Ebola Is Not Cool, Doctors Suggest

Ebola hurts humans and gorillas, but not Fruit Bats

Since its first public outbreak in 1976, Ebola has proven to be more than your mother’s Filoviridae. Taking its toll mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ebola is a ruthless killer:

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is potentially lethal and encompasses a range of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, general body pain, internal and external bleeding, and fever. Mortality rates are generally high, ranging from 50% - 90%, with the cause of death usually due to hypovolemic shock or organ failure.

Sounds uncool. All the more reason to be alarmed at reports of a new outbreak of the disease in the Congo:

At least 167 people have died in the affected region over about four months and nearly 400 have fallen ill, said Jean-Constatin Kanow, chief medical inspector for Congo’s Kasai Oriental Province. Kinshasa, the capital, is 430 miles northwest of the area.

Now, Ebola is not airborne (cannot be transmitted easily through the air), and its actually a fairly bad candidate to wipe out the human race, only because it manifests and kills the hosts so quickly. Victims can be quarantined and the virus can be localized without much problem. However, unlike Smallpox — which was certified as eradicated from the Earth in 1977 — this disease is not just possible in humans, infecting and killing most any animal it comes into contact with. Even more disturbing is that the animal reservoir has not been found; that is, the animal that can carry it without dying. This animal must exist, as the virus would become extinct without a carrier. An early candidate is the Fruit Bat… I always knew thems bats were no good!

The closest this killer has come to our neck of the woods was an outbreak of a related strain in monkeys imported to Alice, Texas in 1996. No human was infected, and the monkeys involved perished and were disposed of. I remember thinking at the time about where I’d evacuate to if it traveled up into Canada… ahh, back when I was more paranoid than I am now!

Authorities are scared that terrorist groups might try to cross-breed Ebola with a virus with a longer gestation period, which when combined with Ebola’s lethality, would pose a significant bio-weapon threat. In the meantime, just be glad that this freaking disease isn’t on our side of the pond, and feel bad for those people that will die with blood coming out of every orifice.

Now, a video about Ebola hurting gorillas, the coolest primate:

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2 Responses to “Ebola Is Not Cool, Doctors Suggest”

  1. TomB Says:

    Hey!!! This video isn’t here either, wasup?

  2. TomB Says:

    Oh yeah, there it is!

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