The HIV experience can be used as a learning model to understand what processes may need to be used for this Ebola epidemic. While there are differences, there is much similarity, especially in the deadliness of the virus of both diseases in the early phase of the epidemic. Both are also transmitted through contact with body fluids, and can be transmitted through sexual contact. This aspect should not be overlooked; the sex drive is very strong and frequently sexual relationships defy logic and rationality.75 % of all cases of Ebola in West Africa are contracted through sexual contacts.
By Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D. (guest blogger)
Public health policy is derived from promoting public good to protect millions of people from pain and suffering; an effective policy ultimately should enhance health and happiness. The coercive powers of federal and state governments and to enforce public health policy are derived from police powers to provide safety and security to the public. The President has those powers from the plenary powers, unnamed in the constitution, but implied in those powers that protect the security of the nation. The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone that protects individual liberties against the tyranny of the coercive power of government. Here lies the tension between autonomy (self-determination/civil Liberty) and public good (safety and security). There must be strong justification to override self-determination, and in the case of contagion of a deadly disease, this must be examined.
By Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D. (guest blogger)
In 2014, the spread of Ebola topped the headlines. While other issues have supplanted Ebola for the time being, the risk remains as the virus continues to claim victims. A viable Ebola policy that contains the spread must be put into place.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with body fluids, blood, and skin. Body fluid droplets remain viable for a few hours; the most infectious period is when the patient is exhibiting severe symptoms with high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The CDC, as of January 7, 2015 informed us that in West Africa, there are 21,086 cases and 8,289 have died from Ebola. It is estimated that 7,738 (about 75 % of all cases) case were contracted through sexual contact. Worldwide estimates, if under-reporting is taken into consideration, are that the number of Ebola infections is as high as 1.5 million cases. 450 healthcare providers in West Africa have contracted the Ebola virus and 244 have died. In the U.S., ten healthcare providers were infected and treated; two died. The life-cycle of the Ebola virus in humans is 21 days. With a fatality rate of 50-80 % , the fear of highly infectious Ebola is understandable. The incubation period is 11.4 days. The WHO data indicates that the disease continues to spread rapidly.
An anonymous U.S. official caused a dustup when he called the Israeli prime minister “chickenshit.” Others might have said worse.
Last month, an anonymous U.S. official stirred a tempest in a teapot when he called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a chickenshit” in comments to theAtlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg. The insinuation was that while Netanyahu will happily rile up his right-wing base on issues related to Palestine or Iran, he lacks the political courage to take meaningful steps to resolve either conflict.
Obama’s Middle East foreign policy is likely to increase hatred for the U.S.
President Barack Obama’s latest foray into the Middle East is unfortunately reactive and uninformed and shows how very little he seems to take into account our bloody history in the region.
It’s as if the past quarter century never happened.
Where do we begin? After practically pushing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990 (by having Kuwait demand quick payment on Billions of dollars of previous loans to Iraq and having our Ambassador in Baghdad tell Hussein that the U.S. has no treaty obligations to defend Kuwait), American air strikes killed tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers in the first Persian Gulf War. This was followed by nearly 10 years of crippling economic sanctions against Iraq, resulting in the death of a half million Iraqi children for lack of medicine, sanitation and malnutrition.
We discuss some issues around Ebola, including the question of quarantines and how the virus is transmitted. We are joined by: Dr. Adil Shamoo,Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, Senior Analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus, and author of Equal Worth – When Humanity Will Have Peace; Dr. Zackary Berger, Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics; and Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, Liberian Infectious Disease Specialist; and Dr. Meryl Nass, an internal medicine physician.
We turn to the latest on Islamic State and US airstrikes on Syria and Iraq, with: Benjamin Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies for Cato Institute; Dr. Adil Shamoo, Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, Senior Analyst forForeign Policy in Focus, and Author of Equal Worth – When Humanity Will Have Peace; and Dr. Thabit Abdullah, Associate Professor of Middle East History and Associate Dean for External Relations at York University, Toronto.