• Government imports deadly virus despite fears it will spread.
By Victor Thorn —
With the death toll in Africa from the deadly Ebola virus nearing 1,000 and total cases over 1,700, what insanity compelled United States officials to bring infected patients to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital for treatment?
Although healthcare professionals are attempting to calm public outrage with assurances that nobody is at risk, their words of “just trust us” aren’t good enough—especially with concerns that the virus could be spread through the air. Fatality rates are between 60% and 90%.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is normally spread via contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood, vomit or saliva. But on November 15, 2012, BBC science reporter Matt McGrath wrote: “Canadian scientists have shown that the deadliest form of the Ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species. In experiments, they demonstrated that viruses were transmitted from [caged] pigs to [caged] monkeys without any direct contact between them.”
Now that confirmed cases have entered the U.S., a plethora of unknown variables confronts us. Since Ebola is a virus, it could mutate and spread across America like the virus that causes HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) or the deadly SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. Even scarier, Reuters revealed on August 1 that in Africa, 100-plus doctors and nurses, some protected by hazardous material suits, still managed to contract Ebola. More than half of them have died already.
As it is now, hospitals across this country are unable to cope with the growing incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. On August 5, Dr. Forrest Arnold, an epidemiologist at the University of Louisville Hospital, warned that these deadly superbugs hold the potential to wipe out the sick and the elderly.
Amidst all this madness, which undoubtedly has proliferated due to rampant globalization, President Barack Obama refused to cancel a swanky summit of African political leaders in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, back in Africa, World Health Organization Director Margaret Chan issued an ominous “SOS” on August 1.
“This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it,” she said. “If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives and a high risk of spread to other countries.”
Why would leaders in this country risk such a devastating epidemic on our own shores?
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 50 books.
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