Importing Ebola; World Policeman or World Quarantines Incubation Site? Election fraud?

View 848 Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“I have observed over the years that the unintended consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”

Irving Kristol

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009


It has not been a great week. Monday starts well, but it was late before I got to anything like work. I did manage to do the Five Tibetan Rites, and hoped I’d be able to repeat that daily this week, but so far I have not. Tuesday was consumed with doctors and examinations and then shopping, and it was dinner time before I got home. Today was consumed by locusts mostly.

The eye people have decided that I will get at least one more iteration of new tri-focals before cataract surgery. That’s a bit expensive – even at Kaiser my glare free photo grey tri-focal glasses run to several hundred dollars – but it does put off the cataract surgery for a while. I am told by people I trust that modern cataract corrections are nothing like what I recall from the days when Bob Bloch get the procedure and then needed to be driven everywhere at night. I don’t know precisely when that was, but I do know that I drove him to the grand opening of Star Wars at Fox, so it would be possible to find the date that way. At least he could see the movies (and I made some money on it: after I saw it I bought Fox stock, although alas I couldn’t afford a lot). Now, I am told, the procedure is simple, over with quickly, and you’re better off. But I’m still glad to put it off for a bit.

I was also examined for skin problems, and got spritzed with liquid nitrogen in many places, all of which are now uncomfortable as they decay then heal. Frostbite is a good treatment for pre-cancerous conditions…

But I appear to be in pretty good shape for an 80 year old brain cancer survivor, even if I do tire more easily than I like. They tell me I’m good for another decade.


Importing Ebola

Hello Jerry,

Seems like Ebola is not becoming epidemic in the US rapidly enough to suit the Obamunists, so they are planning to import it in wholesale quantity:

Sounds like a plan—if the plan is national suicide. Or, more precisely, national murder.

A more striking example of ‘benign incompetence’ would be hard to imagine. Apparently a backup to the previous plan of sending the 101st Airborne from Fort Bragg to the center of infection in Africa to ‘fight Ebola’. After all, if you need a ‘quick reaction force’ to ‘fight’ something, isn’t the 101st the first outfit that would come to YOUR mind?

Bob Ludwick=

The Obama Administration says that we cannot quarantine against Ebola.

Obama warns against strict quarantines for Ebola workers

By Lesley Clark, Nancy Youssef and Tony Pugh

McClatchy Washington Bureau October 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called for health care workers returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa to be treated as “the heroes that they are,” amid continuing confusion and public anxiety over state health measures that call for some to be confined to their homes.

Obama warned there may be future cases of Ebola in the United States and that the only way to bring the risk to zero is to contain the outbreak at its source, in West Africa.

“If we’re not dealing with this problem there, it will come here,” he said at the White House, joined by his Ebola response coordinator, Ron Klain, and sharing a stage with doctors and nurses who have been to West Africa. “What we need right now is these shock troops who are out there leading globally. We can’t discourage that. We’ve got to encourage it and applaud it.”

Without naming any states, Obama warned against overly restrictive monitoring measures, saying, “If we’re discouraging our health care workers . . . from traveling to these places in need, then we’re not doing our job in terms of looking after our own public health and safety.”

Obama’s remarks came as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Wednesday ordered that all U.S. troops who travel to Liberia to help build Ebola treatment centers be quarantined for 21 days afterward, even though the service members will not come into direct contact with Ebola patients. The measure exceeds the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Hagel noted that the troops are not volunteers and described the measure as a “safety valve.”

And in Maine, nurse Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined without her consent in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said Wednesday that she won’t comply with health officials in Maine who want her to remain in her home and avoid public contact. Hickox went home to Maine after New Jersey officials released her on Monday.

Read more here:

Of course these heroes will cooperate with the health authorities and would never risk transmitting Ebola to anyone in the United States.

Ebola doctor ‘lied’ about NYC travels

By Jamie Schram and Bruce Golding

October 29, 2014 | 3:21am

The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.

Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

Spencer finally ’fessed up when a cop “got on the phone and had to relay questions to him through the Health Department,” a source said.

Officials then retraced Spencer’s steps, which included dining at The Meatball Shop in Greenwich Village and bowling at The Gutter in Brooklyn.

The military will quarantine the soldiers sent to the plague zone, preferably in another country; but the military is held responsible for its actions. That does not seem to be true for non-military heroes.

I think I would rather be the world’s policeman than the world’s incubation site for Ebola survivors,


And of course we understand how Ebola propagates.

Questions remain about how Dallas nurse got Ebola

By Ashley Fantz and Holly Yan, CNN

The nurse wore a mask, gown, shield and gloves as she helped care for a dying Ebola patient in Texas.

And a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she tested positive for Ebola, health officials are still trying to figure out how exactly she caught it.

"Something went wrong, and we need to find out why and what," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.



Mad intelligence

Dr Pournelle

"Public thinkers such as politicians and members of the media who comment on them are the first generation of our society to have been badly schooled without being aware of the fact."

Rev. George W. Rutler, Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam

Live long and prosper

h lynn keith

The definition of a Dark Age is not one in which we have forgotten things; it is a time when we no longer know we ever knew them.  We appear to be entering a Dark Age for a fairly large part of our population.  Of course that makes self-government nearly impossible, but the smart one in charge have a remedy for that.

War Has Been Declared against Us

Dr Pournelle


Geert Wilders: War has been declared against us.

Islam delendum est?

Live long and prosper

h lynn keith




Don’t you wish you got all the government you pay for?


Royals panties confiscated from Kansas City lingerie shop by Homeland Security

Copyright infringement is the reason feds pop up at lingerie shop, which was trying to find a way to support Royals during World Series against Giants.

Ladies, don’t put on those panties without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball!

In an underwear-related manner that is apparently a matter of national importance, the Department of Homeland Security descended upon a women’s lingerie shop in Kansas City, Mo., according to The Wichita Eagle. The federal officers were there to stop the business – Birdies Panties – from making undies with the Royals logo during the team’s Cinderella run to the World Series.


2014 Margin Of Fraud


The midterm elections are a week away, and many of our hopes to reduce further damage to the nation are tied up with the Republicans taking the Senate. Right now, they nominally look like doing so, barely –’s "no tossups" average of recent polls shows a

52-48 R result. (I’m counting Orman, barely leading in Kansas, as a D.)

However, it’s way too soon to relax. RCP has ten of these races listed as "tossups", IE the average-of-polls margin is less than 5%. RCP’s split with tossups is 45 R, 45 D, and 10 too close to call.

Those ten tossups are of extreme interest right now. They break down as


AR R+5%

LA R+4.5 (in the likely runoff)

KY R+4.4

CO R+3.2 (universal mail-in ballots with minimal verification) AK R+2.2 IA R+1.7 GA R+0.5 (Libertarian 3.7%, runoff if less than 50%) KS D+0.6 (stealth D) NC D+1.0 (Libertarian 5.0%, no runoff) NH D+2.2

On the face of it, a 7-3 R split. But, read,

and worry. Of 27 statewide races decided by less than 1% since 1998, the D’s have won 20. That’s a 74% D win rate in close races over the last 16 years.

My working hypothesis is that in states where they control one or more major urban centers, the D’s are able to at need manufacture (dead voters, illegal voters, invented voters, non-voters voted-for) on the rough order of 2% more votes than would otherwise exist, and in close recounts they can then (unless actively and knowledgeably prevented) manufacture the additional votes needed to win.

My conclusion is that we may well see "surprise" D wins in any or all of Iowa, Georgia, Alaska, and Colorado (all possibly involving recount-till-D’s-win), with Colorado possibly unusually blatantly fraudulent due to the now universally mailed-out ballots being bought and sold.

So, a word to the wise. Absent a significantly higher than predicted R turnout in close states, next week’s result is like to be a "miraculous"

narrow D hold of the Senate. (I wouldn’t hold out much hope for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker either, currently tied in the polls but with all those dead voters in Milwaukee and Madison polling solidly against him.)

(Oh, and while I’m at it, a Libertarian vote in North Carolina this election looks to me pretty much a vote for two more years of Harry Reid as Majority Leader. NC D 43.6, R 42.6, L 5.0.)

So, assuming I’m right, what then? The D’s won’t likely have been overly subtle about it, given what’s at stake.

Interesting times.


But it is racist to suggest that voters identify themselves. Or so I am told. Vote fraud is imaginary anyway, even if Cook County did once deliver more votes to a presidential candidate than were there were registered voters in the county…

We’re illegal – and We Vote!



Charles Murray interview 

Hi Dr. Pournelle,

My takeaway from the Charles Murray interview that you linked (the emphasis is mine):

“…we need to live in a civil society that naturally creates valued places for people with many different kinds and levels of ability. In my experience, communities that are left alone to solve their own problems tend to produce those valued places. Bureaucracies destroy them.”

My experience is that Mr. Murray is correct.


My experience has been that for most of his life Dr. Murray has been correct.  I am no admirer of the Social Sciences, which I usually call The Voodoo Sciences, and I generally pay little attention to Sociologists and their natterings, but Charles Murray actually deals with facts and scientific method.  He also writers well. 

The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives.

Not everyone on the left wants to quash dissent or indulge President Obama’s abuses of executive power.


Charles Murray

Social conservatives. Libertarians. Country-club conservatives. Tea party conservatives. Everybody in politics knows that those sets of people who usually vote Republican cannot be arrayed in a continuum from moderately conservative to extremely conservative. They are on different political planes. They usually have just enough in common to vote for the same candidate.

Why then do we still talk about the left in terms of a continuum from moderately liberal to extremely liberal? Divisions have been occurring on the left that mirror the divisions on the right. Different segments of the left are now on different planes.

A few weeks ago, I was thrown into a situation where I shared drinks and dinner with two men who have held high positions in Democratic administrations. Both men are lifelong liberals. There’s nothing "moderate" about their liberalism. But as the pleasant evening wore on (we knew that there was no point in trying to change anyone’s opinion on anything), I was struck by how little their politics have to do with other elements of the left.

The rest of this essay is worth reading.  And Losing Ground is still very much worth attention.


And to change the subject considerably:


Woot woot woot

Yes! Got it right!

and the paper:

Stephanie Osborn

Interstellar Woman of Mystery <>

You may now stretch your mind….




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




Summing up the Ebola situation: Safe for now.

View 848 Sunday, October 26, 2014

“I have observed over the years that the unintended consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”

Irving Kristol

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009


The first Ebola crisis is ended. Both nurses who contracted Ebola from the Texas Patient Zero have been pronounced virus free and released from hospital. More on that below, but it appears that the first two people to contract Ebola in the United States have recovered from it, and there are no more infections.

It is not so clear with the New York Patient Zero, but all the authorities are certain that nothing more will come of it. Meanwhile the procedures have been revised, new equipment shipped to various hospitals, and more stringent check on people coming from the plague zones have been ordered.

Apparently our loss of devotion since the days of Bismarck has not entirely changed the situation. God looks out for fools, drunks, and the United States of America. It would be wise not to count on this to the exclusion of using good sense.


Ebola-there is a lot we don’t know

Dear Jerry,

A few points about the Ebola discussion:

Contagion should have nothing to do with symptoms. Symptoms are just a marker of systemic viremia. There are viruses that can be spread from an asymptomatic person. One important aspect of symptoms is that you are less likely to spread a virus present in body fluids if you aren’t sweating profusely, vomiting, etc.

I would not have been quite so sanguine about exposing the President (despite my political persuasion) to Nurse Pham unless they clearly had demonstrated a zero (undetectable) virion count by polymerase chain reaction testing. Just because she has antibodies protecting her and killing the virus in her body does not mean she can’t spread live virus. It is unlikely, as she wasn’t vomiting on the President.

A key point to know is the number of virions necessary to transmit the virus; this is one (1) for Hepatitis B. I don’t know what it is for Ebola (it may not even be the same number for different strains). It may be higher than one as there can be a lot of virus in blood, vomit, etc.

I note the deaths of Medicine Without Borders doctors; Dr. Fauci has stated on television that disease spread can be controlled with proper precautions, citing zero deaths in MWB healthcare workers. I guess he really didn’t know.

I believe we should also be concerned about the US Gov’t mandating established clinical trial regulations on Ebola vaccine and treatment tests in Africa. The possibility of death from treatment would have to be quite high for me not to risk it if I had or were exposed to Ebola in Africa. I have heard that one trial being contemplated is to use three groups: one getting one Ebola vaccine; one getting another Ebola vaccine and one getting a Hepatitis B vaccine as a "control" group. This in a disease that is 40-70% fatal. We don’t even do this in most Oncology studies where death rates are high. Many people in Africa believe the vaccinations cause Ebola; what will they think when they are in the trial, get the Hep B vaccine and then get Ebola.



Michael Montgomery, MD


As to the dog of Nurse Pham. We know Ebola can be carried by (probably originated in) Monkeys. I don’t don’t think we know anything about Ebola and dogs (can they get, do they get symptomatic, what is the incubation period in dogs, etc.).

Blood tests and observation would be prudent.


Dr. Pournelle,

Interesting to read posts by Interstellar Woman of Mystery and Brian P. I have seen similar numbers re: strains and relative mortality for Ebola, although the mortality for Marburg was closer to 90% (although I read that last epidemic of Ebola). Some brief observations:

1) I don’t think we have a great understanding of virulence/modes of transmission. So far none of the people that lived with Mr. Duncan and presumably had more exposure have developed Ebola. As the others have pointed out, would seem to indicate viral load is much higher in the preterminal phase. And while it is not a true aerosol, I am able to tell you from personal experience vomit and stool travel much farther and deposit in places you would not think possible. And certainly, if a patient had an underlying lung condition such as sarcoidosis or tuberculosis these people will frequently bleed into the alveoli so that a cough can make a true aerosol (even without abnormal clotting). Given that we do not know all the modes, I think CDC was premature declaring that Nina Pham had broken protocol and that was the cause of her infection. They never explained her breech, and they didn’t account for Amber Vinson’s infection.

2) It follows that we cannot be sure that our protocols are as effective as they need to be to prevent wide spread infection from primary cases. Even if they are, the costs of monitoring and testing are prohibitive. It follows logically that we should try to limit the number of index cases, i.e. limit access from people from the epidemic areas. Nigeria is a relatively poor country with limited health care and they have made quarantine work. "If there are no Moties, there will be no Motie problem". If there are no index cases in the US, there can’t be an epidemic. At the very least people from affected areas should have a minimum of 24 day quarentine from the last possible day of exposure, and these plans need to be in place before traveller’s are admitted to the US. Returning citizens should have to meet the same standards.

3) I cannot see how limiting access to the US inhibits our ability to treat Ebola in situ. Médecins Sans Frontières and other NGO’s manage to get access. We can certainly mobilize govermental health care to go there. So far the only effective treatment seems to be plasma transfusion from survivors and possibly a monoclonal antibody cloned into tobacco plant. Neither of those need patients in the US to test or treat. Makes the logistics a little harder, but certainly no harder than trying to identify and track several hundred potential contacts for every index case.

4) Since there appear to be some strains with much lower morbidity and mortality, it begs the question if these could be used as an effective vaccine. I am sure people are investigating but I have not seen anything in the Emergency Medicine or general Internal Medicine literature yet.

Hopefully, we will adopt some realistic control measures. Robert Heinlein had a story line in his book Friday where he postulated spread of plague as a major world wide pandemic largely due to very brief travel time in relationship to incubation times for infections. Might be different if we had a very sensitive and fairly specific point of care (or immigration) test to identify people in their preclinical phase of infection. In then meantime I would suggest we set up a treatment center somewhere between 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and 1 First St. SE.

Thank you,

Doug Lewis, MD

The real danger of ebola…

Recently you said "Of course the real danger is that the plague will enter the Middle East and South America."

WIth respect, the real danger is that it will enter India. India has a population of a billion, and half of them are chronically malnourished – this means that their immune systems will be running on low and they will be much more susceptible to infection than well-fed people. In addition, the heavy crowding and extremely poor levels of sanitation would be tailor made for Ebola to spread. Ebola seems not to be airborne (for now), but, a few sick people throwing up in the Ganges…

I suspect that the Indian government knows this and is prepared to shoot suspected Ebola immigrants on sight… But you’ll never hear about it in the mainstream press….

Globus Pallidus XI


Ebola sick-in

Dr Pournelle

Bellevue staffers call in ‘sick’ after Ebola arrives

Live long and prosper

h lynn keith


And this sums up the Ebola situation. The crisis is supposedly over, although we do continue to import people from the plague zones, and we are sending soldiers there.




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




Strains of Ebola; How Contagious is Nurse Nina Pham?

View 847 Friday, October 24, 2014

“I have observed over the years that the unintended consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”

Irving Kristol

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009


For summaries of what is believed or known about strains of Ebola, see the messages from Stephanie and Brian below.


We do not yet know what strain of Ebola Dr. Craig Spencer has, nor are we really sure we know how Ebola is transmitted. In most cases the transmission mechanism is direct contact with bodily fluids – sweat, sputum semen, blood, mucus – of someone showing at least some symptoms of Ebola. In those cases infection rates appear to be very high

We have anecdotal stories of infection through other means, but those are stories fro the plague zone with no confirmation.

We can be fairly certain that there is no risk of catching Ebola from physical contact with a recently recovered Ebola patient; recovered Nurse Nina Pham was admitted to the presence of President Barrack Obama, and was given a Presidential hug in the Oval Office.

Apparently it is not so certain whether you can catch Ebola from a pet; Miss Pham’s Spaniel, Bentley, will be held in quarantine for another ten or so days before being allowed to come home, but Nurse Pham, a now recovered Ebola victim, will be allowed to play with him and give him a hug while remaining in quarantine from those not known to be immune to Ebola. We suppose that once Nurse Pham recovers sufficiently, she will be a source of plasma with anti-Ebola enzymes, which we will need if there are further outbreaks in the United States.

Given current policies such are nearly inevitable. Dr. Spencer, known to have been exposed to Ebola, came home and was not quarantined. He went to restaurants, rode subways, and went bowling. The cost of his failure simply to stay home and avoid contact people needlessly is estimated to be in the millions of dollars. Some officials have called for his prosecution for his behavior upon his recovery.

Nurse Vinson, who like Nurse Pham contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Duncan, is said to be recovering, and now has a positive prognosis. Duncan, who came from Liberia after conducting a dying Ebola patient in a vain search for a hospital that would admit her, died a few days after exhibiting Ebola symptoms. Prior to that he slept with his fiancé, and associated with many people, none of who appear to have contracted Ebola, even though two of his caretakers did come down with it within days of his death.

We may conclude that the Duncan strain of Ebola is not very contagious up to and even into the first stages of exhibiting symptoms. So far as I know we have no evidence to support similar hypotheses regarding the strain that Dr. Spencer exhibits. Doctors Without Borders does not require that its physicians remain in isolation for any period of time after they cease to treat patients and before leaving the plague zone. As a US citizen Dr. Spencer had every right to return to the United States. New York City had every right to require him to remain in self-quarantine so as to minimize the number of people with whom he would have had contact, thus saving millions of dollars in investigations of his contacts immediately before he developed symptoms; but nothing of the sort was imposed, and Dr. Spencer was left to his own devices. Apparently he was so certain that he had not been exposed and could not be contagious that he roamed the city, running in the parks, eating in public restaurants, probably shopping in local food markets, riding the subways, and going bowling. The assumption is that his (unknown) strain of Ebola is similar to that of Mr. Duncan, contagious only after symptoms have been fully developed. We may all hope that this assumption is true; evidence against it is anecdotal and comes from survivors in the plague zone.

Dr. Spencer’s timeline from Guinea to diagnosis of Ebola is given here: 

I have asked for a summary of what is known about Ebola strains and their degree of contagion abilities, and we’ll report on that when I get it,

Nigeria, through a very strict enforcement of quarantine, has managed to emerge from being a plague zone. The United States has not implemented any such policy. So far there have been only two cases of Ebola in the US contracted from someone imported from the plague zone. At the moment we are winning the bet that Ebola won’t spread in the US.

From the October 17 View: 

Nine Doctors Without Borders physicians, all equipped with the best of isolation and prophylactic gear, have died of Ebola.  Of the  physicians and nurses who have died of Ebola in this epidemic, most (more than 60%) had what was considered more than adequate protective gear and were instructed in its use. The US Military being sent into the plague zone have had four hours of instruction.


I have errands. Back later this afternoon.


Far Cries

Dear Jerry,

You’ve talked about the new publishing and I wanted to let you know I’m plunging in with both pedal extremities. My backlist is handled by Open Road Media, the biggest e-publisher in New York, but I am trying to put out new stuff on my own, via Kindle Direct Publishing. The trouble is, you cannot, as in days of yore, sit back and leave everything to the publisher. You have to promote your stuff. There are various mechanisms for that sort of thing, but it’s all a new universe to me. So I am flogging my new collection of short stories.

Far Cries – Kindle edition by John DeChancie. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ <>

I can pretty well guarantee that no one will have seen the likes of these stories before.  Finally an answer to the question of why Presidents would keep the alien prisoner a secret…



Transmission of Ebola

You have stated that Ebola is non transmissible after recovery.

That appears to not be the case. I have read that patients that recover are still shedding virus for several days after ending symptoms. It may be a short time but anyone who plays with death is a fool, cutting the isolation time to zilch is a risk no sane individual should attempt, even if it is for political points.


Actually I have not said that, except in irony: the evidence being that Nurse Nina was permitted into The Presence just after she was pronounced ‘cured’ of Ebola. It is clear that this is the official view, else she would not have been permitted in The Presence, much less the recipient of a hug.  Perhaps the Ebola Czar, formerly chief of staff to Vice President Biden, has not heard that the Oval Office may now be contaminated?  Or there are more factors at work?  It does seem clear that our ever competent government is certain that no harm can come from allowing a very recently recovered Ebola patient to touch the President.


I asked Stephanie to summarize what we now about strains of Ebola.

There are now 6 known strains, counting the one that has been dubbed Guinea:

Guinea ~70% fatal –> research papers in April of this year identify this with the current West African outbreak; general death rates seem to corroborate this Zaire ~90% fatal Sudan ~70% Bundibugyo ~35-40% Reston ~0% Tai Forest/Cote d’Ivoire ~~mostly animal; some researchers have developed it; human fatality rates not known; does not always present with hemorrhage

These have different fatality rates, with the most serious being Zaire, at 90% fatal. Reston appears not to infect humans, or at least not to be symptomatic in humans. Reston may also be airborne. Guinea is also in a different clade from any of the other strains. (clade: Classification is order Mononegavirales, family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. Related to the Marburgvirus; may have diverged from a common ancestor. Mutation rate only about 25% of e.g. influenza virus.

If I read the papers correctly, Guinea developed separately from the other strains. This may or may not mean that it mutated from the original ancestor of the Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus independently of the other Ebola strains, which IIRC are all in the same clade.

Symptoms per CDC:

* Fever

* Severe headache

* Muscle pain

* Weakness

* Diarrhea

* Vomiting

* Abdominal (stomach) pain

* Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

The UV as presented by the Sun would be insufficient to kill Ebola dried on a surface, and wholly insufficient to kill Ebola in liquid suspension, because next to no UVC reaches past the atmosphere. A UV light at a distance of 6-12" will kill the majority of Ebola, which is more sensitive to UVC than models indicated, but there will be 3-4% residue that is UV-resistant. Other solar wavebands may be as, or more, effective, but I’ve not been able to find research on it.

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. There is some evidence that indicates that some strains, in some people, have an incubation period up to some 42 days, or twice the maximum. This has, to my knowledge, not been proven.

Internally, victims’ tissues begin to break down, resulting in widespread hemorrhage. This hemorrhage escapes the body through available orifices (mouth, eyes, ears, nose, rectum, and any puncture wound such as provided for an IV). As the disease progresses, explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting can be complicated by seizures. The waste material temporarily aerosolizes the virus present in the feces and vomitus, making anyone in the vicinity susceptible to contamination. The numbers I’m hearing most bruited about indicate that infection is possible if only 1-10 viruses are introduced into the body.

Insofar as is known, the Zaire strain, at least, is not a true aerosol virus. It is aerosolized during vomiting and defecating in the same fashion as one might aerosolize a liquid in a pump spray bottle; it will eventually settle out onto local surfaces. This does, however, naturally "weaponize" the virus (though not as effectively as, say, a fine powder of anthrax). One way to truly weaponize the virus would be to take a victim’s blood, dry it, and powder it to a sufficient level of fineness that the particles can become suspended in air, then disperse it in air in a population-dense area. [I'm not sure you want to publish that last bit though.]

This is all I can think of at the moment.

I want to emphasize that my degrees are not in biology, let alone epidemiology. However, by dint of the broad range of degrees I have, I was at one time my organization’s resident expert in what was then called NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) weapons tech and effects. (I think they call it CBRN now: Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear.) So I know enough to be able to interpret the papers, by and large, and determine the implications and effects thereof.

Stephanie Osborn

Interstellar Woman of Mystery <>


And see the summary by Brian below.



We have often recalled Kipling’s Gods of the Copybook Headings on this site, starting actually in BIX days in the 1980’s.

Sarah Hoyt

Two excellent essays,

one the God of the Copybook Headings with modern footnotes and a study in voter fraud.

Direct links in case they cycle down the page

My friend Sarah Hoyt has gone me one better, with links at nearly every line.  Worth your attention.

And the sophisticated climate debate continues:

Child Armies of the Night 

Dear Jerry

Let it not be said that either side in the Climate Wars has a monopoly on the bizarre.

While Climate Communicators have begun publishing peer-reviewed protocols for brainwashing Girl Scouts,

their opposite numbers have dragged Cthulhu into the debate :

Russell Seitz

Fellow of the Department of Physics Harvard University




Ebola Virus

Dear Dr. Pournelle,

You asked for a summary of Ebola. Regrettably, the real information is behind a paywall (

but here is what I have been able to determine from freely available sources, such as Wikipedia and the very readable ‘Hot Zone’ (

So far as I can tell, there are at least five known related viruses of this type:

1. Bundibugyo virus ( Mortality rate: 50%. Cause of spread: Eating monkey meat infected by the disease.

2. Ebola Sudan ( Mortality rate: 50%.

3. Tai Forest virus ( Mortality rate: 0%. A killer among monkeys, but it had little impact on the human researchers investigating the deaths. One scientist was hospitalized, but recovered completely.

4. Ebola Zaire ( Mortality rate: 90%.

5. Ebola Reston ( Mortality rate: 0%. First observed in Reston, Virginia. While an absolute killer of Macaques, it had no effect whatsoever upon infected humans — which we discovered afterward, when blood tests showed that various members of the team sent to control it had become infected. This is, so far as I know, the only airborne version of the virus and can be spread just like the common cold. It killed pretty much every chimp that came down with it, but had no effect on humans. Thanks be to God.

I should also mention Marburg (, which is not an Ebola variant but has similar qualities. Mortality rating: 25%.

All of these diseases share similar traits of being too successful: The virus multiplies too quickly, destroying so many cells that the internal organs fail. Dehydration, internal bleeding are also constants,resulting in high mortality. The victim becomes contagious with the onset of symptoms, 21 days after infection. Infection is primarily through contact with body fluids — the most dangerous of which is the ‘vomito negro’, the black vomit, which is practically all virus (

I don’t believe there is any known treatment — the best that can be done is to make the patient comfortable. And, of course, inject them with antibodies from other survivors.

I believe it is unlikely that the doctor in NY will pass on the disease to any of the people he encountered — unless this is a mutant strain such as Reston which can spread through the air. I point out , however, that the patient in Dallas likewise was in contact with many people, and the only people who became ill were those who were actually working with his waste, post-infection.

I was forced to listen to a talk-radio host yesterday insisting on a travel ban to West Africa — why aren’t we doing this? So far as I can tell, the reasoning is as described in this link;

Essentially, the belief appears to be that a travel ban is futile, as a similar closing after 9/11 did nothing to prevent the propagation of influenza via air travel. It does, however, make it harder to treat the problem at its source — west Africa — and because people start lying on forms it becomes even harder to form a clear picture of what is going on.

I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning, but that is the theory.

At any rate, Nigeria is now Ebola-free ( The solution there appears to be careful surveillance, rapid communication and tracking, and quick quarantine of cases. As opposed to Liberia, where tribal customs , lack of sanitation, superstition, and overcrowding have combined to turn the large cities into Ebola hothouses. (

I believe the deployment of hospitals and educational personnel are just what is needed to stem the outbreak there. As to the US itself, so long as the disease does not mutate into an airborne variant, I do not believe we will see an epidemic here so long as patients can be quickly detected, diagnosed, and quarantined. This implies we will need to make sure there ARE medical facilities up to the task of imposing such quarantine, as Dallas Presbyterian apparently was not.


Brian P.

Thanks to Brian and Stephanie, I think we have a good summary of what is known or at least believed on the subject. Stephanie’s summation is above.



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.