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Old 2014-10-22, 18:04   #12
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Did you hear the latest from Pat Robertson? He asserts that AIDS can be spread via contact with TOWELS.
He must be doing very strange thing with his towels ...
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Old 2014-10-22, 20:04   #13
Primeinator
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Did you hear the latest from Pat Robertson? He asserts that AIDS can be spread via contact with TOWELS.
Not a man known for his intelligence.

Also, I hope you treatment is going better, Dr. Silverman.
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Old 2014-10-22, 20:50   #14
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
He must be doing very strange thing with his towels ...
If you snap them on someone's bare flesh hard enough, they can draw blood...
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Old 2014-10-22, 23:27   #15
Uncwilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Yep. I've been in one. Isolation ward, that is. My neutrophil count dropped dramatically from chemo and
I was put in isolation. I was given immune system boosters and allowed to emerge after 2 days.
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Originally Posted by Primeinator View Post
Also, I hope you treatment is going better, Dr. Silverman.
If you care to disclose, how are you doing? What is your current prognosis?
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Old 2014-10-23, 01:53   #16
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More 'mericans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from ebola. I am not worried that either will happen to me.
Horrors!!! I would hate to be threatened with either of these. /me holds up the ward off sign at uncwilly.

Ebola is arguably one of the most contagious and deadly diseases on the planet. We currently have very little to stop it except isolation of anyone who has it from everyone who doesn't.

I would still make an argument that the common flu is much more dangerous. Look what it did between 1914 and 1919.
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Old 2014-10-23, 02:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Ebola is arguably one of the most contagious
No, not nearly! It's far less infectious than measles, pertussis, or rotavirus.
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Old 2014-10-23, 03:24   #18
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Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
[SNIP]
I would still make an argument that the common flu is much more dangerous. Look what it did between 1914 and 1919.
I have wondered about that comparison for some time. How many did influenza kill in that time span? It seems incredible that the flu pandemic went world wide before commercial air travel existed, and yet does not rate a mention in all the breathless ravings about ebola's powers of contagion.

One that worries me more, and makes me glad I don't fly that often, is antibiotic-resistant TB. TB is spread through aerosols from coughing or sneezing, and planes are great containers to get exposed in.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2014-10-23 at 03:24
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Old 2014-10-23, 04:23   #19
schickel
 
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
I have wondered about that comparison for some time. How many did influenza kill in that time span? It seems incredible that the flu pandemic went world wide before commercial air travel existed, and yet does not rate a mention in all the breathless ravings about ebola's powers of contagion.
According to Wikipedia, the mortality rate was pretty high:
Quote:
The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed.
As far as spread is concerned, it seems the travel systems back then were modern enough.
Quote:
The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation; the war may also have increased the lethality of the virus. Some speculate the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment, as well as the stresses of combat and chemical attacks, increasing their susceptibility.

A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of this flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease.

In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service's academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York. Failure to take preventative measures in March/April was later criticised.
For a more detailed (if very USA-centric) read, check out The Great Influenza by John Barry.
Quote:
One that worries me more, and makes me glad I don't fly that often, is antibiotic-resistant TB. TB is spread through aerosols from coughing or sneezing, and planes are great containers to get exposed in.
Too true; most people tend to worry about the wrong thing.
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Old 2014-10-23, 08:30   #20
Primeinator
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post

Ebola is arguably one of the most contagious and deadly diseases on the planet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse View Post
No, not nearly! It's far less infectious than measles, pertussis, or rotavirus.
Not quite. Ebola is VERY infectious but is NOT very contagious. This may seem like an odd distinction but these two terms are quite different. I'm relatively ignorant on mathematics (only took through Calc III and ODE) but cell biology was my major in undergraduate and is my first love even before prime numbers.

Last fiddled with by Primeinator on 2014-10-23 at 08:36
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Old 2014-10-23, 15:33   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primeinator View Post
Not quite. Ebola is VERY infectious but is NOT very contagious. This may seem like an odd distinction but these two terms are quite different. [SNIP]
Would you sketch out the differences?
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Old 2014-10-23, 15:48   #22
fivemack
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Infectious refers to the probability of infection on a single occasion; 'contagious' is number of infections during the period that the carrier is infectious.

Ebola is very infectious: if you get fluid contaminated with Ebola virus onto your mucous membranes, you're quite likely to get the disease.

HIV is not very infectious: if you have sex with someone with HIV, you're really not very likely to get the disease: probability well under 1% each time.

But someone with Ebola is likely to die in a few days, and is very clearly someone whose fluid you do not want to get on your mucous membranes: so the number of people he can infect is small - generally about two.

Someone with an enthusiastic sex drive and HIV might not know for five years, during which time he's constantly infectious; he might well change partners six times and can quite plausibly (assuming having sex twice a week) infect most of them.

Last fiddled with by fivemack on 2014-10-23 at 15:49
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