embola->ebola

John Cherwonogrodzky jcherwon at dres.dnd.ca
Sat Mar 4 17:00:13 EST 1995


Dear Ray Pierson:
     I'm not a virologist, and what I know about ebola is probably from what 
you've read or seen on T.V.
     Ebola is, I might be wrong, a flavivirus (looks like twisty 
spaghetti) which is really nasty. These have come up at other times, notably 
Marburg Germany where workers died from monkey tissue cultures for polio 
vaccine manufacture (they didn't know it was infected).
     The ebola that wiped out a small African village on the Ebola River 
(hence its name) was really deadly, but its not often mentioned that the 
outbreak started with eating infected monkey meat. Sick people went to the 
hospital where the nurses gave antibiotics (not effective for viruses) then 
used the same dirty needle to give anything else to those that came in the 
hospital. The disease was blood born, not aerosol delivered.
     The 500 monkeys in Reston, Virginia, were from the Philippines and the 
disease spread by aerosol. The ebola was identical except it had minimal 
effect on humans. hence:
     - they were lucky in Reston
     - they may have a vaccine to ebola dropped in their laps in Reston
     - the ebola is world-wide
     - although the disease was blood-born, it can be aerosol delivered
              Take care....John



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