A to Z Challenge – EBOLA

Day 5

April 6, 2016

The Quint essential Letter: E



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 building and seeing this sign:

Ebola in the US


http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ – E

Photo: CNN

Photo: WPIX

INFO: Wikipedia


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 18:06:00

    Very interesting and scary. I’m sure there are plenty of viruses like this out there. Viruses are so smart. They adapt so quickly. We are going to have to do some adapting ourselves pretty soon. Good E word, Fim. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 08, 2016 @ 12:36:24

      Thank you, Mary! Yes, they are scary, and there are more and more viruses cropping up all the time. It makes one want to build a bubble and stay inside. Or maybe to live on an island?

      Sadly, I don’t see our species being able to really adapt. Most of what the medical community would recommend to help us adapt would come with the warning, that the medication might lead to death. I’m not so sure why people would risk that.
      Life is so complicated.

      Liked by 1 person


  2. calensariel
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 19:43:09

    Truly scary stuff of nightmares. But I LOVED The Andromeda Strain!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. roland yeomans
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 20:28:16

    The Zika virus is keeping my blood center from drawing blood from donors who have visited Mexico or Central America in the last 30 days, But Louisiana is on the border of the banned regions. Should Zika cause Louisiana donors to be banned, my blood center will be in quite a fix.

    Terrorism by viral agents is in the wings I am afraid, 😦

    Liked by 1 person


    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 08, 2016 @ 16:57:55

      I haven’t read as much about Zika yet, but it reminds me of the West Niles virus and the mosquito connection. Still, they should be able to test a samples prior to the donor giving blood. If Louisana is on the border, that means Texas is also – having lived there for 8 years. I’ll have to ask family about that down there.
      Still, I would think if it was needed, donations from states not in the banned regions should be able to continue to donate.

      The thing about viral agents and other diseases, is the greatest part of what debilitates armies, on both sides. Though, you’re right, I can see that moving into center stage of the terror tactics.



  4. zannierose a-z
    Apr 07, 2016 @ 11:06:14

    what a challenge to live in areas where there is a possibility of coming into contact with it..some strange stuff on this planet



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