Highest Rated Comments

SleepyDustKing1253 karma

Is this like jeopardy or somethin?

SleepyDustKing275 karma

Does chewbacca chew bacon?

SleepyDustKing99 karma

Hi Estrella, thanks for taking the time to answer questions on Ebola today.

Here is a list of questions from our community on reddit, /r/doctorswithoutborders.

EDIT: We are also working with reddit to organise a fundraiser for MSF's Emergency Funding. We need help from our fellow redditors! If anyone is good at design then please get involved. We want to use a something created by the community for the community. Maybe a GTA inspired MSF T-Shirt or poster? We want to see all the cool shit redditors can come up with. Also reddit HQ is helping us with free promotion and sorting out the supply. This is a great opportunity to turn the collective interest in this issue into a tangible change on the ground. So please, please check out our thread and get creating!


Many of us are following this epidemic very closely -- and it is looking pretty dire. I have no infectious disease background whatsoever; I see the epidemic and the interconnected urban and rural environments it's attacking as an unpredictable complex system with a thousand ways to evade containment. To me this outbreak is starting to look like it may already be unstoppable in west Africa -- if not in all of sub-saharan Africa.

My question: Do you think it's still possible that a world response could conceivably be big enough, quick enough, and west Africa-savvy enough to have a chance to contain it within west Africa?

And, if so, how could that be done?


Can Ebola be spread through the air (regardless of droplet size)? Can it be spread through the contamination of currency?

If someone with Ebola (symptomatic) touches a door knob and I touch that door knob 1 day later and than scratch my eye what is the probability that I contract the virus?


What do you think the potential end game scenarios look like for the current EVD outbreak? Even if this is controlled, will it be endemic in West Africa? Can it be controlled (or is this an unknown?) Is this a global pandemic threat?

I have been privately communicating with several respected epidemiologists; what I've been hearing back has really concerned me. None of them want to have their name attached to their thoughts (for what I can assume are professional reasons), but their line of thinking at the moment is that the epidemic in West Africa is too late to contain and that only when the susceptible population decreases (via infection immunity or death) sufficiently will the virus slow down and peter out -- but that this would literally involve millions of cases. The analog used by one epidemiologist I have privately communicated with was the Black Death plague from 1346 to 1353 in Europe.

My second question, if you have time, revolves around CFR (or PFC, or however you want to slice it). In the PBS Frontline documentary, MSF was quoted as saying observed CFR in the clinics is in the 80% range (putting it in line with typical Ebola Zaire CFR). Is this true? Do the WHO figures of ~50% CFR for this epidemic mesh with your on the ground observations? Does the CFR data suffer from a lag effect, or is there some other reason for the discrepancy?

Thank you very much for your time. What you are doing is some of the bravest, most self sacrificing work imaginable.


If EVD mutates into an airborne virus, what sort of protective gear might be useful for someone to have in their home?

Good luck in all you do, you lead a life so far from mine that I can only say thank you.

SleepyDustKing9 karma

Hey everyone, I'm one of the volunteer mods for /r/doctorswithoutborders. Thanks for all your great questions! For anyone who missed this AMA but still has a question to ask, just post them in /r/doctorswithoutborders and we will do our best to help you.

Also, please can you sign the TBManifesto? There's only a week left and we are tantalisingly close to our target. Thanks!

SleepyDustKing8 karma

Hey everyone I'm one of the mods for /r/doctorswithoutborders.

Check out our growing community, which is kind of like a hub for humanitarian news and all things DWB/MSF! = )