The Ebola virus - the end of the civilized world

Ed Rybicki ED at molbiol.uct.ac.za
Fri Aug 18 07:53:07 EST 1995


> To:            virology at net.bio.net
> From:          RUS-92 at IDA.RUC.DK
> Subject:       The Ebola virus - the end of the civilized world
> Date:          18 Aug 1995 04:30:25 -0700

> That the Ebola virus is a terrible threat to mankind is undoubtable, but 
> i wonder if anybody has thought about the consequences of an epidemic 
> disaster in areas with high consentration of population - for example 
> central Europe or the eastern coast of the USA. 
> Ebola kills 88 percent of the victims, and thus would such a populated 
> area be reduced to almost nothing. ...

> Indeed, Ebola is the mightiest threat mankind has faced yet.

I can do no better than to quote you what Dr Margaretha Isaacson - one 
of the original 1976 Zaire epidemic medics, and a very senior 
virologist in SA - said in an interview with Max Gebhardt, Argus 
correspondent (Weekend Argus, Cape Town, August 12/13 1995): 

"Ebola...is of absolutely no danger to the world at large.  It is a 
dangerous virus, but it's relatively rare and quite easily 
contained."

"The virus needs the right conditions to multiply, whatever the virus 
is, be it Ebola or plague.  It's not enough to just have the 
accident.  The virus must first find itself in a favourable 
environment before it can affect anyone.  The media is scaring the 
world out of its wits, and movies like *Outbreak* are doing people a 
great disservice".

This, from a woman who worked with patients in Zaire under 
horrifically primitive conditions, nearly 20 years ago, when no-one 
knew what the pathogen was or how it was spreading.

I would say you - and many others - are being unnecessarily 
frightened by a concerted media campaign designed at selling lurid 
books and films.  Listen - for a change - to what experts tell you, 
and react accordingly.

That is, RELAX!!!!!




More information about the Virology mailing list