It happens periodically: Ebola, a highly contagious and very deadly virus with horrific symptoms known as “flesh eating” has flared up in Africa. This recent outbreak has been especially bad. The virus is native to Africa and appears to survive in natural reservoirs such as bats or gorillas. Periodically, it makes the jump to humans and that is where an outbreak occurs.
The only good news is that these outbreaks tend to be short-lived and the lives lost never total more than the hundreds. Granted that’s a tragedy for everyone who loses their life, but the scale is small. There are a number of reasons for this, including the generally rapid response to contain it. But also, the nature of the virus makes it prone to brief outbreaks. It does not have an extended incubation period and often kills its host quickly. This makes it an inefficient virus when it comes to transmission, because it is the fact that many viruses have a long period when the host is apparently healthy that they are able to infect so many.
Well, it had to happen. The conspiracy theories have started: It was produced by the government, to depopulate the world or just out of evil. It was caused by HAARP or chemtrails. Yes, they are all out there and the anti-vaccine groups are getting in on the action.
With the current epidemic of Ebola, it is instructive to remember that
the first outbreaks of a Filovirus (Marburg which is nearly identical to Ebola and which causes clinically indistinguishable hemorrhagic disease) took place simultaneously in laboratories in Frankfurt, Marburg and Belgrade in 1967. These labs were all producing vaccines using (amongst other animals) African green monkeys.
Interestingly, though the outbreak was associated with the monkeys,
there is no known animal reservoir for either of these viruses -
humans appear to be their only victims. It seems that fruit bats can
spread the virus but they are not affected by it.
The Filoviruses also appear to be a strange combination of viruses
which have never before been seen in nature – much like the 2009 ‘swine-flu’ which the well-respected scientist, Adrian Gibb, said had to have been man-made. These viruses have strong structural & genetic similarities to both Rhabdoviruses & the Paramyxoviruses (both measles and mumps are paramyxoviruses) – and are novel or new – never having been seen before.
And again, the index cases were not in Africa but instead, were in European vaccine laboratories.
These facts have to lead a thinking person to ask the question – are these viruses man-made or do we believe that their sudden emergence simultaneously in three European vaccine labs is a mere coincidence?
People in parts of Africa affected by this outbreak are avoiding doctors like (pun intended) the plague and you have to think – do they know something that we don’t know?
There are so many conspiracy theory websites out there, it’s hard to even pick one to use as an example. But here’s a good one.
Via the Sky Alert:
Click here if your browser does not support embedded videos
It should be noted that these wacky conspiracy theories ARE harmful. Many have managed to make their way to Africa, where locals have taken them seriously. Suspicious of outsiders and often prone to magical thinking, this has caused rumors that have lead to aid workers being evacuated.
Ebola conspiracy theories spreading fast as outbreak travels round globe – was deadly virus created in laboratory?
Conspiracy theories about Ebola are spreading as fast as the killer virus itself.
And with no known cure or vaccine, its potential origins vary wildly from it being a CIA-manufactured weapon to a cover for “cannibalistic rituals.”
Angry crowds in Africa have also accused foreigners of bringing the virus into the country.
In April, the threat of violence forced Medecins Sans Frontieres to evacuate all its staff from a treatment centre in Guinea.
In Sierra Leone, which has the largest number of Ebola cases, thousands protested outside the country’s main Ebola treatment facility in the eastern city of Kenema, where police had to disperse the crowd with tear gas.
Reports say the demonstration was sparked by a rumour from a nearby market that the disease was a ruse used to justify “cannibalistic rituals” being carried out in the hospital.
UNICEF says rumours and denial are fuelling the spread of Ebola in Africa and putting even more lives at risk.
Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa says some people still deny that the disease is real. Others believe it doesn’t have to be treated.
If Ebola is a biological weapon, it’s a crappy one. As mentioned, it runs its coarse too rapidly to be transmitted widely. It also needs a host and does not survive in the environment (one reason why bacteria are better biological weapons than viruses.) Outbreaks are short and unpredictable. There is no cure or vaccine, which is an important consideration with biological warfare agents, since it is likely they will end up infecting friendly forces without such measures.
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 at 7:26 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Conspiracy Theories, Not Even Wrong, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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