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Prepping Guide to Surviving Ebola: Ebola cases could top 7 billion by May 2016

You are likely aware of the Ebola epidemic ravaging countries in West Africa. To date, there are over 7000 infected and almost 3500 people have died. Hospitals and clinics in these countries are beyond their capacity, and people are dying outside their doors since there is no room for them inside. And now Ebola has made it's way to the U.S. where the person infected came into contact with 100 other people.

What is extra scary is that in spite of the President saying Ebola wouldn't make it here - it did. Hopefully you do understand that the things the government says to allay people's fears are just spin and they are not to be trusted! Compounding the issue is that the infected man actually went to the hospital, but the hospital didn't even realise he had Ebola and released him back into the population!

As you read this guide, you will find I make a projection of 7 Billion Ebola deaths by August 2016, and you may be inclined to think I am fear-mongering. However at the recent Congressional Seminar on Ebola, Joseph Fair (Special Advisor to the Sierra Lione Health Minister) said "What we are facing is an end-of-days scenerio...of biblical proportions." So while the President, the CDC, and others try to use their Jedi mind tricks to convince you there is no threat - don't believe it. With an epidemic like Ebola, you should err on the side of caution.

Now as preppers it is not about having irrational fears - it's about understanding what "could" happen and then prepping for it. With Ebola spreading outside of West Africa, I thought it would be useful to be able make some mathematical projections of what "could" happen if health officials aren't able to stop it's spread.

The charts below are based on data provided by World Health Organization, but also shows some "math equations" I created which match the data pretty well.

Charting the historical advance of Ebola cases

Chart of Ebola Case History up to Oct 2014

The blue line in this chart plots the history of total Ebola cases since the beginning of this latest outbreak in March. This is just the raw data from the WHO.

The red line however, is my fitting of that data into a math function to allow projections into the future. The function that the fits the data was an exponential function. Specifically Cases(weeks) = 44.5*e(0.0268*weeks) which will let you predict the total number of people with Ebola as a function of weeks since March 22 2014.

What I want to point out is how accurately my equation matches the data! Since it does match the data this well, it should be reasonable to use this equation and make estimates of how many people could be infected with Ebola at some point in the future.

Charting the history of Ebola deaths

Chart of Ebola Death History up to Oct 2014

On this chart, the red line is the number of people who have actually died from Ebola. Again, the data comes straight from the World Health Organization.

The green line in this chart is based on another equation I derived to fit the data. In this case, you can use the equation to estimate how many people will have died from Ebola at some point in the future. Deaths(weeks) = 42.9*e(0.023*weeks) which will let you predict the total number of deaths from Ebola as a function of weeks since March 22 2014.

Again, what I want to point out is how well this equation matches the data! Likewise, it should also be reasonable to use this second equation to make estimates of how many people could have died from Ebola at some point in the future.

Ok. So the above charts were included on this page for one reason - to show how well those equations actually match the real data. If anything, they may be low estimates! But, since they do agree with the data it would be reasonable to use these equations to make predictions of how many people could be infected with Ebola, or how many could have already died at some time in the future.

Everyone on the planet could be dead from Ebola by August 2016

7 Billion Deaths from Ebola by Aug 2016

This chart is what everything else on this page has been leading up to. This chart is the "take away" from the page. This chart is where I use the very same equation that fit the data on Ebola deaths and make a projection about the future. I quickly found out that there was no point in projecting beyond 2016 because everyone would be dead! The world population is 7.1 billion, but by Aug 2016 the projected deaths due to Ebola will exceed the world's population!

Now obviously, Ebola isn't going to kill everyone on the planet since around 50% of those who become infected actually survive. So it doesn't make sense to project to a time when 7 billion will have died from Ebola.

But, it would make sense to project to a date when 50% of the world's population (ie. 3.5 billion) could have died from Ebola - and that date will occur in May 2016!

On the other hand, even here in the U.S. our hospitals are just not equipped to handle a mass influx of sick people. If Americans are no longer able to get IV solutions, blood transfusions and the constant monitoring required to survive Ebola the death rate will sky-rocket and closely match this projection.

Prepping for Ebola: The first step in surviving Ebola is to not get it!

Now isn't the time to overreact, quit your job and move out to the wilderess..just yet. But know that epidemics do progress geometrically and generally take hold in the cities first, then begin to radiate outward. So clearly places with major airport hubs like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and...Dallas are not good places to be if Ebola starts to progress. Cities are bad in general during epidemics due to their high population densities, which increase the probability of infection. In fact, many people actually survived the Plague by remaining isolated. But if the number of known infected people in the US exceeds 100, it is time to start packing and make plans to get to a more isolated area.

If you do have to be in an area where people infected with Ebola "could be," a biohazard suit could save your life. This is your first line of defense against contracting Ebola. A biohazard kit has everything you need in a biosuit as recommended by the CDC. To dispose of biohazard materials the included biohazard waste bag should be burned. When suiting-up you need to make certain you have no exposed skin (even your neck) to be safe. For guidelines on how to avoid catching Ebola, you can view this CDC webpage

Doctors have confirmed that Ebola "can" live on surfaces (like doorknobs) for a few hours. And Ebola can also live in droplets of body fluid for days! But luckily it can also be killed easily by UltraViolet light or disinfectants like bleach. A UV germicidal light source or a sprayer capable of holding chemicals like bleach can be purchased at most hardware stores and should be used to disinfect potentially contaminated areas. A pan of bleach should also be located outside your door so that when entering your shelter you can place your feet in the pan to disinfect your feet.

Surviving Ebola: Treating a patient

The worst has happened - you or someone in your group has contracted Ebola. Obviously, "if" you have access to a health center - that should be your first choice. But, since the Ebola epidemic could "go south" really fast I include this section accounting for the possibility that hospitals could become overrun. In that case you are likely better off on your own, and some basic knowledge would be helpful. Attempting to treat an Ebola patient yourself should be considered a very drastic measure – a doomsday prepper measure!

The first thing to know about taking care of someone with Ebola is that most Ebola deaths are due to low blood pressure. From bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea an Ebola patient will quickly become dehydrated and lose electrolytes - which are very bad for maintaining blood pressure. As there is no currently available cure or vaccine for Ebola, treating an Ebola patient is totally based on replacing lost blood, lost electrolytes, and maintaining blood pressure.

If the SHTF and the numbers of Ebola cases begins to spike, it may be time to take drastic action and start drawing blood from your group members to refrigerate for possible later use. Once someone is infected with Ebola, it is too late to draw blood to use for transfusions. Use an IV kit to collect blood – normal blood pressure will fill the bag. Aim for 5 liters per person which should hopefully be enough to replace a patient’s blood loss during treatment. That’s alot of blood, so spread your blood collection over a period 10 – 14 days.

As fluid in the blood increases, so does blood pressure. IV saline solution does double-duty by increasing blood pressure and reducing dehydration. Currently, IV saline solution is in short supply, so if you can find it – it will be expensive. But sterile saline solution can also be made easily by boiling water (30 min.) and adding salt to make a 0.9% solution.

As unusual as this sounds if low blood-pressure is becoming a problem, some common substances could help. Caffeine is well known to increase blood-pressure, as can many energy-drinks. Energy drinks may actually be the better choice with the extra nutrients they contain. To replace lost electrolytes, remember that sports drinks (like Gatorade) contain high-levels of electrolytes.

Aspirin will lower blood-pressure and should not be given to an Ebola patient. However, a side-effect of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is that it could actually increase blood-pressure – and that is a good side-effect. Ibuprofen can also lower a fever which is another good side-effect for an Ebola patient.

While looking after an Ebola it is of utmost importance to keep yourself (and others) safe. Keep the patient isolated - which means refrain from entering the quarantine area unless you have to. When you do enter the quarantine room, wear your biosuit and step in a container of bleach when leaving. Sanitize everything - twice! Mop with bleach, and have the patient use as many disposable items as possible. Non-disposable items need to be sterilized, which can done by placing in a fire or in boiling water.

Ebola patients can produce contaminated waste where Ebola can live for days. Expect (and prepare for) vomiting, and diarrhea. Have a plan for cleaning up, and removing of this waste without transporting it through the rest of your shelter. After clean-up, you may want drop bags of waste out a window where it can be collected and moved away from your shelter. Set-up a dedicated fire pit to burn all waste.