Tag: #ebola

Domestic Threats to Public Health in the United States

If you’ve been watching the news, you might have noticed that something interesting is going in Italy. They just had a general election, and their results were very interesting. This is from The Atlantic: “Anyone who’s spent more than a vacation in Italy knows it’s a country with deep reserves of discontent, economic stagnation, and political dysfunction. So the anti-establishment…

The True Size of the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

One of the best skills I learned from my dad is how to read a map. I can hold it every which way and understand the layout of landmarks in it. When I drove from Texas up to Pennsylvania, before the advent of smartphones and consumer GPS units, I bought a road atlas from Walmart and used it to guide…

This is the reply of a homeopath who says he can cure Ebola

There’s a discussion online on this article about a group of homeopaths who wanted to go to West Africa and treat people sick with Ebola with homeopathy. For those of you who don’t know what homeopathy is, homeopathy basically boils down to magic. Homeopaths claim that water has “memory” and that you can dilute something beyond the point where any…

Talking Tuesday: A Very Quick Update

  Just a very quick, 5-minute update on my activities and a couple of thoughts on how different epidemiologists see epidemics differently. (Some of us see the big picture — and suffer for it — while others focus in on particular aspect of an epidemic like a laser beam.) As always, you can download the episode by clicking here. You…

Quarantine Shmarantine! Part 2: Let us not forget John Early of North Carolina

A few weeks ago, I told you the different reasons why I believe that quarantine doesn’t work. My main argument boils down to the fact that human beings can think and plan and act when they feel that they are in danger. Being placed in an isolated area (e.g. a tent outside a hospital) and not allowed to see friends and family makes us feel in danger. Being told by the governor of a state in the United States that you are “obviously ill” makes you feel in danger. Seeing incompetence and panic over Ebola everywhere around you makes you feel in danger.

Forget about Ebola in the United States. Focus on Africa.

NOTE: Before you read any further, please consider bidding on an 8×10 print of a palace building in Korea. All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. Click here to check it out. Thank you. I called it. I told you all that fear was spreading faster than Ebola, and now it has. A physician in New York City has come…

Talking Tuesday: Jetlagged On Ebola


I’m jetlagged from the trip to Korea, and I’m feeling a little silly. So I recorded this podcast with a lot of complaints over the craziness going on about Ebola. When an elected US Senator tells us that you can get Ebola at a cocktail party, you have to ask yourself two questions: What kind of cocktail parties does he attend? And exactly what science and virology book he read this from?

I don’t think he read anything about it, personally.

Anyway, listen to my rant. Or don’t. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t.

You can download it by clicking here, if you’re so inclined. I promise to get back on schedule next week, maybe.

Ebola Crash Course, Part 2: History

This is the second in a series of quick-ish blog posts on Ebola in light of all the stuff going on. Last time, I talked to you about the virology of Ebola, what it is and what it isn’t. The main take-home point from that post is that it is an RNA virus that is tiny, that belongs to a…

If you listen to one talk on Ebola, make it this one

This is a talk given by Dr. Mike Osterholm from the University of Minnesota. He is the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health at the University of Minnesota and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). His views on infectious disease epidemiology and control are sound and very well received in most, if not all, circles. He wrote two pieces on Ebola recently. The first was on Politico: “The Ebola Epidemic Is About to Get Worse. Much Worse.” The other was in the New York Times opinion section: “What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola”. Both are very sobering views on Ebola in West Africa and, now, the rest of the world.