Despite reassurances from the CDC, medical workers have good reason to be wary of Ebola exposure.
... the largest study of the current outbreak found that in nearly 13% of "confirmed and probable" cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and elsewhere, those infected did not have fevers. [emphasis mine]
And 4% of infected patients have an incubation period longer than 21 days, based on self reports by patients with a single exposure, who were sure they knew their incident of exposure.
In this video Sanjay Gupta demonstrates how easily someone using the currently CDC recommended personal protective equipment can get contaminated.
Even health care workers using the far more rigorous PPE that is routine for MSF have caught Ebola.
From the Ebola sub reddit, I think 16 MSF workers have contacted EVD out of perhaps 3,000 thus far in the current epidemic. Still much better than Spain or Dallas.
Thanks for the video, where Dr. Gupta demonstrates how risky taking off the protective gear can be! He pointed out that Medecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders routinely use a "buddy system" as part of their protocol -- having a colleague monitor and double-check whenever someone puts on or takes off the equipment.
This interactive makes it clear how Ebola differs from other more familiar diseases. You can run new simulations, over and over, to get a gut feeling for it. If it showed the percentage of health care workers, the danger would be even more starkly portrayed. I like the slider, which also lets you watch infection spread, step by step. If you roll over an individual cell, it tells you on which day the person was infected.
... Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the Pentagon will create a 30-person, rapid-response Ebola medical support team to aid civilian health care workers should additional cases of the virus be diagnosed in the United States.
This is encouraging, if you live in the US. It doesn't say when the team will be ready to begin.
Yale researchers predict over 90,000 deaths from Ebola, just in Liberia's most populated county, by the middle of December. Preventing that is a matter of crude self-interest for the global community, they emphasize.
A mathematical transmission model of the viral disease developed by a team of seven scientists from Yale's School of Public Health and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia was applied to Liberia's most populous county, Montserrado. The country's hard-hit capital, Monrovia, is in Montserrado.
We estimated the basic reproductive number for EVD in Montserrado to be 2·49 (95% CI 2·38—2·60).
(not open source)(free with email registration -- thanks /u/dzdt ):
The researchers projected as many as 170,996 cases of the disease with 90,122 deaths in Montserrado alone by Dec. 15. Those figures include cases that are reported and cases that are not. Of those figures, researchers expect that only 42,669 cases and 27,175 deaths will be officially reported by Dec. 15.
... Although we might still be within the midst of what will ultimately be viewed as the early phase of the current outbreak, the possibility of averting calamitous repercussions from an initially delayed and insufficient response is quickly eroding."
"The current global health strategy is woefully inadequate ... [emphasis mine]