucker-Footed Bat" yet. 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:11 | 5088322 power steering
power steering's picture

No wonder business at El Fruit Bat Loco Resturant has been so slow

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:18 | 5088203 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

If that is indeed the case could someone explain why the health workers, who are covered head to toe in protective gear, are coming down with this?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:36 | 5088270 walküre
walküre's picture

Because not all have the space suits


You think those dudes about 10 feet away are safe?


There are too many of them and they have no sanitation. Not much common sense to keep themselves clean or live clean either.

If Ebola was carried by flies, this thing would be a real problem.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:13 | 5088482 Four chan
Four chan's picture

according to cdc you have to lick an ebola victom to get ebola.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:02 | 5088767 7.62x54r
7.62x54r's picture

Or have sex with one. 50 days of possible contagion, even if you survive.

Africa may be doomed.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:55 | 5089044 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Ah Africa, the White Man's Burden.

In other news imports of 16th century peasants from Gabon and Somalia are up 387 percent.

Because reasons.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:31 | 5088603 Jena
Jena's picture

Also this:  

No MSF* worker has ever died from Ebola. But in Kenema, five hours from Kailahun along a pothole-infested road, more than 20 hospital workers have died from Ebola since May 25, when the Sierra Leone outbreak was declared. Among them was Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, the country’s top expert on viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Chenard went to Kenema to help identify what went wrong. “It’s the worst place I’ve seen as an Ebola treatment centre,” says the 32-year-old Frenchman, a logistician who specializes in water and sanitation. “Take everything that you want to avoid in a treatment centre — and you are in Kenema.”

There was blood on the walls, starving patients and hygienists using water that was “brown like mud.” Health workers moved from high-risk to low-risk areas without changing clothes; “you never knew who was next to you,” Chenard says. “It could be a patient, suspected or confirmed … it could be hospital personnel.”

He recommended the hospital hire at least 46 more staff to support infection control and sanitation in its isolation ward. When he visited, there were only three.

“They don’t have the means to work properly,” he says. “It’s not like they do not try. They really try their best. But there are not enough numbers and there are not enough skills.”

There's more, particularly about the lack of people available to bury the dead. Also interesting the effort to trace contacts.



*Medicin san Frontiere

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:25 | 5088566 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

The simplest answers, Earthlings are being lied too. 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:00 | 5088398 Key-Rick
Key-Rick's picture

I believe that's called "Chicken of the Cave" now. 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:58 | 5089058 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

...and I threw away the receipt for that pallet of Cave Chicken Helper I bought.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:28 | 5088588 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

The marijuana growers use bat guano. 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 19:10 | 5089708 atomp
atomp's picture

Listen, Colonel Bat Guano, if that is your real name...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:05 | 5088130 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Please.  You get within 100 yards of the troops, and they will stop your 'advance'.  And thats putting it mildly.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:08 | 5088148 Publicus
Publicus's picture


Soldiers check the credentials and take the temperatures of those trying to go in or out


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:17 | 5088190 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Well, then, I forsee a conversation taking place a few weeks/months from now:

"We'll have to nuke the site from orbit.  Its the only way to be sure."

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:26 | 5088238 funthea
funthea's picture

+1 for the "Aliens" quote.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:18 | 5088199 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Or, more likely:  "soldiers are supposed to check credentials and take temperatures of those trying to go in or out."

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:43 | 5088302 Badabing
Badabing's picture

You are correct, temperature will be taken anally with an AK47

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:19 | 5088869 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Obama's elephant ears just perked up.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:30 | 5088922 dickizinya
dickizinya's picture

That would be 'rectally'.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:41 | 5088967 Badabing
Badabing's picture

I guess dickizinya would know.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:31 | 5090529 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"Or, more likely:  soldiers are supposed to check credentials and take temperatures of those trying to go in or out."

Use a new thermometer for each person, please.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:49 | 5088703 Bemused Observer
Bemused Observer's picture

What, the African troops? The ones who have tribal ties, and are related to, many of the people in the area? Maybe they'll stop YOUR advance, but Uncle Amadu is getting through, Ebola or not.

A lot of those folks, soldiers included, think Ebola is being spread by the West, and the doctors they send. And they don't trust their own governments either.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 17:02 | 5089086 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Yea, a bunch of Africans, who literally think raping 9 month old babies will cure Aids, who butcher 'witches' that they accuse of stealing their penises, are going to follow any protocols - at all.

And African soldiers discipline and training are legendary - they make the SS look like a spastic rabble.

What a dance macabre.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:49 | 5088704 Spigot
Spigot's picture

The social situation in western Africa is worse than you can imagine. Even supposedly "educated people" there are so enmeshed with the social matrix they can't operate rationally. The idea that troops at certain road check points can stop the transit of people, let alone detect infected people, AND not be infected, AND not pass on the infection to those they examine is beyond absurd. The only cordon that can be effective is to isolate western africa via an air and sea blockade which prevents outbound transit of people and anything that can not be sterilized.

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