A to Z Challenge – EBOLA

Day 5

April 6, 2016

The Quint essential Letter: E

EBOLA

Ebola

In 1998 (or there abouts) I found a book, a true story of epic proportions. I remember my friend had called me as she was reading the book, and told me she was hiding under the bed, it had scared her so much.

I had a different reaction to the details. It fascinated me, even empassioned me. Had I followed a slightly different path in life, I might have gone to medical school, and specialized in Virology.

I bought every book on the subject that I could, and read them voraciously. In the events which took place, the carriers, and those who became infected with this filovirus, were monkeys. This was the kind of killer which was Far more infectious than AIDS… filoviruses (thread viruses) are relentless killer machines that consume a human body in days, causing a gruesome death. Symptoms include liquefying flesh, spurts of blood, black vomit and brain sludge. Outbreaks of the Ebola filovirus devasted Sudan and Zaire in 1976. And in 1989 Philippine monkeys in a Reston, Va., research lab, found to be infected with Ebola, were the target of a U.S. Army-led biohazard task force that decontaminated the lab, exterminating hundreds of monkeys to prevent the possible airborne spread of the disease to humans.” The author, Robert Preston wrote “In a horrifying and riveting report, portions of which appeared in the New Yorker Magazine, and exposes a real-life nightmare potentially as lethal as the fictive runaway germs in Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.” Preston plausibly argues that “…the emergence of AIDS, Ebola and other highly adaptable rain-forest viruses is a consequence of ecological ruin of the tropics.”

In the 21st Century, this nightmare became more real, and a greater threat for our species than can be imagined. It had spread to our species outside of its native stomping grounds in Zaire. Perhaps one of the oddest things over the past few years has been walking into the local offices of our medical buildingĀ and seeing this sign:

Ebola in the US

 

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ – E

Photo: CNN

Photo: WPIX

INFO: Wikipedia