Is An Ebola Epidemic Inevitable In America?

What Can Citizens Do To Protect Themselves?

With each successive day since the man (Thomas Eric Duncan) who flew from Liberia to Texas was diagnosed with the first case of the Ebola virus in the U.S., more and more unsettling facts are starting to emerge. As we are seeing, Americans are the ‘last to know’ when it comes to our safety.

It turns out that Mr. Duncan actually reached U.S. soil via two separate United Airlines flights. Why is this important? Do we all need one of those yellow suits?

The CDC and other related agencies are desperately trying to calm the American public as the stock market started to tank yesterday. And part of their strategy is trying to downplay the ease of transmission of this deadly disease, which kills approximately 60-70% of victims who are not treated by the most advanced medical treatments, which as anyone knows is available on a very, very limited basis! That means that if thousands of Americans are suddenly infected, there won’t be the same results we are seeing with the few cases being touted by the CDC… they just don’t have the facilities or trained personnel to deal with an onslaught of Ebola cases here in America.

And keep this in mind as you listen to the re-assurances of the CDC spokespeople:

All of the missionaries and doctors who were infected with Ebola Virus and who returned to the U.S. from Africa for treatment were trained specialists and who had a medical understanding of exactly how the disease is transmitted; yet they still contracted this deadly disease! If they got sick, knowing what they knew, how much more vulnerable is the average person?

The bottom line is this virus is easily transmitted via bodily fluids… this means that if someone who is carrying the virus, who may even be asymptomatic, sneezes or coughs in a confined airspace, that aerosol of bodily fluids can potentially introduce the virus into the respiratory systems of nearby people, thereby potentially infecting them.

Further, if an infected carrier has any bodily fluids on their hands, and uses any fixtures in a restroom or touches any surface that is subsequently handled by other uninfected individuals within a few minutes, those uninfected individuals who have touched one of the those surfaces and then touches their eye or any tissues inside their nose or mouth, are also subject to potential infection!

As we begin to see, if we have 200-250 people on a jet with an infected individual who has used the restroom (sink, toilet, etc.) there is the potential to infect many people on that flight, who may subsequently in turn spread the disease during their travels.

So the new disclosure as to Mr. Duncan’s travels seems to infer that many people could have been potentially infected. So where are all these people now?

Ebola is transmitted through body fluids. Isolation may be necessary if the virus spreads.
Ebola is transmitted through body fluids. Isolation may be necessary if the virus spreads.

 

Making matters even worse, the Texas hospital that first saw Mr. Duncan sent him back home after initially misdiagnosing his illness as a flu-like illness! Of course during the period that he waited to be seen in the waiting room, he may have infected others in that room; and if he used the restroom, there may have been further exposures stemming from there, and so on… remember, this disease spreads exponentially!

So as the CDC tries to calm the public, this insidious and deadly disease may already have a significant start in our country.

My advice to Americans is to prepare, and do it now! It’s too late to prepare if there is an epidemic! How, you may ask?

Here is the advice that I am giving my own friends and family:

 

1. As we have already witnessed, we cannot depend on the CDC or the U.S. Government to contain this disease (or even give us the facts up-front without delay), so their quarantine measures may also be unreliable. Look at where we are today! They let at least Duncan easily come into the U.S.; how many others may have also made their way here into the U.S. and make be actively ill and yet to be discovered. The first stages of the disease resemble a flu and even fooled the doctors at the Texas hospital! And with the upcoming Flu season, the Ebola virus would have plenty of camouflage if begins to spread!

So we can only rely upon ourselves; if you are unsure if an epidemic is happening in your neighborhood (a sudden rash of people with the ‘flu’), it may be smart to isolate yourself and your family until you are doubly sure you are safe. Make sure you have a basic battery-powered radio receiver to monitor the news.

 

It is also possible that if an epidemic should occur, the Government itself may order martial law and require that everyone stay in their homes (means you cannot go outside for supplies). In order to comply with such an order, or to make use of the effective tactic of isolating yourself and your family, you will need supplies! Make sure you have enough water, food, clothing, medicines, fuel and any other must-have items to last at least a month. And keep 72 hours of these kinds of supplies in your vehicle or Bug-Out-Bag in case you have to evacuate an area fast.

 

2. Make sure you have plenty of face masks with at least an N95 rating. I would also make sure you have a box or two of nitrile-rubber surgical gloves in a couple sizes to accommodate the people in your family or group.

3. Make sure you have some spray bottles and a gallon of chlorine bleach. You can make a 20% solution of chlorine bleach mixed with water as a disinfectant (it will kill the virus that it contacts… do not use this on people or pets). You can use this disinfectant as needed; such as spraying on the soles of your shoes, contaminated surfaces, etc.

4. Maintain a careful awareness of the items that you bring into your home. For instance; any chilled item that is contaminated with the bodily fluids of an infected person (sneezes-coughs on some packaged goods that are in a cooler, etc.) will remain a potential source of infection longer than something that is exposed to the sun, or even a surface that is dry and at room temperature. Wash fruits and vegetables very carefully and completely before serving or consuming same.

5. Personal hygiene needs to be significantly enhanced: Buy quality soap and use it to wash your hands anytime you are exposed to any surface that may be contaminated. Pay particular attention to avoiding touching your face with your hands unless they have been thoroughly washed. The eyes, nose and mouth (as well as any open wound) are pathways for viruses and bacteria to enter the body.

The best possible protection is by far obtained by isolation and avoiding anyone who may be possibly infected. This is not easy and requires planning and discipline. If you are fortunate enough to be in an area that is not immediately involved in an outbreak, then you may have time to secure some form of isolation. For those people who have taken to the concept of ‘Nautical Prepping’ this process is actually quite simple as outlined in my book on that subject.

The way this situation is progressing so far, we’ll be lucky if we don’t have some form of epidemic in the U.S.   Here again… pray for the best outcome, while preparing for the worst.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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  1. Greetings Readers: I wanted to update this article with some important news… the CDC is now providing funeral homes with guidelines on how to deal with the corpses of Ebola victims… Logical people may ask; ‘if the outbreak on U.S. soil is just limited to the few people the government is telling us about, then why start getting funeral homes ready for an epidemic? The CDC certainly has teams capable of proper disposal of the remains of an infected corpse. On its face, this news can be interpreted as the government just being prepared… but anyone with a knowledge of the history of how they do things knows better… I.E. they don’t put the STOP sign at the dangerous intersection until someone gets killed… This CBS news update is worrisome: http://www.cbs46.com/story/26657838/cdc-issues-ebola-guidelines-for-us-funeral-homes

    Get your preps done NOW! You can’t go wrong with extra food, water and supplies… even you become unemployed, that stockpile of goodies can get you through the dark days… and if there is an epidemic, that stockpile will allow you to remain in isolation, and out of harms way!

    Cheers! Capt. Bill

    Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
    Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

    http://www.WilliameSimpson.com
    IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

  2. This is shaping up to look like “The Stand” (Stephen King miniseries on TV in 1994.) There was a major breach of protocol in Dallas a few days ago, and now Ebola has been spread all around that city. The man was sent home by a nurse who figured he just had the flu, even though he told her he had come from Liberia. Two days and several vomiting episodes on the sidewalk in front of his apartment building later, he was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The man used three different jet airplanes to get to Dallas from Monrovia. Hundreds of people either touched him or breathed the same air. (This stuff has proven to be airborne.) These people have dispersed to several states now.
    Is a pattern beginning to emerge?

  3. “Further, if an infected carrier has any bodily fluids on their hands,
    and uses any fixtures in a restroom or touches any surface that is
    subsequently handled by other uninfected individuals within a few
    minutes, those uninfected individuals who have touched one of the those
    surfaces and then touches their eye or any tissues inside their nose or
    mouth, are also subject to potential infection!”

    During this period it is important to avoid public toilets. Even if you wash your hands you must open the door to exit. One work around is going in the privacy of your car. A better option is to carry around a Gotta Go Poncho. This appears to be designed to mitigate the Ebola risk. The pocket sized system has an non-transparent hooded poncho that the user can ware for privacy and special bags for urination and defecation. Both are water tight and disposable.

    Also, carry with you hand sanitizer.

    1. Hi scary stuff , question does hand sanitizer really help I this stuff good . Putting on my kids and there school back . Thanks and God help us

      1. Hi Andi,

        The reason alcohol works to kill germs is to essentially dry them out. Alcohol is a highly hypertonic solution which means that water moves out of the cells into the alcohol to try to dilute it. That can’t happen, so the organism shrivels and dies due to the loss of nearly all its water. Note how your hands get dry/flaky/cracked if you use alcohol sanitizers frequently.

        The studies I’ve read use bleach because it’s cheaper and can be made in larger quantities and lasts beyond the time that the solution dries out, whereas once alcohol dries it no longer works towards killing germs. I have not found research pertaining to the suceptibility of Ebola virus to alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but they, combined with proper hand-washing techniques, are a good first line of defense for germ avoidance in general.

        I would recommend using a barrier (tissue/glove, etc) when handling public phones/doors, etc and even avoid using public facilities where droplets are likely to occur (bathrooms, water fountains, etc). N95 asks and gloves might be overkill right now, but are definitely within my threat matrix should things become elevated or reach closer to home.

    2. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

      SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder)Footnote48 Footnote49 Footnote50 Footnote62 Footnote63. The WHO recommendations for cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids suggest flooding the area with a 1:10 dilutions of 5.25% household bleach for 10 minutes for surfaces that can tolerate stronger bleach solutions (e.g., cement, metal) Footnote62. For surfaces that may corrode or discolour, they recommend careful cleaning to remove visible stains followed by contact with a 1:100 dilution of 5.25% household bleach for more than 10 minutes.

      PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Ebola are moderately thermolabile and can be inactivated by heating for 30 minutes to 60 minutes at 60°C, boiling for 5 minutes, or gamma irradiation (1.2 x106 rads to 1.27 x106 rads) combined with 1% glutaraldehyde Footnote10 Footnote48 Footnote50. Ebolavirus has also been determined to be moderately sensitive to UVC radiation Footnote51.

      SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low temperatures (4°C) Footnote52 Footnote61. One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote61. In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for several hours under ambient conditions (between 20 and 250C and 30–40% relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours), but is less stable than some other viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa) Footnote53. When dried in tissue culture media onto glass and stored at 4 °C, Zaire ebolavirus survived for over 50 days Footnote61. This information is based on experimental findings only and not based on observations in nature. This information is intended to be used to support local risk assessments in a laboratory setting.

      A study on transmission of ebolavirus from fomites in an isolation ward concludes that the risk of transmission is low when recommended infection control guidelines for viral hemorrhagic fevers are followed Footnote64. Infection control protocols included decontamination of floors with 0.5% bleach daily and decontamination of visibly contaminated surfaces with 0.05% bleach as necessary.

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