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The CDC elevation to a level-one response in a nutshell.

If you are freaking out at the way the media is covering this news you should take a deep breath and calm down before reading this.

What is going on?

Currently the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has upped the response level of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to 1. The reason they have done this is because they have been invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to take on a leadership role in handling the Ebola outbreak. They essentially want to have all hands on deck to better coordinate operations in Africa since there have been confirmed cases and deaths in the capitol of Nigeria, Lagos, which currently has a population of 5.2 million within an area of 386 square miles (~100 square kilometers) Source: UNdata.


As Tom Skinner is quoted to say,

"Our movement to level 1 activation is appropriate, given the significance of this outbreak, the extension to Nigeria, and the potential to affect many lives."

What is the Emergency Operations Center?


The EOC was founded in 2001 after the Anthrax mailing events. It is the 7,000 square-foot space the CDC uses to monitor and coordinate responses to public health threats that occur not only within the United States but other countries as well. It manages equipment/supply needs of responders, moves medications, samples, and personnel, and coordinates staff deployment. So going to level one is akin to setting a processor at a higher clock speed; more processes can be executed within a shorter amount of time when needed.

The EOC was previously brought to level 1 during the H1N1 outbreaks in 2009, however has been heightened several times before to handle events such as the Cholera outbreak in Haiti.


Should I be concerned about all of this?


If you are living within cities or countries that do not have any confirmed cases of Ebola you are probably at an even lower risk of having to deal with this disease than you were 24 hours ago. For this to spread you need to be in direct contact with an infected individual's bodily fluids. While there there is a small chance the virus could develop other means of transmission if it goes through several infection-based generations this is still an unlikely event, especially since deployment and responses to areas where individuals are infected will be now be faster.

Please, spare yourself the increased cortisol levels and don't let CNN or FOX freak you out.


Final Thoughts

If you want to read more about the technology used to move infected patients there was a great rundown the other day:


Images:, Joseph Skeate

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