16 Stunning Quotes From Global Health Officials On The Ebola Epidemic

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Ebola continues to spread an an exponential rate.  According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of all Ebola cases have happened in just the last three weeks.  At this point, the official numbers tell us that approximately 3,967 people have gotten the virus in Africa and more than 2,105 people have died. 

That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace.  One team of researchers has used computer modeling to project that the number of Ebola cases will reach 10,000 by September 24th if current trends continue.  And if the spread of Ebola does not slow down, we could be dealing with 100,000 cases by December Even the WHO is admitting that the number of cases is likely to grow to 20,000 before too much longer, and global health officials are now starting to use apocalyptic language to describe this outbreak.

For people in the western world that have never seen anything like this other than in the movies, it can be difficult to grasp just how horrible this epidemic truly is.  In the areas of west Africa where Ebola is spreading, fear and panic are everywhere, food shortages are becoming a serious problem and there have been reports of dead bodies rotting in the streets.  People are avoiding hospitals and clinics because of paranoia about the fact that so many health workers have contracted the disease.  According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 health workers have gotten the virus so far and more than 120 of them have perished.

We have never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes, and the scary part is that this might only be just the beginning.

The following are 16 apocalyptic quotes from global health officials about this horrific Ebola epidemic...

#1 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic, and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now."

#2 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: "Riots are breaking out. Isolation centres are overwhelmed. Health workers on the frontline are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers."

#3 David Nabarro, senior United Nations system coordinator for Ebola disease: "This outbreak is moving ahead of efforts to control it."

#4 Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO's assistant director-general for emergency operations: "This far outstrips any historic Ebola outbreak in numbers. The largest outbreak in the past was about 400 cases."

#5 Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization: "...we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months".

#6 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: "You have a very dangerous virus in three of the countries in the world that are least equipped to deal with it. The scale of this outbreak has just outstripped the resources. That’s why it’s become so big."

#7 Gayle Smith, senior director at the National Security Council: "This is not an African disease. This is a virus that is a threat to all humanity."

#8 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined."

#9 Vincent Martin, head of an FAO unit in Dakar:  "This is different than every other Ebola situation we've ever had. It's spreading widely, throughout entire countries, through multiple countries, in cities and very fast."

#10 Dr. Richard Besser, health and medical editor for ABC News: "Emergency rooms are closed, many hospital wards are as well leaving people who are sick with heart disease, trauma, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, malaria and all the everyday health emergencies with nowhere to go."

#11 Bukar Tijani, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization regional representative for Africa: "Access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in the three affected countries and their neighbours."

#12 Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security: "People are hungry in these communities. They don't know how they are going to get food."

#13 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: "This is for sure the worst situation I've ever seen."

#14 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response."

#15 Official WHO statement: "Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak."

#16 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: "It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets."

Despite all of these warnings, a lot of people in the western world are not too concerned about this epidemic because they have faith that our advanced technology will prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States and Europe.

But I wouldn't be so certain about that.

So far, the most promising experimental Ebola drug seems to be ZMapp.  In clinical trials, it has been doing very well on monkeys.

However, it hasn't turned out to be a silver bullet for humans so far.  Two out of the seven people that have received ZMapp have died, and as CBS News recently explained, current supplies are exhausted and it takes a really long time to make more of this stuff...

ZMapp’s maker, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, has said the small supply of the drug is now exhausted and that it will take several months to make more. The drug is grown in tobacco plants and was developed with U.S. government support.

 

Kobinger said it takes about a month to make 20 to 40 doses at a Kentucky plant where the drug is being produced. Officials have said they are looking at other facilities and other ways to ramp up production, and Kobinger said there were plans for a clinical trial to test ZMapp in people early next year.

The cold, hard truth is that Ebola is a brutally efficient killer for which we do not have a cure at the moment.

And what makes things even more complicated is that a different strain of Ebola is now spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  A treatment that works for one strain of Ebola may not work on another strain.

So let us hope and pray that Ebola does not reach the United States.

If it does, it could potentially spread like wildfire.

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One And Only's picture

Yeah, do what every other government agency does. Make up a bunch of shit and then ask for money to solve it. It's the only way to make money anymore.

cougar_w's picture

"corrupt scientitsts pursuaded by politicians and bribery get rich."

Get over yourself.

One And Only's picture

Up looks like we caught one on the defensive.

cougar_w's picture

Never. Always on the attack.

Parrotile's picture

If (and maybe when) the "problem escalates", the tune will change very rapidly.

Something called "self-preservation".

cougar_w's picture

Oh yes this is very true. We have to pay attention to fast-moving things. Most people have a very rudimentary understanding of biology and spread of disease -- essentially, none understanding at all -- and a fast-moving thing can take them by surprise. This is why I de-lurk and try to educate folks, though it is mostly a waste of time.

I figure maybe some day these few scattered lessons will help someone understand their situation.

willwork4food's picture

Damn. I guess I picked a bad week to quit Crystal Meth.

MrTouchdown's picture

There's more money in treatment than in cure. If you cure it - then it's done! Much better to just make the disease manageable.

One And Only's picture

No No No. You don't get it.

CREATE some bullshit disease/disorder like ADHD (because what kid isn't hyperactive?) So you created the problem and get this, you solve the hyperactivity with an amphetamine like Ritalin. Because we all know that prescribing an amphetamine to someone with gratuitous amounts of energy is a sure fire way to "help them" calm down.

Your kid doesn't have a learning disability they're thinking about banging their teacher.

You see how this works?

cougar_w's picture

There is no cure or vaccine, and no real treatment either, and then the doctors and nurses mostly die. So I don't know who you think is profiting here.

cougar_w's picture

"assesses the most promising strategies towards the future development of a pan-filovirus medical countermeasure."

I win. Again. As usual. Because I know shit from Shinola.

Ionic Equilibria's picture

"I win. Again. As usual"

You remind me of my grandson who imagines that loudly proclaiming he's right means he is actually right.  Not!  If wishes were fishes...  Grow up and present some credible evidence to support your contentions.  

BTW, I also don't like the type of hype you quoted, but that don't mean the BioCyrst idea is wrong or unworkable.  The mechanism is very interesting.  Experimental evidence supports the efficacy of BCX4430.  I downloaded the papers and read them.  You should do the same, particularly before you go off in such a half-cocked manner.  Er...  Did you claim to be a scientist?  

i've often up-arrowed you.  I hope you will show better judgement in this particular case.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE's picture

Cougar reminds me of a child as well. He throws temper tantrums,

stomps his feet, and loudly proclaims how he is always right. This signifies a deep seated inferiority complex and most likely a lack of real education. Compensating for his insecurity and lack of knowledge is representative of a very weak ego IMHO. ZMapp has a significant curative property that is showing a 50% success rate in a treatment setting. Cougar ignores reality and empirical facts in favour of his ignorance and an ego boost at the expense of knowledge and discourse. Someone should insist that he goes to bed after Gilligan's Island is over and the street lights come on. He should not be permitted to stay up with the adults after 9:00pm.

Ionic Equilibria's picture

Very well put, Master of Universe!  I think you nailed Cougar's psychology.  Many thanks.

cougar_w's picture

Keep trying, a decade from now you'll be where I was a decade ago.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE's picture

"I'm the King of the castle and you are the dirty rascal" is a central

theme in the ego bound world you live in, Cougar. You are going to bed when the street lights turn on and that's final. When you learn how to act like an adult, and accept differing opinions, we will let you stay up

past Gilligan's Island and the normal bed time hour at dusk. If you behave yourself, and put all your toys away, as well as promise to brush your teeth, and stop annoying the cat, we will let you stay up with the adults until the late night news is over.  This is the ultimatum

you should have been given when you were growing up. Unfortunately, your parents neglected to sanction you when you were younger, and we at Z/H know better than they did when it comes to socialization of children. Now be a good boy and learn to play nice with the other kids in the playground.

Moe Hamhead's picture

You've been watching "Mission Impossible" again.

Landrew's picture

Scientists are evil, go fuck yourself. Come out of the cave and live. The worst day in the world, is better than the best day in your cave.

Sean7k's picture

There isn't much integrity or ethics at the intersection of science and finance. Not all scientists traverse the intersection, but waaaaay too many for my tastes.

NoDecaf's picture

#5 Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization: "...we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months".

 

She says that based on what? Last I heard, hope was not a plan.

One And Only's picture

Same random number generator that churns out Obama's economic numbers - or anything for that matter. It's green as to reduce it's carbon footprint, it's powered by unicorns on rainhow treadmills (comes from the same source that powers green Tesla cars)

Moe Hamhead's picture

Unicorn?, as in a eunuch with a horn? ---

no wonder there aren't any left!

CheapBastard's picture

I think Chen had the BLS crunch the numbers.

JuliaS's picture

What she means is that like with all the past mega-diseases in 6-9 months the fearmongering will wear off and they'll have to come up with a new scary disease.

cougar_w's picture

"That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace. "

No the real problem will arise if ebola figures out how to travel. Right now it cannot get very far outside west Africa. That might change, but it hasn't changed yet. Until it does change talk of exponential growth should be carefully couched in terms of a small area of a large continent, within which it will burn itself out sooner than later.

The cat is in favor of watchfulness. It is not in favor of melodramatic nonsense.

More:

"Despite all of these warnings, a lot of people in the western world are not too concerned about this epidemic because they have faith that our advanced technology will prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States and Europe."

Whoever wrote this piece is kinda stupid. People are not too worried simply because ebola obviously cannot travel very fast very far. The instant that incipient reality changes people everywhere are going to freak the fuck completely out. I certainly will be. A fast moving ebola showing up in a Paris suburb would be a disaster ... but until then it's an African problem and we should focus on keeping it an African problem while we can.

ChartreuseDog's picture

No the real problem will arise if ebola figures out how to travel. Right now it cannot get very far outside west Africa. That might change, but it hasn't changed yet. Until it does change talk of exponential growth should be carefully couched in terms of a small area of a large continent, within which it will burn itself out sooner than later.

It's a good thing that sick people don't get on airplanes. Oh, wait...

cougar_w's picture

That has nothing to do with it. Ebola is still limited in how well it can spread human-to-human. If it was as mobile as influenza we would have had 500,000 infected a month ago.

It is bad enough, we don't need to act like it is worse than that. And since it is limited we can fight it where it is but that means seeing that as a solution and not throwing up our hands and walking away because it is already spreading outside of Africa, which to my knowledge it is not.

kaiserhoff's picture

Good points, Cougar.  If primates were the preferred host for Ebola, there would be fewer of us, and life would be a lot less fun.

DeadFred's picture

The worst part of this cycle of infections is the numbers are getting large enough to make that particularly nasty mutation much more likely. 

cougar_w's picture

Yeah.

It's all under a kind of rough geographical control -- until it isn't.

Things like this happen when they happen, we don't get a memo.

knukles's picture

Strange... I didn't get that memo.
Will people please start copying me on this stuff?  God sent me here to straighten this shit out and I can't do a damn thing if you don't keep me posted.

Parrotile's picture

 >>  It is bad enough, we don't need to act like it is worse than that. And since it is limited we can fight it where it is but that means seeing that as a solution and not throwing up our hands and walking away because it is already spreading outside of Africa, which to my knowledge it is not.

Not YET.

The problem would be the dissemination of undetected "infected and infectious" cases in Metropolitan or Urban populations. Public Transport centres (rail / air / road (i.e. bus)) could easily assist propagation, and owing to high throughput, contact tracing would be difficult.

Consider that those most likely to use such infrastructure are those in the workforce. So there's a good case to anticipate preferential spread within this key group of individuals, which would be of especial concern, since high morbidity (and mortality) rates in the "provider" set could (would??) lead to service shortfalls. Then, by reasonable extension (and in view of the current penchant for minimalist employment), it might not take a particularly "big hit" on a major Western population to result in a considerable degree of "collateral difficulties".

Note that the WHO was predicting that Pandemic Influenza (5% mortality) would have been "catastrophic" for the West (during the last H5N1 outbreak), so it boggles the mind to think of the consequences (illness, death, and blind panic) arising even a "best case attenuated" version of Ebola (or whatever).

This is the problem that "everyone" ignores. It is not just the "headline" death rate, but the very invisible (but very important) consequence of losing these people. Whilst "No-one is Irreplaceable", replacing the real key players (not the 0.1%) could be extremely difficult.

cougar_w's picture

As speculation went, that was better than most.

It is always the undetected cases that matter. WHO was saying last week that "shadow zone" cases where going to be a big problem.

The way it would work in the US is similar. If ebola is spreading human-to-human in a realiable way (seems to be doing just fine) you could have a sub-critical rate of infection that just keeps rolling along. Not really getting out of hand, not really going away either. Killing lots of people nobody cares about not enough for anyone to put 2+2 together. Just moving and killing and moving on.

And then one day, hitting just the right mutation that makes it spread like crazy, and you have something you were not ready for eating people alive.

That's not even alarmist. That's just how this shit works.

Parrotile's picture

Not speculation according to our Epidemiologist colleagues.

Predicting exactly what the outcome of a "novel" infection will be is difficult, on a comparable scale to accurate long-range weather forecasting. No matter how accurate the available data (and there's plenty of hard evidence to suggest at least some degree of under-reporting), the output of the various computer models we have access to does vary, ranging from "borderline innocuous" to "beyond the capacity of our peacetime health system", especially looking at longer-term scenarios (6 months - 1 year).

Our incident planning is guided by their predictive modelling and we have to be prepared for a significant event, or rather have plans in place to manage such an event. As to whether we would be able to manage any significant outbreak (in view of the "Panic Effect"), I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

Then, there's this - http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/a-2006-mathematical-model-shows-how-ebola-could-wipe-us-out  Scaremongering? Check the credentials of the model's designer, and pay particular attention to the conditions that result in a transition from an essentially linear model, to an "extinction for all hosts across a greater geographical distribution" scenario.

 

trulz4lulz's picture

The only real problem/difference in the model that Bar-Yam came up with is that this particular outbreak started in several different locations and his model only shows one location as "ground-zero". Would really like to see him rework his model taking that into consideration and see how it affects the outcome.

Larry Darrell's picture

Scince you seem to be well versed in diseases I figure you are as good to ask as anyone:  Are there traits or genes that can make people immune to influenza?  I ask because neither I nor my 2 brothers have ever had the flu, and between the 3 of us there are 100 years of life.  I worked in a pharmacy and interacted with sick individuals for years, and both of THem have significant others who work in hospitals (one an anestheticist and the other works in trauma).  ALL 3 WIVES/GIRLFRIENDS HAVE HAD THE FLU (SORRY FOR THE CAPS, STUPID PHONE).

Things that go bump's picture

Do you have type A blood? People with type A blood are most resistant to influenza. I too have never had it and never get vaccinated. 

cougar_w's picture

It's hard to say "no" to an observation like that. But I can also say that if there was someone with a general all-purpose immunity to influenza I think there would be about 200 major pharmaceutical companies would want a shot at understanding how that was possible.

Influenza is the shit. I mean it is nearly perfect as a pathogen. But it's not that common amoung healthy people with normal habits, and immunizations are free or cheap, so it's not usually a big deal.

Probably you and yours know how to take care of yourself and avoid exposure. Maybe you have enough low-level drive-by exposure all the time to have just enough immunity to ward it off if you do become exposed. Even that sounds like a reach even to me.

Well enjoy your good fortune. FWIW, I'm 55 and never had the flu that I know. No idea why. Just one of those things. Though now I've said it I suppose i'll get it next month.

Larry Darrell's picture

Things and cougar.  thank you both for replying.  it is something I have always been curious about, especially as relates to my own medical history....i got chicken pox as a child and have had the "stomach bug" on 4 occasions.  those are the only times ive been sick in my 35 years.  Some blood cultures i had in relation to a small spot on my face came back with a diagnosis of discoid lupus, but the follow ups the next year were all negative for the same "markers."  Since its an autoimmune disease where your body ends up mistakenly attacking healthy cells, i often wonder if my immune system is just hyperactive.  I dont want to become a lab experiment, but it would be interesting if certain people roaming around carry genetic variations that confer a "rapid response" detection of foreign invaders that allow for creation of antibodies even before the invader can gain a foothold.

Things that go bump's picture

A percentage of the population of Northern European descent carry a mutation CCR-55 that renders those with 2 copies of the gene immune to both plague and apparently HIV. 

Larry Darrell's picture

Something else for me to research if i can make the time.  at some point our family last name was changed from gustavson

Whoa Dammit's picture

Oh it will travel :

"The probability of seeing at least one imported case of Ebola in the U.S. is as high as 18 percent by late September, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks. That's compared with less than 5 percent right now.."

There's a 25 to 28 percent chance that an Ebola case will turn up in the U.K. by late September. Belgium, France and Germany will have lower risk. 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/04/345767439/a-few-ebola-c...

cougar_w's picture

I read it, it's good work:

"Results indicate that the short-term (3 and 6 weeks) probability of international spread outside the African region is small, but not negligible. The extension of the outbreak is more likely occurring in African countries, increasing the risk of international dissemination on a longer time scale."

So exactly what I've been saying for a while now.

See guys, it's not hard to figure. I've done enough population modelling to get the same general outcome running a model in my head.

The problems start when ebola gets into many more countries with large populations and many international connections. Hasn't happened yet but it might. We find it in east Africa, or Egypt, or it jumps to India, then yes absolutely we have a new game. Still not a global disaster (I still don't see a pathway for that) but vastly more interesting.

Their model had ebola jumping to the UK and UAE, and Ghana is going to have a hard time. That was really interesting, I was expecting maybe France instead. Well that's why we have models. What is critical (as they mention) is secondary spread. In that case UK is a real international threat. The irony might be that they contain this round of ebola to Africa only to have it pop up in the UK 6 months later, and from there start to move in unexpected ways.

buyingsterling's picture

" Still not a global disaster (I still don't see a pathway for that)"

Do you care to explain why? I don't see why the same basic process won't repeat here, with small outbreaks, quarantine attempts, broken quarantines. If the authorities make quarantines seem punitive, that may lead to total chaos.

Do you believe it to be airborne? If so, what about air travel - that's how it came to Nigeria, where sawyer infected everyone who attended to him. If not, why  not?

cougar_w's picture

When I mentioned that I don't see a pathway, it means I can't connect the dots between the outbreak in Africa and something similar happening in the US. It's hard to explain -- see these are multivariate problems. Lot's a variables. Huge interaction matrices. But the funny thing is you can sort of look at it from a distance and without even running it through a computer you can get a first order approximation. For example, I had ebola jumping into France because it made sense to me, while a real model run hundreds of times had it jumping instead to the UK. Okay, that's fine, I was pretty close.

How do I do that? I can't even tell you. Instincts, experience, ninja mad skillz, I don't know. But I "run the numbers" as I like to say and I look for a way for the numbers to create a path linking the US (and all that it is, and it is not Africa, whatever you think) to Africa, and the link is really low probability. Sure it could happen, but I don't expect it to.

I don't know what all is the deal with ebola in the current outbreak. We're seeing some things going on that amount to circumstantial evidence, but you can't run with that. And of course it is changing slowly into new strains as it meets additional hosts. No telling where that is headed. It could get bad, but it doesn't have to, nothing forces that to happen.

I wish I could explain. I can't. But tell you what as soon as something really bad happens and I find out, all the dots might start to connect all the sudden, all kinds of doors start to open at high probability, and the lid comes off right now -- and I'll know. I just will know. And I'll say something and I'll explain what has changed, same way I was quick to point out that healthcare workers suddenly falling sick and dying was a serious big ringing bell for me.

I guess if they hold back information, I'm blown. The engines needs information. Well let's hope the info sieves are leaky, we need to watch this one. I seriously do not trust TPTB to tell us plainly what the foosh is going on.

Sizzurp's picture

The Black death traveled only 5 miles a day, yet it took out 40-50% of the population in Europe.  Ebola can move a lot quicker than that. It's waiting for an opportunity, and I doubt it will have to wait very long.  Lots of chinese and indians work in Africa and they are running away in droves.  It's not hard to imagine someone taking it home especially when airline screening amounts to only looking for someone with acute symptoms.

Lost Word's picture

Wrong about Ebola not getting out of Africa.

The idiot Western Governments have tried a few times already to spread Ebola in the Western world by bringing Ebola patients into the Western world.

Further, unless there is a 100 percent prohibition on travel from Africa,

it is only a matter of time before someone infected with Ebola travels on his or her own initiative to the Western world, knowingly or unknowingly spreadng the Ebola virus in the Western world.

And considering that the new Ebola virus may be intentionally created as a biological weapon,

World wide pandemic of Ebola may be the Satanic NWO Global Depopulation plan initiated now.

cougar_w's picture

Some of that was fine. Yeah, only a matter of time. We get it. But no, ebola has not got out of Africa, not in the wild anyway, and that is all that matters.

But the rest of that was twisted bullshit.

On the whole you have promise and might add something of value here, but drop the pretense at being in on the fix because you aren't.