Ebola

Julius Stiebert stiebert at mfn.de
Mon Apr 19 10:09:48 EST 1999


Dear Ronchas,

I will try to answer your questions...
Please, can you send me your report if you done it? Thanks in advance
Okay:

> Q: Is Ebola definitely a new disease, or is it a disease that has mutated
in
> to it's current form?
A: Nobody really knows that. Some scientists think, that it ever was in its
current form, but that it is not dangerous for the host. Some other
speculate about that very interesting thesis: They think, that Ebola was a
plant virus, and was infecting people, when they eat a contagious plant.

> Q: Does Ebola have the potential to become airborne?
A: Some say 'yes' and some say 'no'. I think yes, because the scientists at
USAMRIID wasn't sure, if Ebola Reston was transfered to the other monkey
rooms via air. They work in the BSL4 lab with this virus. The CDC and some
organizations here in Germany work in BSL2 with it, because they don't
believe in this danger.

> Q: Why does Ebola Reston only kill animals and not humans?
A: I don't know why.

> Q: Why can't our immune system fight off the disease?
A: Did you never learn something about the immun system? It is similar to
other viruses.

> Q: Is it true that Ebola could have been responsible for the Great Plaque
in
> 425 B.C.?
A: I never heard about this. But I think (and I believe in) that Ebola kills
people a long time ago 1976.

> Q: What are the chances of Ebola reaching the USA?
A: That isn't a great problem. You have to fly to Africa, infect with Ebola
and fly back in the USA. It is the same like with the monkeys in Reston.
But: If you have symptoms for hemorrhagic fever the airport staff will
inform the CDC or some similar organization.

> Q: Is it true that some people in Africa have antibodies to help fight off
> the Ebola virus?
A: I heard of that. But I don't know if it is really true. But why not? It
is the same by Lassa fever.

> Q: Could it be possible that Ebola once was a harmless virus that mutated
> into this very harmful virus?
A: Yes, but I wrote that already at the first question.

> Q: What is most likely the host or cause of Ebola?
A: Nobody knows the host. Otherwise it wouldn't be so difficult to get a
serum. But the most scientists think that monkeys are the host. If Ebola
really was a plant virus (see the first question) they have to find that
plant.

See ya next time
Julius






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