Ebola Mortality Rate Expected to Rise as Outbreak Runs its Deadly Course

World health officials struggle to control Ebola outbreak
LONDON (Reuters) – The death rate so far in the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola is not as extreme as recorded in the past, but experts expect it to prove no less virulent in the end, once more victims succumb and the grim data is tallied up.

Latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) record 1,603 cases of Ebola in the West African outbreak and 887 deaths – giving a death rate of just over 55 percent.

That is well below the 78.5 percent average death rate over 14 past outbreaks of the same virus – called the “Zaire strain” after the former name of the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first detected in 1976. In some outbreaks the rate was up to 90 percent, according to WHO data.

Experts say death rates for Ebola outbreaks can rise as the disease runs its course, which is what they now expect.

“This is partly a statistical thing about collecting death events, and also partly about the maturity of the outbreak,” said Derek Gatherer, a virologist at Britain’s University of Lancaster who has been following the outbreak since it started in February.

“The nearer we get to the end of the epidemic, the closer we would expect the fatality rate to correspond to the Zaire Ebola average of 80 percent,” he told Reuters.

Ebola can take up to a month to kill its victims, said Ben Neuman, an expert in viruses at Britain’s Reading University.

Already, the death rate in Guinea, where the infection was first detected, has reached 74 percent. The overall regional outbreak mortality figure is brought down by lower death rates in countries that were more recently hit: 54 percent in Liberia and around 42 percent in Sierra Leone.

“It will take a few weeks until we see the outcome of a wave of new cases like this one,” Neuman said. “(The) Ebola fatality rates look particularly low in Sierra Leone at the moment compared to Guinea, because the virus only recently arrived.”

There is still some hope that the rise in death rates can be slowed through medical care. Neuman noted that when doctors are able to begin treatment soon after infection, the survival rates from Ebola can increase significantly.

But even at 50 to 60 percent mortality, no other human disease comes close to Ebola’s ability to kill those it infects, specialists say.

The corner of West Africa stricken by Ebola is among the poorest areas in the world and government hospitals in the region often lack even basic equipment, with dirty and overcrowded rooms.

Fear of being left to die in isolation and suspicion of doctors in masks and full body protective suits is driving some patients to evade treatment altogether, meaning they can go uncounted in the data whether they live or die.

NO CURE

Ebola has no proven cures and there is no vaccine to prevent infection, so the best treatment is focused on alleviating symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea – all of which can contribute to severe dehydration.

Patients often need oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes, or intravenous fluids. Severely ill patients need intensive care.

But languishing in the bottom part of the U.N. Human Development Index, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have some of the weakest health systems in the world. This, combined with porous borders, poor sanitation and local ignorance of the disease have helped its spread.

Nigeria said on Tuesday it had eight suspected cases linked to a confirmed fatal case in a man who traveled to Lagos from Liberia last week. Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said it was also testing a suspected case in a man returning from Sierra Leone.

Two American aid workers who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa have been flown home for treatment are likely to have a better than average chance of survival due to higher standards of healthcare.

Guinea, where the outbreak started in rural forest areas in the east, had the lowest ratio of hospital beds per capita in a World Bank survey of 68 nations in 2011, with just three beds per 10,000 people.

Outside the main cities, rural healthcare clinics are rudimentary with healthcare experts saying even basic equipment like plastic gloves is unavailable.

Although malaria and other fevers are regularly treated at hospitals and clinics in the three countries, their facilities were not prepared for a disease as deadly as Ebola. Health authorities and medical NGOs had to scramble to set up makeshift isolation units – often a collection of tents – in rural areas.

Neuman said there was some hope that public relations efforts to get more people to seek treatment for Ebola would pay dividends in lower death rates.

“While improvements in care will undoubtedly continue to increase the Ebola survival rate, there will unfortunately be more casualties from among those who have already caught the virus,” he said.

As of August 1, 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1,603 including 887 deaths. (WHO/Yahoo News)

As of August 1, 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1,603

Delaware Woman Shoots Intruder She Found Sleeping in Her Bed

A suspected burglar is in police custody after being shot by a female homeowner in Stanton, Delaware.

According to 6 ABC, a woman whose home was empty due to renovations being completed, found quite the surprise in one of her bedrooms,

When the homeowner and her son arrived to check on the home just before 6:00 a.m., she found someone inside.

After a confrontation, police say, there was a struggle and the homeowner, who was armed with a gun, fired one shot, striking the suspect in the lower body.

The suspect was found to be sleeping in one of the bed’s inside the home.

After being shot, the suspect was able to flee the area, but he was quickly located by police who called in dogs as well as a helicopter in an effort to locate the man. He is being treated at an area hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.

The suspect is described as a homeless man.

Ebola ‘Dirty Bomb’ the Next Big Fear

The possibility of Ebola being harvested by would-be terrorists and used as a bioweapon in a large city is now at the front of the minds of many. Dr. Peter D. Walsh of the University of Cambridge is publicly raising the alarm over the same warning, “Ebola is a perfect bioweapon. Because of its ability to survive storage and still function many days, weeks or years later, it could be very easily harvested from infected victims and then preserved using nothing more than a common food dehydrator.”

Now, Dr. Walsh is adding his voice to the warning in an article published in The Sun (1), saying “serious risk is that a group manages to harness the virus as a powder, then explodes it in a bomb in a highly populated public area. It could cause a large number of horrific deaths.”

What both of us quickly realized as this situation unfolded is that Ebola virus is not very difficult to acquire because infections are so widespread. Harvesting the virus is a simple matter of taking a few droplets of blood from a patient who already has the disease (and trying not to infect yourself in the process).

Ebola is easy to store in a powder form

Ebola remains viable indefinitely if stored properly. The Public Health Agency of Canada explains: (2)

The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days. Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4 (C) for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70 C.

All that is really required to create an Ebola dirty bomb is to freeze Ebola blood samples, dry the blood samples using a freeze-dry technique (placing the samples under a vacuum to sublimate the water), then crushing the remaining material into a powder. It is a simple matter to sneak this powder into the target country as a passenger on a commercial flight. After all, the TSA has no restrictions against carrying powders on board aircraft.

Once the material has arrived on location, as Dr. Walsh describes, it can be strapped to a chemical bomb of some sort to disperse the Ebola material in a crowded area such as a train station, subway station, etc. Enclosed, indoor areas are the most likely targets by terrorists because they maximize the concentration of the material during dispersal.

A self-replicating weapon

The reason Ebola is such a dangerous bioweapon is because it self-replicates. The terrorists who invoke such a weapon are not merely causing fatalities among those who are immediately infected; they also initiate a ripple effect that may result in hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of others being infected before full containment is achieved.

Infectious disease bombs would also be extremely demanding on emergency responder resources, tying up not just police and investors but also hospitals, doctors and infectious disease experts. The logistics of quarantine and patient transportation are also a nightmare for any local or national government to deal with.

At the same time, the fear factor of a bioweapon attack has enormous “payoffs” for terrorists who are attempting to create as much terror as possible. The idea that an invisible, deadly weapon has been unleashed in their own city will drive many residents to the brink of total panic. The fear will paralyze the city and shut down nearly all commerce, transportation and employment.

Thus, an “Ebola dirty bomb” achieves a kind of economic and psychological destruction which simply can’t be matched by a chemical bomb. Ebola is terrifying all by itself, and pairing it with a deployment device multiplies the terror effect on the population.

Can we stop such acts of terrorism?

The real question on this is glaringly obvious: Can we stop the deployment of such a bomb in a large city like New York or London?

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement and national security operators, the realistic answer is a resounding “no.” Ebola is relatively easy to harvest by a determined terror group, and it’s relatively easy to make a crude explosive device. In fact, you don’t even need explosives. All they need is a way to disperse powders or liquids at high volume, and that can be achieved with common laboratory materials that I’m not going to describe here.

So the usual law enforcement approach of trying to keep tabs on people buying explosive materials won’t be helpful in this case. It’s almost impossible to prevent someone from building and deploying such a device.

Low-tech weapons that rival the destruction of nukes

Keep in mind that there really are evil groups trying to destroy America at every turn. Some of them operate from far outside the USA, but others are operating right now inside the country. With a bioweapon like Ebola, they have easy access to low-tech weapons of mass destruction, and biological weapons can approach the devastation of nuclear weapons because of their self-replication capabilities.

What makes this situation even more complex is that the source of the attacks can be concealed, so the American military has no idea who to attack in response. If a terror group unleashes an Ebola dirty bomb at Grand Central Station, who does the Pentagon nuke in return? There’s no answer because nobody knows… at least not right away.

An Ebola dirty bomb can be constructed and deployed by a surprisingly small team. This team could be funded by a rogue government using a variety of covert funding technique leaving no traces of their origin. Regimes like North Korea have already announced their intentions to attempt to destroy America by striking us with nuclear weapons. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that North Korea could fund a rogue bioweapons team to attempt to cause an Ebola pandemic in America.

Accidental pandemic

There’s also the possibility that U.S. health authorities might accidentally unleash Ebola on the U.S. population by making a serious error in their handling of Ebola patients. As Natural News readers know, Ebola patients have been imported in the U.S. over the last few dayswhile health authorities ridiculously claim there is no risk to the U.S. population.

Radio host Michael Savage, who has a PhD in epidemiology, offered some of the best criticism of these foolish activities, saying: (3)

All these experts on television are telling us it’s perfectly safe and we need not worry. And the lamest answer comes when you ask them how the medical doctor who they brought to Atlanta contracted Ebola in Africa. Their answer is always the same: “Oh, an accidental needle prick.” This is nonsense. It is possible they were experimenting on the poor African villagers and the disease got out of control. Now, they are bringing in highly infectious patients into this nation that is Ebola-free. In doing so, they are violating the primary rule of contagion: isolation. They are now using this: “We must fight our fears or remain compassionate.” This story is unraveling.

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/58…

(2) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-…

(3) http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/ebola-madness-is-…

(4) http://www.naturalnews.com/046259_ebola_outb…

Doctor: There’s Not Enough “Panic” to Justify a Cure For Ebola

“It’s not just one drug that we need for Ebola, we need a cocktail of drugs and perhaps a nice vaccine that could be used, these all take a lot of money and right now in the history of what we know at least there have been fewer than 5,000 people infected with Ebola,” said Neuman, adding, “It sounds scary but I don’t know if there’s enough panic or enough people who are potential customers for these drugs to warrant a company, a private company, putting the money in it would take to develop these.” (emphasis mine).

Neuman’s admission underscores the fact that big pharma is driven not by a genuine urge to eradicate disease and bring relief to victims, but to make as much money as possible.

Indeed, an Ebola vaccine developed by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. which was tested on humans with positive results was put on hold by the FDA, leading doctors to create a petition urging the federal agency to lift the ban.

In this regard it’s interesting to compare the Ebola outbreak to the 2009 swine flu outbreak. As Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, revealed – drug companies put pressure on the World Health Organization to declare the H1N1 outbreak a pandemic because they already had a vaccine lined up and stood to make millions in profits.

Despite swine flu having a 0.04% mortality rate in western countries such as England, in comparison to Ebola’s 90% mortality rate, the level of hysteria whipped up around the swine flu outbreak was unlike anything seen before in modern times.

Governments issued warnings about mass riots, put morgues on alert to accept huge numbers of bodies, and prepared troops to police the streets, actions Wodarg described as being part of, “one of the greatest medical scandals of the century.”

When the crisis quickly subsided, governments were left with huge stocks of Tamiflu that they were forced to offload at basement prices, while pharmaceutical giants like GlaxoSmithKline were laughing all the way to the bank.

Despite scientific studies which show that Ebola is now in fact airborne, both the United States and Germany have taken the unprecedented step of accepting Ebola victims. The level of fearmongering and hysteria that accompanied the swine flu outbreak has been noticeably absent in the case of the Ebola threat.

In a piece for the Independent, Professor John Ashton, the president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, highlights the fact that big pharma has largely ignored the Ebola crisis because it has thus far only affected people in Africa, slamming the “moral bankruptcy” of the pharmaceutical industry.

Ashton points to how Aids was killing black Africans for years before it spread to the west but that delays in developing treatments contributed to the hundreds of thousands of deaths that followed.

Given this history, it seems that many thousands more people will have to suffer excruciating deaths as a result of the Ebola virus before the pharmaceutical industry and governments work in tandem to fast track a cure.

Nigeria Says Doctor Who Treated Ebola Victim Has Contracted Virus

Nigerian authorities said Monday that a doctor in Lagos who treated a Liberian victim of Ebola has contracted the virus, the second confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city.

Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, who confirmed the positive test, said 70 other people believed to have come into contact with the Liberian were being monitored, with eight placed in quarantine including three who were “symptomatic.”

The confirmed case “is one of the doctors who attended to the Liberian Ebola patient who died,” Chukwu told journalists.

A quarantine unit has been set up in Lagos and blood tests from the three people displaying Ebola-like symptoms have been sent for testing, with results expected later on Monday, the minister further said.

Patrick Sawyer, who worked for Liberia’s finance ministry, contracted the virus from his sister before travelling to Lagos for a meeting of west African officials.

He landed in Lagos on July 20 from Monrovia after switching planes in Togo’s capital Lome.

He was visibly sick upon arrival and taken directly to the First Consultants hospital in the upmarket Lagos neighbourhood of Ikoyi. He died in quarantine on July 25.

The hospital was closed indefinitely last week.

The second confirmed case in Nigeria is the latest in the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak, which has infected 1,440 people and left 826 dead. The other cases are spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Toledo Water Crisis in Ohio: Chemical Agriculture Poisoned the Water

In case you haven’t heard, 500,000 people have been left without drinking water in the city of Toledo, Ohio, and store shelves there have been stripped bare of water.

“Residents of Toledo, its suburbs and small areas of southeastern Michigan began lining up for water Saturday after news of the contamination surfaced,” reports USA Today. (1) “Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties and deployed the National Guard to get water and meals ready to eat, or MREs, to the area.”

The water in Toledo has been contaminated by a toxic poison produced by “algal blooms” in Lake Erie. But here’s what no one in the mainstream media is telling you: What causes algal blooms in Lake Erie?

Agricultural pollution

Algal blooms are a sign of a wildly imbalanced ecosystem. Before modern industrial agriculture came along and started polluting the lake, algae were kept in balance and didn’t mass-produce the poisons that now contaminate the Toledo water supply.

As the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) group explains: (2)

“…Research has confirmed that Lake Erie is impaired by an excess of nutrients that feed harmful [organisms].” …The major phosphorus loadings to Lake Erie are from non-point sources, especially agricultural operations.

What’s happening is that all the fertilizer being dumped on nearby farm fields causesphosphorus runoff. This phosphorus runoff winds up in Lake Erie where it feeds the algae, resulting in algal blooms that produce the toxins. These toxins contaminate the drinking water supply and have led directly to the current water crisis.

Not a single mainstream media source reports the truth

I find it absolutely astonishing that I was unable to locate a single news story in the mainstream media which made this connection between agricultural runoff and the Toledo water crisis. Every single MSM story I found simply blamed the algae, as if Mother Nature has gone bad and is trying to kill everyone. In reality, it’s mankind that’s gone bad and is poisoning the planet. Algal blooms are just the symptoms of an ecological imbalance.

(Note: I did find one story in the Christian Science Monitor (4) that does explore the real story here, saying “Unsafe levels of toxins in drinking water in northwest Ohio are linked to algae blooms in Lake Erie.”)

Mainstream media reporting about this water crisis is very similar to its reporting on cancer: root causes are almost never discussed. The entire discussion focuses on symptoms, with zero attention given to how we might prevent this crisis in the first place.

In the case of Toledo and Lake Erie, the solution is rather simple: stop using chemical agriculture anywhere near Lake Erie and the problem is solved. Once the flow of phosphorus into the lake water is sharply reduced or ended, the algal blooms are averted and the water is once again safe to drink.

This would also save money, as water treatment facilities are spending millions of dollars just to remove algae toxins from their water. “Toledo spent about $4 million last year on chemicals to treat its water and combat the toxins,” reports USA Today.

Toledo residents aren’t even being told the truth

No doubt even the 500,000 people in Toledo who are now scrambling for water are not being told this truth. For all they know, the water supply has been magically poisoned without any cause whatsoever. No one is telling them that conventional chemical agriculture is the root cause of the poison.

In the same way that the public is not told the truth about cosmetic products causing cancer and aspartame causing neurological disorders, they will never be told that chemical agricultural practices poison the water supply. If people knew the truth, after all, they might demand a stop to those practices. And chemical agriculture is very profitable; especially when the environmental cleanup costs from all the chemical runoff can be passed on to somebody else.

Disease outbreaks, pandemics and toxins are all signs of a collapsing ecosystem

The bigger story in all this, however, is the fact that our global ecosystem is collapsingdue to industrial and agricultural poisoning.

Everything we’re seeing now — Ebola outbreaks, weird tropical viruses, the Plague, superbugs, flesh-eating bacteria and water supply toxins — are all just signs of how humanity has damaged and imbalanced the ecosystem. And until we stop the mass poisoning from agriculture and industry, it’s only going to keep getting worse.

Today there are 500,000 people in Toledo who have no drinking water. But if humanity doesn’t change its ways, that’s going to rise to 5 million people in California, or 50 million people across the USA, or even 500 million people across the globe who have no access to clean water because of the extreme damage caused by the industrialization of agriculture.

When chemicals and fertilizers are sprayed on crops, they don’t merely disappear. They get washed downstream and end up in rivers, lakes and oceans. Mankind is currently residing over the planet’s sixth great extinction event.

The journal Science, in fact, has reported that Earth is right now in the midst of a great extinction caused by humankind. “The journal Science reports more than 320 animal and bird species alone have vanished since the 1500s,” reports News.com.au. “Most other animal populations from among the more than five million species on our planet have declined by an average 28 per cent.”

Chemical denialists attack all who seek to save our world

As this mass extinction is taking place, keep in mind that there are droves of “chemical denialists” who claim all these agricultural chemicals are harmless. These are the same people who also claim GMOs are harmless, in case you’re curious. They’re the pushers of atrazine, glyphosate, 2,4-D, Agent Orange, DDT, neonicotinoids and other deadly chemicals.

These people are the poisoners of our world, and they front the for-profit agendas of powerful chemical corporations. Pro-business publications carry their propaganda stories which claim ridiculous things like “honey bee populations are not collapsing” or that DDT is good for you.

It’s frustrating that all attempts to stop the poisoning of our planet are characterized as “leftist agendas” by conservative business publications. Even I’m sometimes called a leftist for merely seeking to stop the corporate poisoning of our world. That’s especially funny because as Natural News readers well know, I’m a rifle-owning, liberty-loving Texan who favors lower taxes and secure borders — but I’m also strongly pro-environment, pro sustainable living, pro organic permaculture and wholeheartedly opposed the mass corporate poisoning of our world.

In my view, political affiliations don’t matter if we’re all dying from the collapse of a global ecosystem that we destroyed with our own foolish ignorance. What does it matter if we vote Republican or Democrat if we’re so full of toxic chemicals that we all die of cancer? If I had to pick a philosophical belief system that I really feel strongly about, it would be a system that declares all life to be sacred and seeks to protect living ecosystems from the poisoners who are systematically destroying it.

We must halt our ways or we will destroy ourselves

The algal blooms of Lake Erie are Mother Nature’s way of sending us a Biblical-scale warning sign: We must stop our destructive ways or we will sooner or later have to drink our own poison.

I hope humanity has the wisdom to heed these warnings signs before it’s too late. I fear, however, that we have already crossed the threshold and that runaway infectious diseases and ecological collapse will now run their course over the next 50 years.

Cause and effect. We have committed the cause, and now the planet has begun to deliver the effects. Prepare yourself for what’s coming, because it is now abundantly clear that the era of cheap, plentiful food and water for everyone has come to an abrupt end. The water is flowing with poison in Ohio, and in some places (like California) it’s barely flowing at all. Perhaps it’s time human civilization grew up and started behaving like an adult community of wise beings who consider sustainability beyond the next fiscal quarter.

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/20…

(2) http://www.ijc.org/en_/leep/report

(3) http://www.news.com.au/technology/environmen…

(4) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2014…

Orlando Homeowner Uses Gun to Defend His Wife and Children From Burglar

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – A homeowner armed himself after it was apparent someone was in his home where his wife and three children were sleeping.

The homeowner opened fire on the suspect after confronting him inside the home. The suspect fled and managed to get away, but there is a chance he was hit by the homeowner’s rounds.

According to WESH,

The homeowner likely won’t face charges.

“He’s in his home. He’s defending his family, so at this point, no,” said Lourdes Clayton, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Police believe a second suspect may have been driving a waiting car outside of the home.

None of the family members were injured in the incident.