Question from an "arm-chair hack"

Ed Rybicki ED at
Mon May 22 05:28:20 EST 1995

> From:          JARDINE  P <F3CM at UNB.CA>
> Subject:       RE: Question from an "arm-chair hack"

> In article <3pj6tu$lls at> litekepr at (The LightKeeper) writes:
> >Assumptions I'm using:
> >Ebola is a "jungle virus."  The outbreaks have all occured in or
> >Heres the thing: If Ebola was so amazingly nasty, and has such a
> >tremendous mortality, why AREN'T there fields of dead jungle
> >creatures?  If in a short time HUNDREDS of humans die from this
> >thing, why are the monkey populations of Africa gone by now.
> >Surely monkey colonies observe no quarentines, surely they would
> >be more in contact with the virus than we.  Why is this?
> The fact that people die so quickly is an indication that ebola is a
> pathogen out of its element. Killing your host to quickly is not a
> very efficient strategy for reproduction unless you can hide out in
> the environment and wait for another host to come along like alot of
> bacterial viruses do.
> The animals which harbour ebola (monkeys perhaps, it might be bunny
> rabbits for all we know) probably experience an infection which is
> much less severe.
> Hope this answers the "dead monkey" question.

...and the fact that Ebola Reston hardly affected humans (although 
several apparently had inapparent infections) whereas it killed 
monkeys MOST effectively, makes you wonder just what was IT'S host, 
doesn't it...??

 |     Ed Rybicki, PhD      |  ed at   |
 |    Dept Microbiology     | University of Cape Town |
 | Private Bag, Rondebosch  |   7700, South Africa    |
 |   fax: x27-21-650 4023   | phone: x27-21-650-3265  |
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   "And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
      From the profit he's made on your dreams..."

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