Friday, October 3, 2014

How many hospital beds are there in the US prepared to handle Ebola? The answer may astound you

Training exercise, Nebraska Biocontainment Unit brochure
The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha Nebraska, put out a press release in July 2014. It stated,

Ebola Outbreak: Qualified and Prepared
In late July 2014, representative from the U.S. State Department recently visited The Nebraska Medical Center to take a closer look at the capabilities of our 10 bed Biocontainment Unit. There are no current plans for Ebola patients to be transferred here. This was strictly a fact-finding mission, to make government officials aware of the unit’s capabilities in case the need arises for treatment of additional patients with the Ebola virus here in the U.S. The unit has been operational for nearly ten years and is one of four such units in the country equipped to handle an outbreak of this nature.
A few thoughts:

--Ten beds? In an outbreak where a 'biocontainment unit' is needed, 10 isn't that many beds.

--One of four Units in the US? Where are the other three? Maybe they have more beds. The National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, Bethesda Maryland, has 3 beds. Emory Hospital, Atlanta has 3 beds and St Patrick's Hospital, Missoula Montana has 3 beds. Nineteen beds total in the US. Oops, Nebraska's ten seems like an embarrassment of riches compared to paltry 3 in the other places.

--I guess those 'no current plans' to receive patients in July turned into 'you must open for business now' in October

It is hopeful to read that "And any hospital equipped to care for a tuberculosis patient can care for an Ebola patient, according to Dr. George Risi, an infectious disease specialist who recently returned from spending 20 days in a Sierra Leone Ebola ward." But it still doesn't make it a Biohazard level-4 facility.

Ebola virus causes a medical response to a Biohazard Safety level-4 (BSL-4). It is the highest level.

Biosafety level 1
This level is suitable for work involving well-characterized agents not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment (CDC,1997)

Biosafety level 2
This level is similar to Biosafety Level 1 and is suitable for work involving agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment. It includes various bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as C. difficile, most Chlamydiae, hepatitis A, B, and C, orthopoxviruses (other than smallpox), influenza A, Lyme disease, Salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, MRSA, and VRSA.

Biosafety level 3
This level is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities in which work is done with indigenous or exotic agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease after inhalation. It includes various bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans but for which treatments exist, such as Yersinia pestis (causative agent of plague), Francisella tularensis, Leishmania donovani, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Chlamydia psittaci, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, SARS coronavirus, Coxiella burnetii, Rift Valley fever virus, Rickettsia rickettsii, several species of Brucella, rabies virus, chikungunya, yellow fever virus, and West Nile virus.

Biosafety level 4
This level is required for work with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents which cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and various other hemorrhagic diseases. This level is also used for work with agents such as smallpox that are considered dangerous enough to require the additional safety measures, regardless of vaccination availability.

Source for above, Wikipedia

Praise God there are medical personnel willing to work with BSL-4 patients!

I was glad to read that the patient being monitored at Queens Hospital in Honolulu does NOT have Ebola, according to reports.

Interesting article below. The author does a lot of math... and a little scaremongering. Though the numbers she uses are like-to-like, the scenario between W. Africa and the US has a few additional variables than simply numbers. In West Africa, rural clinics are so poor they habitually reuse needles. As a result, standards are different. Also, governments vary in their responses and protocols.

Though a disease will do what it will do whether it emerges in West Africa or the US, there is more to compare than just numbers to numbers. However, in one article I read, the medical personnel interviewed said that by simply applying IV drip, anti-coagulant and electrolytes, one can reduce Ebola's mortality rate from 80% to 40%. That sounds like a great reduction, but when you consider that the Spanish Influenza killed 3-5% of the world's population...and had a mortality rate of 10-20%, then 40% doesn't sound so great anymore. Anyway, for what it's worth, here is the article.

There are only 19 level 4 bio-containment beds in the whole of the United States…and four in the UK

And the beat goes on... "Two Washington area hospitals said within hours of each other Friday that they had each admitted a patient with symptoms and travel histories associated with Ebola."


11 comments:

  1. It's only a problem if you intend to do something about an out break. The CDC looks as though they are just going to ignore it out of existence.

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    Replies
    1. Jeff, you believe they have not been proactive enough?

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    2. It does not look as though they have properly regarded this biological agent as they have repeatedly sought to down play the threat to the public through exposure from those traveling here.
      And most hospitals are not equipped to handle these kinds of challenges. As an instructor for the military I trained soldiers who were in basic training on how to protect themselves with their personal protective equipment. After/during an event there has to be some sort of decontamination process. What we are seeing in Africa can happen right here because a living communicable agent is not the same as some sort of chemical that can be cleaned up. You have to kill it. It was made to be hard to kill and can ride around for up to three weeks before showing itself.
      The CDC has in the recent past not handled some things very well.

      http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/2014/08/24/cdc-shuts-down-bioterror-flu-labs-after-discovering-327-vials-of-deadly-pathogens-misplaced-2/

      http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/07/28/want-to-avoid-a-pandemic-heres-a-good-way-to-start/

      I do not know how accurate these reports are but there does seem to be some confusion.

      My questions I have about this individual Thomas Duncan is who is he? Why did he travel here after quitting his job and visit family after he knew he had been exposed by carrying someone to the hospital and home again and died a few hours later.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/world/africa/ebola-victim-texas-thomas-eric-duncan.html?_r=0

      He then lied about his not having been exposed to Ebola before departure. Why? And then take it right to family.
      Does he have any ties to ISIS? Why is this not being asked? All we know is what we have been told.
      I will say this that the U-Varient of the Ebola virus is airborne and is available world wide in missiles ready to go. You haven't heard much about that.


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  2. I read today, Elizabeth, that a man in Africa had died from the Marburg virus...very similar to ebola. I read last week that a scientist (mad?) had developed a flu virus (in Michigan!!) that it was impossible for the body to resist. He had taken a 2009 virus and kept genetically modifying it until it was weaponized to the point of a body not being able to fight it off...In other words, anyone who got it would die. Just thinking this morning...maybe the Lord has set the four horsemen of the apocalypse on the road. It certainly sounds like the one who was given the power to take life from the earth is riding!

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    Replies
    1. that scientist has to be mad. WHY on earth would anyone spend time making a virus with 100% mortality rate??!! nut!

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    2. Your comment about the horseman that has power to kill is riding may well be accurate Kim. However the power to overpower a body is more about the body being able to resist. My point is that those who are truly in Christ have more protection than they may realize.
      Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

      28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

      29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

      I have found that now more than ever to give up and turn away from that which is very obviously mixed with the enemies lies.

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    3. I memorized Psalm 91 last spring, and I have brought it the forefront of my memory these days. I know that those who are in the Lord have the greatest weapon and protection available to mankind, Jeff. May He keep you and yours safe.

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  3. fyi and slightly O/T...Regarding the "spread of a disease across borders", there was an interesting/frightening scene at the end of the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) during the end credits. Here is a link to the scene.

    vimeo.com/58434926

    Thank you Elizabeth for your heart, faith, and words.
    Todd

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    Replies
    1. Huhn! Interesting! A virus killed the humans...

      You're welcome Todd. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  4. Does Matthew 24:7 apply to pre or post rapture time?

    ""For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." Maybe we are now getting into pestilences?

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    Replies
    1. Matthew 24 is considered to be a statement by Jesus about the Tribulation. The tribulation has not begun, so any pestilence we're seeing is simply the result of a fallen and cursed world. It is my opinion that we are close tot he rapture and PERHAPS seeing a setting up of the final infrastructure that will begin upon the Tribulation.

      Remember, the Tribulation is only 7 years. There is quite a lot that is supposed to happen. For all that is prophesied to happen in the 7 years of the Tribulation, much prophecy is set up beforehand- so when the match is lit, the flame is a 'go'.

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