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Entries in epidemic (4)


Ebola Virus - Why Has It Spread So Far, So Fast? 

Source: CDC - Ebola Virus

The Ebola outbreak in the West African Countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has so far caused Suspected Case Deaths: 961, with Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 1779 as of this writing.

The spread of the virus has grown "out of control" and this state will likely remain this way for the next few weeks. Global Government agencies such as the CDC and NGO's alike are responding to stem the spread of the ebola virus. Though, several agencies are reporting that the current ebola virus is spreading beyond current efforts to contain it.

Why is it spreading so far so fast?

Part of the reason why ebola virus has spread so far so quickly has more to do with the cultural customs and beliefs in the areas where the ebola virus has occurred.

  • First, is the distrust of western doctors and medicine. This is not so in every instance, but does play at least some role. 
  • Another, as with the American citizen that travelled to Nigeria, after he became infected after his wife died of the disease, is a complete denial that they are infected. With an incubation period lasting as long as 21 days, some people are in denial they have become infected.
  • Another reason is the mishandling of the dead. As with many other places in the world, people have customs and rituals dealing with the treatment of the dead. In this case, some family members clean the body for burial without the use of proper protective clothing. If I am not mistaken, it is also proper practice to burn everything, including the dead that are infected with ebola.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the biggest contributing factor is having infected people "break" quarantine efforts. They either leave, or as in some cases have family members "break" them out of the facility.

Granted, these are not the ONLY factors in why the ebola virus is spreading, but do present unique challenges to stem the spread of the disease further.

As you probably know by now, this is the worst Ebola virus outbreak in history, and is also the first outbreak to occur in West Africa. This may also be considered another potential contributing factor in that the ebola virus had not directly occurred in this region of Africa in the past.

I recently wrote another article about Ebola Virus Facts and Information on my corporate blog. It is an excellent resource to share and includes information from the CDC, and WHO.

Since then the CDC has also shared an Ebola Virus Infographic that is good to have a look at.



Swine Flu (H1N1) Spreading Across Globe, Time for Business Planning Running Out

As Swine Flu continues to spread at a rapid pace, the window of opportunity for preparedness is closing fast as well.

Initially I was putting out preparedness information through my business/blog newsletter, however the situation has evolved rapidly enough that I thought it best to post some important information directly here on my blog.

First and foremost, if you run a business REVIEW or quickly develop a pandemic plan now, before it gets too late.

With that said, don’t panic, remain calm. There is no reason at this moment to not send your kids to school or stay home if you are not having symptoms. You can also not get the Swine Flu from eating pork.

Currently and for the first time, the WHO has increased its phase level of pandemic alert and changed the definitions of the phases; it is currently at Phase 4.

You can read more about the WHO Pandemic Phases on the WHO website, but here is the current definition of Phase 4:

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Breakdown of the new WHO definitions:

  • Phase 1: No viruses circulating in animals that cause infections in humans
  • Phase 2: Animal virus is circulating that is known to cause human infection
  • Phase 3: Animal or human-animal reassortment virus causes sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people but not sustained community level outbreaks
  • Phase 4: Verified human-to-human transmission of a virus that is able to cause community level outbreaks and marks a significant upward shift in the risk for a pandemic
  • Phase 5: Human-to-human spread of virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. This is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent
  • Phase 6: Pandemic phase
  • Post-peak: Pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance have dropped below peak levels
  • Post-pandemic: Influenza disease activities has returned to levels normally associated with seasonal influenza

The current situation is extremely fluid and as of this posting a total of 64 cases have been confirmed inside the United States. I will not focus on cases outside the United States at this time, however you can find updates to this information by going to the CDC Swine Flu web page, it is currently updated once per day.


  • Communicate to your employees; review your plan with them.
  • Consider sending out daily reminders, about proper hand washing, and proper sneezing and coughing techniques.
  • Consider eliminating ALL business related travel to Mexico; utilize telecommunications, virtual meetings for business.
  • If you considered implementing the prophylactic use of anti-virals, now is the time to review your plan. If you are considering them as an option, now is the time to sign up.
  • Now is the time to consider telecommuting options for employees who can work from home, and getting them trained. Don’t wait allow them time to adjust so they will be ready if it becomes a must.
  • Consider options for what telecommuting employees will do if working remotely fails. Many businesses are planning the same options. Reduced internet performance and even outages will be likely.
  • Consider what to do if employees refuse to come in to work (from panic)
  • Consider how to handle employees who may appear to be ill, but come to work anyway.


There will be many other options to consider.


Act now before it is too late.


If you need help planning for your business, have questions or concerns you can send me an email through my contact us page.

Or you can always call me directly on my business phone at:

877-565-TECH (8324)


Teenager In China Fourth Case of Bird Flu This Month

A 16-year-old boy in Hunan province is the fourth confirmed case of H5N1 (Avian Flu) to be confirmed in China since the beginning of 2009. Two of the cases were fatal.

A flu expert at China's National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shu Yuelong, said new infections were likely because the H5N1 virus is more active in lower temperatures, and he stated that "With the Lunar New Year approaching, the volume of trade of live poultry is growing, and the risk of the emergence and spread of an epidemic is increasing."

While the disease remains hard for humans to catch — with most cases linked to contact with infected birds — scientists have warned that if outbreaks among poultry are not controlled, the virus may mutate into a form more easily passed between people.

Human-to-human transmission of bird flu has happened about a dozen times in the past, in countries including China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Turkey. In nearly every case, transmission has occurred among blood relatives who have been in close contact, and the virus has not spread into the wider community.

Of the 34 cases confirmed to date in China, 22 have been fatal.




Dangerous Infections On The Rise In U.S. Children

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA infection are on the rise in the United States among children. MRSA previously had been a major concern only in hospitals, attacking patients who are already weakened by disease.

However it seems recent outbreaks in the community in otherwise healthy children have raised new concerns. Children with head and neck infections, such as those involving the ear, nose, throat or sinuses are also raising concerns.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 94,000 Americans get serious, invasive MRSA infections each year and 19,000 die.