History of Ebola
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is caused by the Ebola virus. The first recognized outbreak was in 1976 at a mission hospital in Zaire, located near the Ebola river–from whence it got its name. There are actually four subtypes of Ebola–and a number of strains within each subtype. Three of the four subtypes (Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, and Ebola-Ivory Coast) are known to infect humans. The fourth (Ebola-Reston, which we mentioned earlier) only seems to infect nonhuman primates. To date, the original Zaire version of the virus–which is the one involved in the current outbreak–is the most lethal. Some strains of the Zaire subtype can reach mortality rates approaching 90%. The current version is currently running at 50-60%.
Ebola is a filovirus (named after their characteristic long filament like shape) that wreaks havoc by damaging the endothelial cells that line all the arterial walls, including the capillaries, and by interfering with your blood’s clotting ability. It is this one-two punch that makes it so deadly. As a result of the damage to the arterial walls, it causes internal bleeding in all your organs, and by interfering with the ability of your blood to clot, it means that you literally bleed to death internally. This can manifest in two ways: you either ultimately succumb to hypovolemic shock when there is insufficient blood for the heart to pump effectively, or you may end up drowning in your own blood as blood pours into your lungs. Neither is pleasant.
Fortunately, Ebola does not easily transmit from person to person. It doesn’t readily pass through the air. This is not the movie Outbreak. Ebola requires direct contact with contaminated bodily fluids–i.e., blood, vomit, urine, saliva, and fecal matter. And although they contain droplets of saliva, coughing and sneezing do not qualify as direct contact. Ebola cannot pass between primates in an aerosol.1 Tara C. Smith. “Are we *sure* Ebola isn’t airborne?” ScienceBlogs, Aetiology. August 3, 2014. (Accessed 11 Aug 2014. http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2014/08/03/are-we-sure-ebola-isnt-airborne/ , 2 Niagara Guide Guy. “Is Ebola Airborne?” Airborne Infection Prevention. September 12, 2007. (Accessed 11 Aug 2014) http://airborneinfection.blogspot.com/2007/09/is-ebola-airborne.html You can’t catch Ebola by sitting next to someone with the virus in a movie theater. A quick search on the internet shows you how big a concern this is right now. I found blogs where people are calculating the “infection zone” around someone who has Ebola and sneezes on a plane. (Six feet is the common estimate by the way.) The logic is that saliva is a bodily fluid; therefore, the virus has to be carried in the water droplets of a sneeze or a cough. Right?
Wrong, actually. Yes, cold and flu viruses are transmitted through sneezes, but not all viruses can infect that way. Would you like an example of another deadly virus that’s transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids but that can’t be transmitted in aerosol form? How about HIV? No one ever got infected by sitting next to an HIV carrier on an airplane—even if they sneezed repeatedly. HIV infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids—as does Ebola. Neither can transmit as an aerosol.
Incidentally, the consensus is that the current outbreak started as a result of natives eating infected bush meat — specifically, wild animals, hoofed animals, monkeys, fruit bats, and rodents. That kind of extended contact with multiple body fluids associated with the infected animal while killing, handling, cooking, and consuming them, pretty much guarantees the transmission of the infection. Once infected, the patient shows the first symptoms of the disease in anywhere from three to 14 days.
Because Ebola cannot transmit easily and because it has such a high mortality rate, the virus tends to lack staying power. Outbreaks of the disease tend to be both sporadic and isolated–quickly killing those infected and then dying off themselves. For example, when Ebola hit Uganda in 2012, the president quickly went on TV and urged Ugandans to avoid touching each other. Health officials acted responsibly, quickly quarantining anyone suspected of being infected. And the population cooperated. As a result, the outbreak was snuffed out in short order, and only 17 people died.
As a virus, antibiotics do not work on Ebola, nor do any known antivirals, nor is there an immunization that can be taken to prevent infection. At present, there is no proven cure, although an experimental drug used on the two Americans who contracted the disease has been in the news.3 BDr. Sanjay Gupta and Danielle Dellorto. “Experimental drug likely saved Ebola patients.” CNN August 5, 2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/04/health/experimental-ebola-serum/index.html Both patients are improving, and the company’s stock is up 45%,4 Jack Linshi. “A Company That Makes an Ebola Drug Just Saw Its Stock Surge.” Time Aug. 8, 2014. (8 Aug 2014.) http://time.com/3093726/tekmira-ebola-drug-maker-stock/ but in truth, there’s no way to tell whether or not the drug played any role in their improvement. For the most part, all medical staff can do is make patients as comfortable as possible, keep them hydrated (very important), use antibiotics to control any secondary infections, prevent others from being infected, and let it run its course.
Why Is this Outbreak of Ebola Different?
West Africa is currently in the midst of the largest Ebola outbreak in history. Nearly 1,000 people have died and more than 1,700 have been infected since the outbreak began in early December. The death toll is already nearly four times as high as the next highest outbreak on record, which was the first outbreak back in 1976. There have been a total of 18 outbreaks since then.
As it turns out, the high death toll of this latest outbreak has nothing to do with any changes in the virus itself. In fact, as we’ve already mentioned, it’s a slightly less fatal version of the Zaire subtype. What is different, though, is how the outbreak has been handled. Whereas two years ago, the virus was quickly identified and both the Ugandan government and healthcare services acted decisively and professionally–and the people followed the rules–the same cannot be said this time around. The reasons for this are multiple.
When the virus first appeared some five months ago in the forests of southern Guinea, no one knew what the fevers, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting meant. Even when the symptoms extended to internal and external bleeding, no one connected the dots. And even when people started dying, relatives touched and washed the dead, unaware that cleaning up vomit and diarrhea and handling soiled clothing is precisely how the virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids.
Eventually, even though they still didn’t know what it was, families became desperate and packed their loved ones into minivans or crowded buses to take them to Conakry, Guinea’s capital, in search of better care. Still, no one yet knew what they were dealing with, and with sanitation and isolation facilities non-existent in the vehicles and in the city itself, many people were exposed to infected bodily fluids. Not surprisingly, people in Conakry started getting sick. It was not until the end of March that the disease had been identified as Ebola and Doctors Without Borders announced that Guinea faced an “unprecedented epidemic.” Quite simply, because it had not been quickly identified, this outbreak had four months to spread to other villages, cities, and even cross borders before anyone knew what they were dealing with.
In early April, fear was sweeping through not only Guinea but neighboring Liberia, where deaths had also started occurring. When one lady fell ill in Liberia, she was taken to a church for divine intervention rather than to the hospital. Needless to say, she soon died. How many people caught the virus from touching her and ministering to her in church is impossible to say. Soon, though, what was originally denial turned to fear and panic.5 http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2014/07/31/lead-intv-liberian-pres-sirleaf-on-ebola.cnn.html In Guinea, passengers fled a bus after an elderly man vomited on board.
When Ebola hit Uganda two years ago, it was the third outbreak in a dozen years in that country. The first outbreak in 2000 killed more than 220 people in about five months, largely as result of the same sort of official misjudgments and local ignorance currently seen in the West Africa outbreak. Based on their previous experience, the Ugandan government recognized the problem and acted quickly. And also because they too had previous experience with Ebola, the people followed the government’s directives–even going so far as to forgo burying their dead according to traditional customs, but instead treating the dead as victims of Ebola.
Unfortunately, with this latest outbreak, the countries had no such previous experience with Ebola and were taken by surprise. Health officials were slow to respond; health workers weren’t familiar with the necessary equipment; and health infrastructure was lacking. Also, the general public did not understand what was going on, and at least some infected patients did not follow necessary measures to contain the outbreak and seek medical care. Among other things, they were motivated by a distrust of Western medicine. Driven by rumors and fear, they fled hospitals rather than seek out treatment centers.6 “Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone woman who fled hospital after testing positive dies.” ABC 27 Jul 2014. (Accessed 10 Aug 2014.) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-27/ebola-patient-who-fled-hospital-dies-after-turning-herself-in/5626782 And even as recently as August 10th, long after the outbreak had been identified as Ebola and the public was made aware of what that meant, people in Sierra Leone and Liberia still chose to fill churches to seek deliverance from an outbreak–in total defiance of official warnings to avoid public gatherings to contain the epidemic.7 Clair MacDougall and Umaru Fofana. “West Africans fill churches to pray for deliverance from ‘devil’ Ebola.” Reuters. Aug 10, 2014. (Accessed 10 Aug 2014.) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/10/us-health-ebola-africa-idUSKBN0GA0QS20140810 Unfortunately, this is one of the primary reasons health experts expect this particular outbreak to continue for several more months, rather than be snuffed out quickly.
Another game changer is that previous outbreaks happened outside the cities, in remote communities. The West Africa outbreak has escalated because it moved into the cities where it spread much more rapidly before it was identified.
What we’re seeing now is the perfect Ebola storm: ignorance, lack of faith in government and public health authorities, dysfunctional governments, poor isolation practices in health facilities, no accommodation of the families of those infected so that families refuse to bring their loved ones to facilities, rapid spread in a city environment, and–most disturbing of all–proximity to an international airport.
While the 2012 outbreak in Uganda was effectively contained within weeks, the West African outbreak is now in its ninth month and has killed nearly 1,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In the history of Ebola outbreaks, nothing has come close to this in magnitude. Today, as I write this, The World Health Organization, has declared this outbreak to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.8 “WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.” WHO 8 Aug 2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/
Now, I know this sounds dramatic–and it is–especially when you consider this is only the third time in its history that the WHO has declared an international public health emergency. Specifically, their statement declared, “The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.” But as you dig down into the details of their announcement, it’s a little less frightening than it might first appear. In addition to officially designating Ebola a global health emergency, the WHO published a list of recommendations for governments in affected countries. For the most part, the organization called for temporary bans on “mass gatherings” and exit screenings at airports to check people leaving countries hit by the virus. That’s it. Not so dramatic after all–yet. One thing left unsaid sits in the background. The WHO’s Public “health emergency of international concern” designation for Ebola could pave the way, depending on how well the affected countries get their acts together, for an international response that potentially includes the mobilization of NATO troops.
Ebola, Where We Stand
Make no mistake, this outbreak is a threat–but more so for people in Africa than for anyone in the developed world. Yes, the CDC stated yesterday that, thanks to global airline travel, it was “inevitable” that Ebola would spread worldwide. They even stated that it was “possible” that it could spread to the US. To quote Tom Frieden, the head of the CDC, “It is certainly possible that we could have ill people in the US who develop Ebola after having been exposed elsewhere. But we are confident that there will not be a large Ebola outbreak in the US.” This, of course, is miles away from the deliberate misquoting in some of the headlines we’re seeing in alternative health blogs such as: CDC bombshell: Ebola spread to USA ‘inevitable’.9 Mike Adams. “DC bombshell: Ebola spread to USA ‘inevitable’.” Natural News. August 08, 2014. Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.naturalnews.com/046378_CDC_Ebola_pandemic_survival_tips.html There are three main differences between Africa and the developed world when it comes to the likelihood of a large scale outbreak of Ebola. One is better training for dealing with highly infectious diseases. Just look at Uganda to see how much that matters. Unfortunately, most of the countries in West Africa are not that well prepared. Second is superior healthcare infrastructure and technology. This allows developed countries to more effectively identify anyone who has had contact with a carrier and speedily track them down for testing and possible quarantine. And finally, there is culture. Eating bush meat is a survival necessity for many African villagers. Wild jungle animals serve as the reservoir for Ebola. Without them, Ebola would have disappeared off the face of the earth after the first outbreak was contained in 1976. There are no animal reservoirs outside of Africa, and even if there were, eating bush meat is much less common outside of Africa. (Note: I wouldn’t be surprised to see sales of Miss Kay’s Duck Dynasty cookbook, which specializes in wild animal recipes, drop off a bit after people read this. Just saying.)
Is there any danger bringing the two infected healthcare workers back to the US for isolation and treatment? Despite the furor this has created in some segments of the media and among some politicians, the danger is about as close to zero as you can get. Again, you don’t get Ebola from casual contact or “being in the area.” It takes direct contact with infected bodily fluids. This just ain’t gonna happen in these cases. They were brought back in special planes, outfitted with portable isolation units, and will be kept in true isolation in a fully equipped isolation unit at Emory Hospital complete with glass walls for observation and filtered air.10 Emory University Hospital special isolation unit treats two Americans infected with Ebola virus.” Emory News Center. 4 Aug 2014. !Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/07/euh_ebola_patient/campus.html The chances of it breaking containment are almost nonexistent.
Donald Trump, in a series of three tweets that gained international attention, proclaimed:
- The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!
- The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our “borders.” Act fast!
- The fact that we are taking the Ebola patients, while others from the area are fleeing to the United States, is absolutely CRAZY-Stupid pols
This is pure nonsense, has no basis in fact, and displays a complete ignorance of the medical science involved. It is political grandstanding of the basest sort. Then again, would we have expected anything less from “The Donald.”11 Ed Mazza. “Dnald Trump Says Ebola Doctors ‘Must Suffer The Consequences’.” The Huffington Post 08/04/2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/03/donald-trump-ebola-doctors_n_5646424.html
Over the years, I’ve told you that at some point, a major devastating pandemic is coming. But I have also consistently told you each time the mainstream media has gone hysterical that it wasn’t SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, or MERS. And so far, I’ve been right. And I’m telling you now that, unless something changes, it’s not Ebola either. Ebola’s dependence on direct contact with bodily fluids for transmission make it impossible for it to ever become the next 1918 pandemic. So who are you going to listen to when it comes to Ebola: the person who got everyone of those previous calls right, or the people who got everyone of them wrong? And when are you going to start holding the people who are just trying to scare the fecal matter out of you accountable for their bad journalism–and their bad science?
Ebola in the Developed World
So, is there a chance that Ebola will come to the Western World? As the head of the CDC said, that’s inevitable. Someone who is infected will at some point fly out of Africa to a developed country. Will they come to the U.S.? He said that was possible; he did not say inevitable. And more importantly, he specifically talked about it being contracted overseas, not contracted domestically. He also stated that if it did arrive in the U.S. in this manner, it would not be a large outbreak. So what are the scenarios we’re talking about?
Someone contracts Ebola while visiting Africa and develops symptoms while still overseas. In fact, we’ve already seen this scenario with the two healthcare workers in the U.S. and the priest flown back to Spain. Once identified, they are transported in isolation back home and held in isolation until they no longer pose a threat. This is not something to worry about.
Someone contracts Ebola while overseas and flies back home on a crowded airplane before they develop symptoms. This is the scenario that the CDC said was “possible”. Is it a major concern? Well, before they develop symptoms, they are not contagious unless they are performing blood brother rituals with fellow passengers on the plane. Remember, it takes contact with infected blood, urine, fecal matter, saliva, or vomit to contract the disease. Having no symptoms means that you are not vomiting, do not have diarrhea, and are not bleeding from your eyes or nose. The chances of transmitting infection are close to zero. Once home if you develop symptoms, hospitals are now on high alert looking for anyone with those symptoms who has recently traveled to Africa. They will quickly put any such patient in isolation and quarantine their family until they test negative for infection. Bottom line: the chances of Ebola being passed to anyone outside of the immediate family is very low.
When the head of the CDC said that any possible outbreak would likely not be large, this is what he meant—a small handful of people in the immediate family would be at risk. Let’s remember that Uganda held its last outbreak to 17 deaths. We would like to think that any Western country could meet or exceed that standard.
So, is there any scenario where Ebola could spread in a developed country? And the answer is yes. If, for example, the U.S. citizen who contracted the disease overseas and brought it back home was part of a group that distrusted his government and decided to resist health authority attempts to put him in isolation and decided to seal himself off in the family ranch and resist any incursion by Federal or state authorities to quarantine him and his family, that would present a problem. Then again, sealing yourself and your family in the family compound would accomplish much the same thing as quarantine, although it would likely mean that everyone on the compound died. However, once everyone was dead, the authorities would move in wearing Hazmat suits and remove the bodies, thus ending the outbreak.
But Jon, is there any scenario where we could end up with regular large scale Ebola outbreaks like in Africa? And the answer to that question is: yes, it’s possible. For that to happen, however, Ebola would have to find an animal reservoir that people had intimate contact with in which it could continue to thrive when there were no human carriers. In Africa, that’s the bush meat. Villagers, by tradition, eat monkey meat and fruit bats. These are the reservoir in Africa. When villagers kill, skin, cook, and eat these animals, they have that close contact with bodily fluids required for transmission if even one of those animals is infected. So what about the U.S., is there a similar scenario?
Well, let’s take a look at that compound standoff again. What if at the end of the standoff, when everyone on the ranch had died of Ebola, but before the authorities moved in to claim the bodies, some coyotes scavenged some of the flesh of the dead and become infected. Then a few days later, they attacked a rabbit but failed to kill it. And that rabbit then goes back to its warren where it develops symptoms and spreads the disease to all the other rabbits in the warren through its diarrhea, urine, vomit, and fecal matter. Then those rabbits spread out and are eventually hunted down by local human families that have recently purchased Miss Kay’s Duck Dynasty cookbook and its recipes for wild rabbit, then you could have an ongoing larger outbreak. But as I said at the top of the newsletter, you have a better chance of hitting lotto than of seeing that scenario play out.
Again, remembering that you have a better chance of hitting a $300 million Powerball jackpot than coming down with Ebola, is there anything you can do to protect yourself in case you get that lucky? Well, at the moment, the medical community has little to offer except keeping you isolated and hydrated and dealing with any secondary infections–and possibly a couple of unproven, experimental drugs with unknown side effects that, even if they do work, would only be available for a lucky few, at least for the foreseeable future.
So, for better or worse, you’re pretty much on your own with whatever alternative treatments might help. But keep in mind, since Ebola is so rare, these recommendations are no more proven than the experimental drugs now in the news. On the other hand, they have a whole lot more history behind them. With that said:
- It appears that mortality rates are higher in those with compromised immune systems, so keeping your immune system at peak levels is an obvious starting point. And fortunately, unlike MERS, swine flu, bird flu, and SARS, Ebola does not trigger a cytokine storm. That means you don’t have to worry about your immune system turning on you and destroying your lungs. With Ebola, the stronger your immune system, the better.
- Keep a good supply of an antibacterial, antiviral formula that contains several natural pathogen destroyers on hand. Although such formulas and ingredients are not specifically proven for Ebola, there is science behind the general antiviral properties of a number of such ingredients. For example:
- Garlic. The bioactives in garlic have been shown to inhibit the growth of all tested bacteria and viruses, not to mention all fungi.12 Kyung KH. “Antimicrobial properties of allium species.”Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Apr;23(2):142-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903379 It seems to work primarily by compromising the glycoprotein viral envelope which many viruses use to shield themselves from a host’s immune system.13 Weber ND1, Andersen DO, North JA, Murray BK, Lawson LD, Hughes BG. “In vitro virucidal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract and compounds.” Planta Med. 1992 Oct;58(5):417-23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1470664 Ebola is such a virus.
- Olive leaf extract. Olive leaf extract is one of the better known and most studied natural antivirals available. For example, studies have shown that it can actually be effective in holding back HIV infections.14 Lee-Huang S1, Zhang L, Huang PL, Chang YT, Huang PL. “Anti-HIV activity of olive leaf extract (OLE) and modulation of host cell gene expression by HIV-1 infection and OLE treatment.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 8;307(4):1029-37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12878215 Not many antivirals, natural or pharmaceutical, can make that claim. But one study in particular stands out when talking about Ebola. An olive leaf extract was shown to inhibit the ability of the viral hemorrhagic septicemia rhabdovirus to infect host cells.15 Micol V1, Caturla N, Pérez-Fons L, Más V, Pérez L, Estepa A. “The olive leaf extract exhibits antiviral activity against viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus (VHSV).” Antiviral Res. 2005 Jun;66(2-3):129-36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15869811 As with garlic, it seems to do this by compromising the viral envelope. More on point, according to Dr. Morton Walker, olive leaf extract can inactivate Ebola.16 Walker, Morton MD. Natures Antibiotic: Olive Leaf Extract, Kensington Books, NewYork, 1997. pps. 65-68, 39, 149. http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Leaf-Extract-Morton-Walker/dp/1575662264/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407611192&sr=8-
- Oil of oregano. There are indications that oil of oregano is an extremely potent, wide ranging antiviral. One study, for example, shows that carvacrol, the primary bioactive in oil of oregano, is effective in inactivating various forms of the norovirus within one hour of exposure by directly compromising the protein shell that protects the heart of the virus–thus reaching and subsequently destroying the viral RNA.17 Gilling DH, Kitajima M, Torrey JR, Bright KR. “Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus.” J Appl Microbiol. 2014 May;116(5):1149-63. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779581
- Liquid Ionic zinc. Although less studied than some of the other natural antivirals, there are nevertheless some studies that indicate that ionic zinc is comparable to ionic silver in terms of its antiviral capabilities.18 Korant BD, Kauer JC, Butterworth BE. “Zinc ions inhibit replication of rhinoviruses.” Nature. 1974 Apr 12;248(449):588-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4363085
If you are worried about Ebola coming to your neighborhood–keeping in mind that there really are many other things that you should be far more worried about than Ebola–it’s probably worth keeping a supply of a good anti-pathogenic formula in your medicine cabinet–enough for you and your family. Although not specifically tested for Ebola, every indication is that even if it can’t eliminate the virus outright, it could at least reduce the viral load enough so that your immune system could do the job, allowing you to survive. In fact, in general, it’s probably a good idea to keep a supply of such a formula on hand for dealing with colds, flu, MRSA, or any other pathogenic illness that might come your way.
Let me finish by saying that no one has put Ebola fear mongering in better, and funnier, perspective than Stephen Colbert the other night. Enjoy.
|↑1||Tara C. Smith. “Are we *sure* Ebola isn’t airborne?” ScienceBlogs, Aetiology. August 3, 2014. (Accessed 11 Aug 2014. http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2014/08/03/are-we-sure-ebola-isnt-airborne/|
|↑2||Niagara Guide Guy. “Is Ebola Airborne?” Airborne Infection Prevention. September 12, 2007. (Accessed 11 Aug 2014) http://airborneinfection.blogspot.com/2007/09/is-ebola-airborne.html|
|↑3||BDr. Sanjay Gupta and Danielle Dellorto. “Experimental drug likely saved Ebola patients.” CNN August 5, 2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/04/health/experimental-ebola-serum/index.html|
|↑4||Jack Linshi. “A Company That Makes an Ebola Drug Just Saw Its Stock Surge.” Time Aug. 8, 2014. (8 Aug 2014.) http://time.com/3093726/tekmira-ebola-drug-maker-stock/|
|↑6||“Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone woman who fled hospital after testing positive dies.” ABC 27 Jul 2014. (Accessed 10 Aug 2014.) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-27/ebola-patient-who-fled-hospital-dies-after-turning-herself-in/5626782|
|↑7||Clair MacDougall and Umaru Fofana. “West Africans fill churches to pray for deliverance from ‘devil’ Ebola.” Reuters. Aug 10, 2014. (Accessed 10 Aug 2014.) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/10/us-health-ebola-africa-idUSKBN0GA0QS20140810|
|↑8||“WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.” WHO 8 Aug 2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/|
|↑9||Mike Adams. “DC bombshell: Ebola spread to USA ‘inevitable’.” Natural News. August 08, 2014. Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.naturalnews.com/046378_CDC_Ebola_pandemic_survival_tips.html|
|↑10||Emory University Hospital special isolation unit treats two Americans infected with Ebola virus.” Emory News Center. 4 Aug 2014. !Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/07/euh_ebola_patient/campus.html|
|↑11||Ed Mazza. “Dnald Trump Says Ebola Doctors ‘Must Suffer The Consequences’.” The Huffington Post 08/04/2014. (Accessed 8 Aug 2014.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/03/donald-trump-ebola-doctors_n_5646424.html|
|↑12||Kyung KH. “Antimicrobial properties of allium species.”Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Apr;23(2):142-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903379|
|↑13||Weber ND1, Andersen DO, North JA, Murray BK, Lawson LD, Hughes BG. “In vitro virucidal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract and compounds.” Planta Med. 1992 Oct;58(5):417-23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1470664|
|↑14||Lee-Huang S1, Zhang L, Huang PL, Chang YT, Huang PL. “Anti-HIV activity of olive leaf extract (OLE) and modulation of host cell gene expression by HIV-1 infection and OLE treatment.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 8;307(4):1029-37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12878215|
|↑15||Micol V1, Caturla N, Pérez-Fons L, Más V, Pérez L, Estepa A. “The olive leaf extract exhibits antiviral activity against viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus (VHSV).” Antiviral Res. 2005 Jun;66(2-3):129-36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15869811|
|↑16||Walker, Morton MD. Natures Antibiotic: Olive Leaf Extract, Kensington Books, NewYork, 1997. pps. 65-68, 39, 149. http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Leaf-Extract-Morton-Walker/dp/1575662264/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407611192&sr=8-|
|↑17||Gilling DH, Kitajima M, Torrey JR, Bright KR. “Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus.” J Appl Microbiol. 2014 May;116(5):1149-63. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779581|
|↑18||Korant BD, Kauer JC, Butterworth BE. “Zinc ions inhibit replication of rhinoviruses.” Nature. 1974 Apr 12;248(449):588-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4363085|
The CDC has defined contact
The CDC has defined contact with ebola as
being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) or within the room or care area for a prolonged period of time or having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands)
In other words, yes it can be transmitted by air. Note, this is almost identical definition to the CDC’s transmission criteria for flu which is within 1 meter.
Ultimately, ignoring official statements of whether it can or can’t be transmitted by air, how does over 170 healthcare workers catch the virus assuming they know the risks and are following proper procedures if transmission is not airborne? Sure, maybe some early responders were poorly trained, but several senior doctors have come down with the virus as well.
Since you reference the CDC
Since you reference the CDC (incorrectly as it turns out), let’s actually use them as a resource to answer your concerns. This information below is all taken from the CDC—with links provided for verification.
According to the CDC, it’s crucial to understand that no viral hemorrhagic fever infection has been reported in persons whose contact with an infected person occurred only during the incubation period (i.e., before onset of fever). Unless someone is in the later stages of the disease, there is no transmission of any kind.
Further, the CDC explicitly states that Ebola does not transmit through the air, as made clear in their instructions to airlines: “Although Ebola does not spread through the air, these routine precautions include management of travelers with respiratory illness to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air.”
As to how 170 healthcare workers have died, the CDC points out, “During outbreaks of Ebola HF, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to ebolaviruses can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak.
But the biggest problem with your comment is that you misquote the CDC and then twist that misquote into fear mongering—just a guess that you are quoting from somebody’s website. Specifically, you say that the “CDC has defined contact with ebola as being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) or within the room or care area for a prolonged period of time or having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands).” That is true, but in fact, this is termed “low risk” exposure for Ebola. And you left out the rest of the definition of what is required for that casual contact to even rise to the level of “low risk”: “Providing patient care or casual contact without high-risk exposure with EVD patients in health care facilities in EVD outbreak affected countries.” In other words, without being in an outbreak country and working with Ebola patients in a health care facility, casual contact does not qualify as even low risk.
Since I’m guess that you are not currently working with Ebola patients in Africa at the moment—as is likely true for most of our other readers—most of us are at no risk.
With all the fear mongering buzzing through the internet and on the airwaves right now, it’s crucial that we be careful about misrepresenting the truth and trying to scare people. Yes?
You asserted it is not
You asserted it is not possible to transmit by air, “..HIV infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids—as does Ebola. Neither can transmit as an aerosol.” yet the CDC does clearly indicate it can transmit by air. Now you could say the CDC has released contradictory information; however, it is interesting to note that the original case definition published by the CDC on Aug 6 did not include information suggesting air transmission was possible, but it was later updated with that information indicating a change in position or at very least caution due to suspicion of possible air transmission.
Is it fear mongering to inform people of the facts? I think people should be knowledgeable of the risks, I don’t call that fear mongering.
As far as misrepresenting, aren’t you misrepresenting by saying it is not possible for air transmission? I mean, we are just ignoring that statement about low risk and equating it to no risk.
I’m sorry, but I think that little detail would be important to anyone who unfortunately might happen to be near someone with ebola. As a reader, I would want to know that.
I think the best thing that can be said is we are in new territory. There has never been an outbreak in a large city before and there hasn’t been much chance to study how this virus will spread. Whether you are declaring the end of the world or a relatively non event, I don’t think we yet can reliably predict the outcome. Just as we see the CDC is updating its case definition as this event evolves.
You keep stating that the CDC
You keep stating that the CDC says things, but do not provide the references. We provided links above to all statements we quoted from the CDC clearly detailing their position.
In the article itself, Jon provided links to statements by virologists clearly stating that there is no indication of any kind of aerosol transmission of the Ebola virus between primates in natural settings.
Some websites nevertheless love to take incomplete snippets of facts, then bend them, and distort them to make a case that doesn’t actually exist—all in the name of fear mongering. But it is all distorted speculation. Again, the number of people who have died from Ebola contracted outside Africa in the entire history of mankind is zero. You’d be a lot better off worrying about the flu. The average number of deaths from the flu each year in the US is about 23,000—and the flu does transmit through casual contact. And considering that the flu infects 15-60 million people in the US every year, the likelihood of casual contact is just a tad higher than for Ebola.
lol, I’m quoting from the
lol, I’m quoting from the same CDC links you provided.
And BTW I would provide links, but your form says it deletes submissions with links as I just tried again.
Anyway just go to the CDC case definition for Ebola.
And BTW, the articles and the above post contradict each other. One says Ebola can not be transmitted between primates, and the other refers to an incident where this actually occurred. Considering they already have one contradiction and that in the other article 4 humans did contract the Ebola virus through the air although it seemed to maybe have been weakened by the transmission, doesn’t seem like it is quite conclusive.
In other words, considering the little experience and few outbreaks we have had, I’m not convinced we reliably know the answer.
from post above “Again, the number of people who have died from Ebola contracted outside Africa in the entire history of mankind is zero”
Of course, it has never been seen outside of a remote area where it wasn’t already geographically quarantined. That is not a statement that is supportive of whether there is or is not risk in this instance.
Can’t someone be informed and not fear monger? I mean there are websites calling for zombie apocalypse and others which deny this is even happening and is all made up. Is pointing out the actual CDC statements now fear mongering in the same camp? Nowhere did I say, it is the end of the world, but just as the CDC seems a bit cautious, maybe a bit of caution should be observed, but it does not necessitate fear mongering.
Wow, if this is true, this is
Wow, if this is true, this is concerning indeed! Where again did the CDC say that Ebola could be transmitted by air? I looked through their whole site and never found it. Am I missing something? Thanks!
Let’s just get one thing
Let’s just get one thing really clear first. Here are the exact words from the CDC about Ebola transmission, and as you can see, it has not been updated to include that it can be transmitted by air:
“When an Ebola infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
· a sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
· objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
· infected animals
Healthcare workers and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.”
Anything beyond this right now is all speculation, which does not help inform anyone of anything–but gives a good scary story.
What Jon says above is true.
What Jon says above is true. However, he does not show the updated CDC case definition which is a different link.
I would post the link, but the form does not allow it.
This is why I said there is a contradiction from the CDC in what appears to be precautions against possibility of air borne contagion.
You will have to go to the CDC site and look specifically for the case definition. You can use the wayback machine ( just google for it) to see how the page has been changed from the original. Then when you find it, you have to look at the footnote for the definition of contact. They don’t use the word airborne, but it is asserted by their definition of contact which is defined to be within 3 feet or extended time within the same room.
You don’t need a link, just a general description such as www dot Cdc dot Gov/Vhf/Ebola/Transmission/. This is the only page I can find and I don’t see it updated. If it did get updated, they downgraded the definition. I think you are misreading their info because every other health website says it passes through fluids only. You are also cutting off the sentence where it says “within 3 feet” — there is an AND after that which says a lot more has to happen than standing in close proximity.
Ok. Then what would it take?
Ok. Then what would it take? If a global pandemic is inevitable, but this Ebola – Zaire thing isn’t lethal or contagious enough, what is? Swine, bird, MERS, SARS, and yet mainstream media keeps Playing the same old song…keep calm…. It’s not that bad…it can’t get US…
I don’t believe in zombies, or boogie men, or aliens. But viruses are here, and we need time for our bodies to build up resistance.
Perhaps it would be useful to specify: “watch for aerosol transmission” or “casual contact pathogen”. Spell out the last few warning signs to commence Panic Mode.
The news is not telling you
The news is not telling you not to worry, they are creating more panic than needed! It sounds like you want something to worry about. You do want to build up resistance, but you should be more concerned about building up resistance to avoid cancer or heart disease than Ebola. I think that is Jon’s point.
Sounds like you already know what to watch out for if we should be really concerned….such as it going airborne.
Jon: I’m so thankful for your
Jon: I’m so thankful for your perspective on ebola. It’s nice to know someone with your credentials that I trust.
Jon, when you say “direct
Jon, when you say “direct contact” with bodily fluids is necessary for transmission, is it sufficient to get those fluids onto your skin or do you actually need to ingest them, eg through mouth or nose? Can this virus pass through skin, or is skin an effective barrier?
Yes, it does need to be
Yes, it does need to be internalized. What happens is that people are washing those with Ebola without protection and then touching their eyes, face, etc. Please see our answer above.
Thank you for being the voice
Thank you for being the voice of reason. The media hype over this has been unbelievable. The fact that the government and the media have been less than honest with the American people in the past makes it difficult to believe anything they say. We’ve seen these virus scares before…As to the 170 healthcare workers who have died…has anyone verified this – or are we to blindly trust the media?
What if after multiplying
What if after multiplying tiny parts of RNA CDC lab workers do not identify the root cause of hemorrhagic fever?
What if symptomatic and asymptomatic Africans carry those tiny specs of RNA? Are samples of asymptomatic Africans sent to CDC labs? Not that we know.
Here you can read about a study performed in the Netherlands that yielded detection of mycoplasma pneumoniae in symptomatic and asymptomatic children.
What could the root causes of hemorrhagic fever be?
Living under extremely stressful conditions ( hostility, forced migration) pollution from ore mining, malnutrition, sewage polluted drinking water? Stress depletes ascorbic acid which leads to bleeding into the skin and to internal bleeding.
What if food, clean water, peaceful living conditions, environmental regulations could prevent Ebola, Lassa, Dengue, Crimean Congo fever outbreaks? And intravenuous sodium ascorbate could halt hemorrhagic fever?
If stress and pollution
If stress and pollution causes Ebola, I think I would have caught it long ago. The whole world would be bleeding to death.
As URLs are ownly allowed to
As URLs are ownly allowed to be posted by BaselineFoundation
here is the name of the study I mentioned above
‘Carriage of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in the Upper Respiratory Tract of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Children: An Observational Study’
IMHO, You are right when you
IMHO, You are right when you point out that the area of infection has stressful conditions. What are the chances that the infected people were deficient before being infected? The infection didn’t start in a city. What are the chances that poor rural African citizens are hopping on airplanes?
IV vitamin C has been shown to CURE many symptoms. But Big Pharma doesn’t want this to be wellknown.
We are taught from childhood to wash our hands frequently and sanitize our bathrooms and homes. Eateries have frequent inspections. I don’t see a possible epidemic here, unless it is hysteria. The health care workers are more likely to be suffering from dehydration. Those suits they wear cause massive sweating which results in loss of electrolytes and persperation.
You folks sure this “virus”
You folks sure this “virus” even exists? Does any so-called “virus” exist…let alone a virulent one?
I know, next you will say
I know, next you will say that all disease is in our heads too. Comments like this make me fear for humanity’s sanity…
Bacteria, parasites, yeast
Bacteria, parasites, yeast/fungus, and mold exist which can all complicate health…not to mention environmental & household toxins/contaminants, vaccines, medical & recreational drugs, stress, GM foods, junk foods, artificial food additives, food & environmental allergies/sensitivities, and malnutrition continuously ravage our health.
But where is the solid evidence for the existence of virulent “viruses”? Who are the people/organizations that we blindly believe that tell us “Virus X” exists or is the cause of Y Disease? Why do ALL so-called “viral epidemics” fizzle out so quickly? Where are all the hundreds of thousands to millions of predicted deaths from SARS, H1N1/Swine Flu, Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, etc? How many of the deaths attributed to these “viruses” were of vaccinated individuals (and don’t forget vaccinations for non-related agents)…how many had a chronic pre-existing illnesses…how many were taking medications and/or recreational drugs…how many had actual diagnostic titers & thorough diagnostic workups (rather than mere medical assumptions)?
Any bacterial infection can be remedied…but think of how easy it is to scare people into believing in an “incurable” viral infection/epidemic, and later the development of a “successful” vaccine? Think of how many will line up for this vaccine and/or toxic medical “treatment”, or agree that the “infected” should be quarantined.
Always demand solid scientific diagnostic evidence/documentation if it is claimed that you or others actually have a “viral” infection…and don’t depend on the PCR test for it, which is entirely unreliable…nor on antibody tests, which tells us nothing about whether someone is actually ill, or will become ill, from exposure to an infectious agent.
You will see that if we demand solid diagnostic documentation/tests on EACH and EVERY case of illness or death of a person (or animal) claimed to be caused by “Infectious Agent X”, it will turn out to be just another mundane cause…and hence, no cause for alarm.
Leave Miss Kay out of it.
Leave Miss Kay out of it.
Wow! Quite the detailed
Wow! Quite the detailed article and footnotes. Thanks for all your work. I must ask though, with an incubation period of 2-21 days, can an infected person be a carrier before they develop visible symptoms? Some of these symptoms may be taken for granted as a common cold or another nagging bout of the flu?
Can, in your opinion, Ebola fragments, secretions, be left on any surface, and be touched by an uninfected person, which later rubs their eyes and puts their fingers in their mouths? Can the infection be spread in this accidental manner?
I am talking about DNA and RNA fragments in a saliva or mucous solution.
According to the CDC, no
According to the CDC, no viral hemorrhagic fever infection has been reported in persons whose contact with an infected person occurred only during the incubation period (i.e., before onset of fever). Unless someone is in the later stages of the disease, There Is No Transmission Of Any Kind.
Here are the exact words from the CDC about Ebola transmission:
“When an Ebola infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
· a sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
· objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
· infected animals”
Why do you include oregano
Why do you include oregano oil in your list when you refer to a study with noroviruses. Ebola is a filovirus.
The sentence citing the
The sentence citing the effectiveness of oregano oil against noroviruses, actually has a front half, which reads: “There are indications that oil of oregano is an extremely potent, wide ranging antiviral. One study, for example…” As to why Jon did not list any studies that demonstrate oil of oregano’s specific effectiveness against Ebola, he explains that in the lead in to his recommendations when he says, “But keep in mind, since Ebola is so rare, these recommendations are no more proven than the experimental drugs now in the news. On the other hand, they have a whole lot more history behind them.”
Hope that helps.
EBOLA: Could we try
EBOLA: Could we try alternative remedies? Ebola virus infection, it is said, has a very poor prognosis once developed full intensity. As per the September 2014 report of the World Health Organisation, there has been 50% fatality wherever the cases have been confirmed, though, once in 2003, one outbreak resulted in 90% fatality in Congo. The same report, which is being repeatedly cited, has created panic all over the world. In fact, till now, except symptomatic treatment, there is no cure so to say against the disease, once the signs begin to manifest.
The virus was first isolated in the year 1967, and is commonly called Marburg virus nowadays, was antigenically quite unlike any virus known at that time. The virus was subsequently isolated from the large outbreak in Central Africa in 1976. Though morphologically and biologically similar to Marburg virus, yet it is antigenically different and, therefore is commonly identified as Ebola virus. The diseases are named Marburg in Germany and Ebola in Africa, because in the Ebola river region in Sudan and Zaire these viruses first appeared. From 1976 to 2013, as per the WHO study, there were 1716 confirmed cases of Ebola infection, however, the largest outbreak till date in 2014, has been recorded in West Africa, which has affected Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. This is mainly associated with lack of proper hygiene and preventive measures. The first person to be infected was one Mabalo Lokela, who had toured the area of Ebola River near the Central African Republic border sometime in August 1976. Though he died in September, yet disease manifested in full intensity in others also due to close contact with this infected person, who are mainly confined to Yambuku mission hospital. Later the disease was contained with the help of the WHO by quarantining the infected villagers and resorting to other protective measures.
Since then there has been major outbreaks in 1995 in Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2000 in Uganda, in 2003 and 2007 again in Congo, but an outbreak in the Budibugyo District in Western Uganda was identified as due to a new species of Ebola virus. Again there has been a small outbreak of the disease in 2012 in Congo and the probable cause was identified as eating the infected bush meat. In the African countries, where the disease outbreak has occurred recently, have very poor health care facilities; therefore, the dead here include even a large number of healthcare workers. Since it is a fatal epidemic, the whole world should come to the rescue of these infected countries, otherwise there is no relief for the world either. Since this Ebola virus constitutes many strains, therefore, I doubt, whether any effective vaccine could ever be produced for all the strains, so literally speaking there is no effective guard against the disease except resorting to concrete preventive measures, such as completely quarantining every suspected case.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly also known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is characterised as a severe disease, because on most occasions it proves fatal for human beings. The virus is usually transmitted to people from wild animals, and later spreads in the human population through human to human transmission. Previously the fatality rate varied between 25% and 90%, but at present as stated above it has not exceeded 50%, this is due to the alertness spread through media and internet. Its effective control basically lies on community engagement, but which may also include case to case management, surveillance, contact tracing, safe burials of the dead patients, social mobilisation and finally organising good laboratory service mainly in the affected area.
The disease is usually a severe systemic infection that eventually attacks nearly all the organs of the body. After an incubation period of about 5 to 10 days or more, there is an acute onset of malaise, headache, muscle pain and nausea associated with high fever. Even nausea and profuse watery diarrhoea with severe cramps in abdomen have been noted in the early days of the illness. On about the fifth day of illness tiny red papules appear around hair follicles which later become maculopapular. It appears on the trunk, limbs, and genitals associated with deep red erythema of the face, but the rash does not bleed. Though the rash disappears during the second week of the illness, it is replaced by fine desquamation which could mostly be identified in the palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet. Between the seventh and sixteenth day many of the patients also develop a severe haemorrhagic diathesis (bleeding), which evolves as epistaxis (nose bleeding), haematemesis (bleeding from stomach), bleeding from the gums, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts and from needle puncture wounds. Though jaundice is rare, liver and spleen may also enlarge coupled with swelling of the face. There is deep red suffusion of the soft and hard palate of the mouth occasionally accompanied by vesiculation and erosion. Laboratory findings display low white blood cell, which signifies fall in the patient’s body defence and low platelet counts. Low platelet is also one of the reasons for haemorrhage.
Simply the description of the symptoms of the disease is enough to trigger goose pimples in any normal person, and then think for a moment, what will happen if unfortunately any person in reality is infected by the Ebola virus. It is really shocking for the humankind that so far there is no effective cure against the scourge except palliative treatment with a hope that patient acquires recovery on his own in the course of time , because as of now immunological and drug therapies are still at their experimental stage. This shows man’s helplessness and vulnerability in front of death and disease, but still for petty ephemeral pleasures man fight against man to eliminate each-other. Is it not utter idiocy?
It is really difficult to distinguish EVD from other infections such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. Therefore, chances of wrong diagnosis and treatment are always there, which may prove also fatal. In order to confirm that the symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection, the following investigations are relied upon: ELISA, antigen-capture detection tests, serum neutralisation test, reverse transcriptase polymer chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay and electron microscopy virus isolation through cell culture.
Immediate rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids coupled with tackling of specific symptoms may improve survival, since, as of now, there is no reliable treatment available for EVD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and patient’s immune response.” Even it claims that once recovered, one can develop antibodies against Ebola infection that could last at least ten years, but I doubt this claim of the CDC, because if there is no single strain against Ebola, then one can always remain susceptible to other strains of Ebola, like common colds infection. For prevention, the CDC issued the following instructions for the travellers: a) Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids; b) Not handling items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles and medical equipment); c) Avoiding funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola; d) Avoiding contact with bats and non-human primates or blood, fluids, raw meat prepared from these animals; e) Avoiding hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated; and f) In the event you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola. But it is better to observe all these rituals if in the vicinity of West Africa for the sake of prevention, because it is difficult for anybody to know who is infected and who is not.
For health care workers, the WHO has issued elaborate instructions, for example: wearing protective clothing, including masks, gloves, gowns, and for eye protection, and also avoiding direct contact with the bodies of the people who have been suspected of having died from Ebola. Even it has been suggested, to immediately notify the health officials if one has come into direct contact with the blood or body fluids, such as faeces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen of a person sick with Ebola, but the virus can still enter the body through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes, the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Even then if the infection with virus is suspected, then the patient should be immediately transferred to an infectious disease hospital with facilities for strict isolation. It is also better to notify the names of all recent contacts of the patients to the local public health authority for undertaking surveillance. Since laboratory staffs are at high risk, investigation of the patient should be reduced to the minimum. Specimens required confirming the viral aetiology should only be sent to specialist laboratories that have the elaborate facilities required for the handling of dangerous pathogens. These precautions apply to all underdeveloped countries like China, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan and all African and Middle East and South East Asian countries, where health care facilities are minimal. In this hour of crisis, at least China, India and Pakistan should immediately collaborate, overlooking all petty interests in the greater good of their citizens, because nothing is above humanity. Nobody knows when Ebola virus will strike. In case if Ebola penetration could not be prevented, there will be a massacre because of the massive illiteracy and poor hygiene amongst the citizens of the underdeveloped countries.
As of now, we know there are neither preventive nor curative medicines against Ebola infection, and then should we leave the mankind at the mercy of Ebola virus, I don’t think it will be wise. It has been admitted above by the CDC that curability of the patient depends on supportive clinical cure and immune response of the patient. Then we can draw a conclusion, patient with good immunity is likely to survive the disease easily, therefore, as a first thing against suspected infection, we can administer such medicines that help keep the immunity of the patient intact. One such great remedy is Iodide of Baryta or Baryta Iodata in 1X potency, if not available in 2X or 3X can also be tried, but in later cases dose should be substantial, say three grains at a time. I have used this remedy in chemotherapy patient and other immune compromised patients to raise their WBC count. I hope this single remedy is capable of containing the disease in the patient with Ebola virus infection to a great extent by raising his immunity, if simultaneously other symptomatic treatments are also provided. Next, to prevent haemorrhage, both internal and external, like all snake poisons, Lachesis also decomposes the blood, if Lachesis is given in homeopathic dose (in minute quantity 30 potency), it helps arrest bleeding immediately. Simultaneously Phosphorus in 30 potency can also be tried; it is another excellent remedy for arresting haemorrhage and healing the erosion. With the onset of symptoms like beginning of fever, malaise, headache, sore throat etc. a mixture of the following remedies can be tried immediately in frequent drop dose, such as Belladonna, Bryonia, Gelsemium, Rhus-tox, Arsenic Album and Aconite, all in 30 potency. Initial symptoms can be arrested to some extent with these remedies. For liver and spleen enlargement, there are three excellent remedies: Cina, Chelidonium and Merc Sol, all in 200 potency: mixture of these remedies can be administered at least three times a day. To arrest any kind of infection, Pyrogenium 30, is a highly effective remedy. For raising blood platelet count Ferrum Phos in 3X potency is a good choice. In Ayurveda, the boiled soup of Papaya leaves is also considered an excellent remedy. However if one could take raw juice of tender papaya leaves, about two to three table spoonfuls a day, it immediately raises the platelets count in the blood. During the recent dengue infection my friends have used this remedy with splendid results. There is another highly effective remedy to check any infection or blood poisoning, including intermittent fever, which remedy is Echinesia in Q potency, I recently cured my Typhoid fever with this remedy, by taking ten drops in half cup of water, every three hours. For containing diarrhoea and vomiting, there are a lot of remedies, but I won’t mention them here, because if symptoms of the disease are arrested at an early stage, further complications can be easily avoided.
When there is no hope in one’s system of medicine, then I do not think it is wise to stick to one’s flawed belief. Mankind is above any established belief; otherwise in our pride inadvertently we may commit a great crime against humanity. However, besides administering these remedies, other preventive emergency measures can be simultaneously applied, just to be safe; nothing should be left to chance. It is always better to do something than nothing! Now the ball is in the WHO’s court!
Dedication: The above article is dedicated to The Honourable President of America in this hour of crisis. Even if it helps a little to ease the suffering of mankind due to Ebola, I shall feel highly rewarded.
Attention to: The Secretary General, the UNO