Tag Archives: blood

Why Ebola Is Such A Uniquely Terrible Virus

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This is another article on Ebola. These articles are to educate and not cause unnecessary fear. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Have a blessed day. Shirley

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ebola biohazard suit hose
Physician Thomas Klotzkowski cleans Florian Steiner, a doctor for tropical medicine, in a disinfection chamber at the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin.
The Ebola virus is uniquely terrible for many reasons, but it doesn’t actually kill you. Your own immune system does.
In its struggle to beat back the virus, your immune system’s reaction ravages the rest of your body, leaving your blood vessels weak and leaky.
Soon, blood and plasma start pushing through, sometimes coming out of your pores and every orifice.
But long before the body begins to fail — around the time Ebola first enters the blood — the virus starts tripping up our defenses.
Here’s how it kills, how it spreads, and how it can be treated. In every step of the way, this deadly virus is uniquely terrible.

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ebola virus
The Ebola virus. So small. So deadly.
Ebola is a filovirus, a type of virus made from a tiny string of proteins that coat a single strand of genetic material. Particles of the virus live in an infected person’s blood, saliva, mucous, sweat, and vomit.
When someone is at the height of the illness (typically after five or more days), one-fifth of a teaspoon of that person’s blood can carry 10 billion viral Ebola particles, The New York Times reports.
An untreated HIV patient, by comparison, has just 50,000 to 100,000 particles in the same amount of blood; someone with untreated hepatitis C has between 5 million and 20 million.
If those particles find an entry point, like a cut or scrape, or if a person touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes with fluids that contain them, they get to work quickly.

How It Kills
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Ebola how it kills
Touch is integral to patient care — and the best way to spread Ebola.

Once inside the bloodstream, the virus targets a compound called interferon. Interferon, named for its role in “interfering” with the virus’ survival process, alerts the rest of the immune system to the presence of a foreign invader. Normally, interferon would deliver its warning message straight to the cell’s command center via a special “emergency access lane.”
Ebola is too smart for that old trick.
The virus hijacks the delivery process — preventing the immune system from organizing a coordinated attack — by attaching a bulky protein to the messenger. In its misshapen form, the messenger can’t enter the cell. The immune system remains unaware of the problem, and the virus gets free range to attack and destroy the rest of the body.
This is when Ebola goes on a replication rampage. Once the virus starts growing, few things can stop it.
The virus starts infecting organs, killing the cells inside and causing them to burst. All of their viral content pours into the blood. By this time, the immune system begins responding to the crisis in turbo mode, but it’s far too late. Rather than destroying the virus, our defenses simply rip our own bodies to The World Health Organization has said the virus seems to kill about 70% of people infected, though it’s hard to know the true numbers while the outbreak is still in progress.

How It Spreads
Ebola how it spreads
ebola patient escaped liberia
Ebola doesn’t need to be airborne to cause an epidemic. Anyone who touches a sick patient is at risk.
Although Ebola spreads less easily than a cold, because it isn’t airborne, the Ebola virus is far more persistent.
Like cold germs, Ebola virus particles survive on dry surfaces, like doorknobs and countertops, for several hours. But unlike a cold virus, which primarily infects the respiratory tract, Ebola can also live in bodily fluids like blood and saliva for several days at room temperature.
Doctors have found Ebola in the semen of men who have survived the virus up to three months after they recover.
It’s important to remember that someone with Ebola isn’t contagious until he or she starts showing symptoms. This happens when enough of a person’s cells have been overtaken by the virus, a process that scientists say appears to require a hefty load of viral particles in the body.
There’s also the prospect of Ebola mutating into something more deadly. Peter Jahrling, one of the head scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks the virus could already be changing into something more dangerous, Vox reports.
In recent tests with Ebola patients in Liberia, Jahrling has noticed that the infected seem to have more of the virus in their blood, which could presumably make them more contagious.
And even worse, it preys on our human need to touch and care for the sick, which is why much of its spread is to caregivers and healthcare workers.
“The mechanism Ebola exploits is far more insidious,” as Benjamin Hale wrote in Slate. “This virus preys on care and love, piggybacking on the deepest, most distinctively human virtues.”
That’s why the virus strikes children, their parents, families, and communities. All it takes is one small slipup, one uncalculated act of humanity, and the disease spreads even further.

How It Is Treated
Ebola treatment
Bellevue Hospital Workers Ebola Prep
Ebola treatment is dangerous — and expensive.
It’s tough to believe that anyone could survive Ebola, given its quick and violent progression. But two Americans did, and thousands of people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have as well.
The virus’ quick progression makes comprehensive treatment in a well-equipped facility key for raising one’s chances of survival. If doctors can keep a person strong enough for long enough, that person’s immune system can eventually clear the virus on its own.
In Atlanta, two Americans were nursed back to health with a combination of experimental drugs and traditional treatment. By keeping their patients’ organs working with intravenous fluids (to replenish the body with the fluids it is quickly losing), ventilators (to keep the lungs pumping oxygen throughout the body), and drugs to keep blood pressure from dipping dangerously low, they gave them the best chance of survival.
That sort of treatment is pricey, though.
The bill for the average Ebola patient treated in the US is a lofty $1,000 per hour. In West Africa, where that sort of money isn’t available, most patients simply go home to die.
To date, no federally approved vaccine or medicine for Ebola exists.
by:ERIN BRODWIN

Is It a Government Conspiracy?

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Meriwether Lewis

I watched a television program last night that totally fascinated me. It was about Meriwether Lewis. Those of you who are not familiar with him, I will tell you a little about his background. He was born on August 18, 1774 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He became a soldier, served under William Clark who he later picked to be co-charge for the great exploration of the west, authorized by Thomas Jefferson.  Meriwether started out as the personal secretary to President Jefferson, but Jefferson gave him another job to explore the Louisana Purchase and  westward.

President Jefferson also gave them a mandate to see if there were signs of Welch occupancy in the west. Since Lewis had served under William Clark, they knew each other well. The two gathered their supplies and other men and left for the unknown in May 1804.

Meriwether Lewis kept journals of everything he saw during his mission. He retured in May 1806.  Documentation along with drawings showed President Jefferson what was seen on the journey.

Three years after returning home, Meriwether was going back to Washington DC with his Journals  He was staying at an Inn on the Natchez Trace. The Trace was a well used 440 mile trail from Mississippi to Tennessee.  At the Inn on October 12, 1809, a couple of gun shots were heard and Meriwether Lewis was found dead. He had one shot in the abdomen and one through the head, with blew part of the skull off exposing the brain. It was ruled as a suicide.

Since that time there has been a theory that the United States Government had him killed because he had found something during the expedition that would threaten the United States right to the lands west of the Mississippi. Such as the Welch having been there before which would give England the right to the land.

Pages had been torn from his journal and were never seen again. Lewis was a Mason and had his apron in his pocket. When they removed it, it was blood spattered. The apron is on display in Montana. Blood samples were taken and it has been shown that it came from two different men and not Meriwether Lewis.

I think it’s fascinating to know that even back when the country was new that a National Hero could have been killed because of knowledge he had that could harm the government. It’s something we will never know for sure but does make for a good story.

The Fog (Short Story)

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I hope you enjoy my short story today. I am entering this in a contest, so please let me know what you think of it and if you find any errors.    Shirley

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The fog in the park is thick. I can’t see five feet in front. It’s a wonder I didn’t break my neck running on this brick path. All it would have taken is one raised brick or a branch from one of the trees. 

Mandy walked towards what she hoped was the side of the brick path. The overhead lights did nothing to help her see what was in front of her. They gave off an eerie light, but didn’t illuminate her surroundings. She wanted to follow the road edge hoping she would find a street sign to find out where she was.

“Ouch,” Mandy yelled when she ran into something hard. She slapped her hand over her mouth the second she yelled. She’d ran over a bench. She turned and sat so she could rub the spot that hurt on her knee. That’s all I need is to be crippled. Mandy jumped when a hoot owl screeched close behind her. Her nerves were raw, so she reacted to every noise.

She sat on the bench listening to the sounds around her. She could hear condensation dripping from the trees, hitting the leaves on the ground, and small creatures moving about in the bushes. Off in the distance she heard a distinctive tap, tap, tap. It sounded like heel taps on the bricks. She couldn’t let anyone find her yet. She had to have an idea of where she was first.

The tapping was getting closer and Mandy knew she had to move. She decided to get into the trees and lay low until daylight came. Maybe then, she could get to the police. She got up from the bench and began feeling her way back into the trees. She ran into a shrubbery bush. Maybe I can lay underneath this bush until the sun comes up. With the fog, no one can see me. She sat down on the ground and began feeling her way underneath the bush. It felt large enough to hide her, at least for a while.

She curled as close as she could to the trunk of the bush and didn’t move a muscle. Her senses were highly tuned to her surroundings. The tapping continued to get louder as whatever or whoever it was drew nearer.  I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep. How did I get in this situation? I’m on vacation with my girlfriend. Oh god, I was on vacation with my girlfriend.

Young woman, I know you are here. You are wasting your time hiding from me. I will find you. Don’t be afraid, I promise it won’t hurt and it will be quick. Won’t you come out and play with me?” The soft seductive voice was all around her.

Mandy’s mind screamed, go away. Her mouth felt dry and her tongue didn’t work as it should. She tried to work spit into her mouth, but it was useless. Every muscle in her body felt paralyzed with fear. She closed her eyes and prayed for help. Someone please help me.

“Have you thought about it young woman? It will be so much nicer for you if you’d come out of hiding. You know I can smell your perfume. I have a very sensitive nose. Are you wearing Amirage? It’s one of my favorite scents. You’re quite a beautiful woman. It’s a shame you came into the room when you did. Your friend was worthless. She gave women a bad name. You would have thought she would have had more sense than to bring a strange man to her room.”

 

Digging quietly in the soil with her hands, Mandy began smearing dirt around her neck, face and arms. She was hoping the dirt would stop the perfume smell and help her blend into the ground, if the man got closer to her.

“Excuse my bad manners. My name is Jack. What’s your name, young lady? I can leave a note telling them your name. I’m very considerate, as you can tell. Please come out. Don’t make this harder on both of us. Are you in London for business or pleasure? I hope it’s for pleasure and you’ve had a good time. There is so much to see here.”

Pulling up as tight as she could around the trunk of the bush, Mandy continued to pray for someone to help her. Her hip was hurting from lying on the cold wet ground. What is some pain when my life is at stake? Still trying to work her tongue around in her mouth to produce saliva, Mandy listened to the man tell her all about life in London.

“I’ve lived in London many, many years. Let me think, what year is this? Oh yes, I remember now, its April 30, 2012. Would you believe me if I told you I’ve lived here since 1877. I’m amazed I’m as well-known as I am, or at least my name is. I must say things have improved here over the years, but not the people. Women with loose morals still plague society. I have surmised that’s the reason I’ve been unable to leave. My services continue to be needed.”

Shivering cold, Mandy couldn’t get her mind around what she was hearing. “This can’t be real. There is no way Jack the Ripper is here. He has to be a copycat. Jack went on talking as if she were sitting beside him on the bench.

“Back when this all started, I thought things were much easier as far as ridding the world of the unsavory sort. They think I only killed five, but I have to tell you my dear I’ve killed hundreds who didn’t deserve to live in our society. You are special because you actually have seen my face. No one remains alive that sees my face. I can’t afford to let you live. You would complicate my work.”

The sky was beginning to lighten. Mandy hoped the fog didn’t burn off before help came. What is that noise? Someone is coming. Thank you, God.

It’s a shame I have to go now, I hear the day people coming out. I will be in touch with you. I’ve enjoyed our conversation immensely. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you before I get the opportunity to visit with you again.

Mandy heard the clicking as Jack walked down the brick path. When the sound faded completely she crawled out from under the bush. It took her a couple of minutes to get the blood to circulating in her body, as it should. She made her way back to the path and began walking toward the area that had the sound of people coming from it.

She walked about a pair of food carts setting up for the day’s business. “Excuse me, I need a policeman, I mean Bobby. Can you help me?”

“Bly me girl, what’s happened to you? You say you need a bobby. Follow this path down three or four lights and there’ll be a phone on the pole. It connects you to the police.”

“Thank you.” Mandy continued walking and finally came to the pole with the phone.  “Hello, is this the police department?”

“Yes, ma’am, it tis. I’m Sergeant Grayson, how may I help you?”

Tears started flowing like a river out of Mandy’s eyes as she began to talk. She was difficult for the Sergeant to understand.

“Hold on Miss, I’m sending a police car for you. Stay where you are. Someone will be there soon.” The phone clicked off and Mandy stood there holding the phone and crying. She was still crying when a uniformed police officer approached her.

“Miss, my name is Officer Cannon. Please hang up the phone and come with me.”

Mandy stood staring at him, unable to move. The officer took the phone from her hand and hung it back on the pole.

“Come with me, Miss. What is your name?

“It’s Mandy Jackson.” She said between snivels.

“I can hear you are American. What state are you from?” The officer asked trying to help Mandy calm down.

“I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ve been here on vacation with my girlfriend, Alice.” When she mentioned Alice’s name she began crying again.”

“Come on dearie; let’s get to the car so we can get you helped.”

Mandy let Officer Cannon lead her to the car and they headed for the station. Once there Officer Cannon approached the desk of Sergeant Grayson. “Sergeant, Miss Jackson needs to speak to a homicide detective.”

Officer Cannon immediately got up from his desk and walked to Mandy. “Ms. Jackson, please come with me. I’m going to take you to a room where you will have some privacy. Would you like something to drink?”

Mandy declined anything to drink at first but then changed her mind. Thank you Sergeant, I would appreciate some hot coffee.”

The sergeant led Mandy into a small room with a table and no windows. She sat in one of the folding chairs waiting for her coffee. In a couple of minutes, a woman came through the door with her coffee in hand. Hello, Ms. Jackson, my name is April Chambers. I’m in the homicide division. You may call me April. Is it alright if I call you Mandy?”

“Yes, that’s fine,” Mandy, replied.

“I understand you have a story to tell me.”

“It’s an unbelievable story, but I have to tell you. I have been here on vacation with my girlfriend. Her name is Alice Brady. We have been friends all of our life. She is dead. I saw her murdered.”

“What do you mean you saw her murdered?”

“Last evening Alice met a man who asked her to go night clubbing with him. Alice was very taken by the guy. She wanted this to be just a night for him and her. Since we were supposed to be leaving tomorrow, I told her I would go to the movies. That’s just what I did. I returned to the hotel room about 11:30. When I unlocked the door and stepped in, I saw a man bent over Alice with a knife in his hand. Blood was dripping off the couch. I took off running and didn’t stop until I got to the park.”

“What did the man look like?”

“I really didn’t get a good look at him, but he thinks I did.”

“What do you mean, he thinks you did? Have you spoken with him?”

“No, I haven’t spoken to him, but he has to me. He found me in the park and talked to me while I hid for a good twenty minutes before sunup.” Mandy told April everything she could remember about the conversation. She even told her about the man saying he was Jack and he had lived in London for the past 125 years. Mandy was surprised when she didn’t get the surprised response from April.

“What else do you remember, Mandy?”

“Nothing else, I’ve told you everything I know. He did tell me he would be seeing me again. I have to go home.”

“Alice was found this morning by the hotel maid. We identified her from the guest resister since the room was in her name. The maid told us about you staying there also. I’m really sorry. It will take us about a week to get everything straightened out. You should be able to go home after that. Alice will have to stay here until the coroner releases her body. “

“April, why aren’t you surprised about what I told you about that man called Jack? You didn’t blink an eye when I said you he’d lived in London for 125 years.”

“Let’s just say I’ve heard a very similar story about the guy. He’s a serial killer whether he has been here two days or 125 years. No one has been able to describe what this character looks like but women continue to be found with their throats cut. Most of them are prostitutes from the south side. Your girlfriend happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid for it with her life. I am very sorry.”

***

In a week and a half, Mandy was back in Oklahoma, trying to pull her life together. The Brady’s had gone to London to bring home their daughter when the London police released her body. She returned to her job at Hillcrest Hospital. She wanted to stay busy to keep her mind off her disastrous vacation. Word spread quickly at the hospital so she didn’t have to explain anything that happened. Occasionally someone would give his or her condolences over Alice.

One the one-year anniversary of Alice’s death, Mandy went to the cemetery where she was buried. She talked to her friend for a little while and then headed back home.  As she was walking up her sidewalk, she heard a sound that made her blood turn cold, click, click, click. She quickly turned to see an elderly man walking down the sidewalk with his can clicking on the concrete with every step.

She hurried into her house and locked the door behind her. It was a cane that guy in the park was using. I can’t stand to hear that clicking noise. It brings everything back to me as if it just happened.

Mandy decided to take a relaxing bath and fix her a drink before she fixed dinner. She’d sipped her drink and started down the hall to the bathroom. The doorbell rang. I wonder who that is? She peeped out the window and saw a mail truck parked in front of her house.  She opened the door. “Can I help you?”

“Are you Mandy Jackson?”

“Yes, I’m she.”

“I have a special delivery letter for you. Please sign here.”

Mandy signed the form and the postal worker left. She closed the door and went back inside. There wasn’t a name on the envelope but it was postmarked London. I wonder who this is from? She opened the envelope and unfolded the letter.  As her eyes focused in on the words, she heard herself begin to scream. Darkness enveloped her has she fainted to the floor. The letter in her hand said, “ Don’t forget I like Amirage. Will be seeing you soon, pretty lady Jack”