Why does infectious dose matter? One person in particular tried to argue that it is of no importance. I am not an expert, but I try not to be a dummy either. As I pointed out in the other thread Ebola is different from most infectious agents doctors and hospital staff are accustomed to coping with. The unusually low infectious dose is sufficient to explain the problems they have encountered. Typically small discretions are of no consequence because the infectious dose is high. Suppose you are treating people with influenza A variant. The infectious dose for influenza A variant is greater than 790 organisms http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/influenza-a-eng.php. With Ebola it is 10 http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php. You have to receive a dose that is at least 79 times greater to catch the flu than you do with Ebola. The margin of error is considerably smaller.
In a typical day you may come into contact with say 200 flu organisms despite the precautions you have taken. I'm just pulling a number out of a hat to help illustrate my point. 200 isn't enough to make you sick. The precautions you took didn't spare you from the disease; it kept you from receiving a dose sufficient to get you sick. But what if the dose is less than 200? You would go merrily go about your business thinking everything is fine when it isn't. There are all sorts of vulnerabilities, ways for the disease to get to you, that you never really paid much attention to. With this disease, a caregiver has to be on top of their game, a star player. You and your team seriously have to have your act together. You are going to have to take serious pride in getting it right because if you die who is going to replace you? Society needs you and your expertise.
< Message edited by BenevolentM -- 10/13/2014 7:50:25 PM >