Panic

Americans are panicking over Ebola, and authorities are concerned not just to stem the disease but to stem the panic.  They are saying the chances of any of us actually dying of Ebola is microscopically low, that we are more likely to die of a shark attack, bee stings, or falling out of bed.  Alexandra Petri says that if that’s true, we need to panic over those other things too! [Read more...]

Ebola self-destruction?

Parasites that kill their hosts are basically committing suicide.  More successful parasites keep their hosts alive.  Tapeworms, for example, can hunker down in someone’s intestines and grow to obscene lengths before the host even notices.  The most successful parasites, such as the microorganisms that live in our stomachs, actually benefit their hosts, making infestation a win-win situation.

Liberia has been horribly stricken by Ebola, but, all of a sudden, the number of cases is plummeting.  This, even though the American troops and other foreign help haven’t got started yet. [Read more...]

Using our military to fight Ebola

Some 1,000 American troops have been sent to Africa to help in the fight against Ebola.  Plans are to send as many as 3,900.  As with others who care for Ebola patients, these military men and women risk catching the disease themselves.  And then they will come home.   So the Pentagon is requiring all troops that have been part of this mission to be put into a 21-day quarantine upon their return.

This is a commendable duty on the part of the servicemen and women who are risking their lives–as they do in so many other ways–to protect others.  And yet, is this a proper task for our military?  They are trained to fight human enemies, not viral ones.  I suppose many of those sent over have medical specialties, but still, this seems an odd use of our military might.  Is this a violation of vocation?  Also,  the danger to them and to those they return to is considerable.  Again, I honor these men and women, and I commend our country’s efforts to battle the disease in Africa, and maybe the military is the only manpower that can be easily accessed for the job.  But still. . . .What do you think? [Read more...]

A 19th Century doctor who may have saved your life

Abortion, far from being a modern medical procedure, was rampant in the past, including in the 19th century.  After the jump is an interview with Frederick Dyer, the author of a biography of Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer, the physician responsible for passing anti-abortion laws.  He stopped so many abortions that, statistically, he may have saved the life of one of your ancestors, without whom you would cease to exist. [Read more...]

Only one Ebola case left in U.S.

The second nurse who contracted Ebola from the late Thomas Duncan in Dallas has been cured of the disease.  She too was a recipient of Dr. Kent Brantly’s blood.   That leaves only one case of Ebola in the United States, Doctors without Borders physician Craig Spencer in New York. [Read more...]

Blood transfusion

The nurse who recovered from Ebola had received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, that first American missionary doctor who contracted the disease but survived.  So far, he has given about a gallon of his blood to others with the disease, and it seems to be helping.  The recipients and the donor must have compatible blood types, but the antibodies that successfully killed the virus in the survivor can be transferred into another person’s body.

I can’t resist the comparison to the blood of Christ.  He bore the disease of sin in His body and went so far as to die from it, though that particular virus was ours, not His.  But He rose from the dead.  Now His blood is our cure.  He gives us a blood transfusion:

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28) [Read more...]


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