The Official Ebola Thread

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Skeeve
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Skeeve » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:55 pm

Ebola total climbs to 2,277...

I thought it was just around 1500 just last week....

:shock:

And one aside: The Massive ‘Pig Ebola’ Epidemic Will Give Trump Big Leverage In His Trade Standoff With China

Interesting they are calling it "pig ebola" again, they had refered to it as 'swine flu" not all that long ago...
Chinese pig Ebola is a severe and highly virulent disease nearly always fatal to hogs but purportedly harmless to humans. The virus moves effortlessly between pigs and can stay alive for great time and distances in feed, workers’ clothing, equipment, ticks, and mud. There is no vaccine nor cure. Previous outbreaks have been extremely destructive and difficult to control. According to the British Veterinary Association, CPE “is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever which, in domestic pigs and wild boar, results in case fatalities approaching 100 per cent.”
...
China is both the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, at around 50% of the world’s pork supply and 20% of the world’s animal protein supply. The global cross-border trade in pork (i.e., total global exports) only constitute 15% of Chinese demand. If the worst-case scenarios come true and nearly the entire Chinese hog herd is affected, then China will need to import massive amounts of U.S. pork, regardless of the state of U.S.-China trade talks.
A good thing for them that someone during the Barry (no balls) Obama administration days decided it was a good idea that a Chinese company would buy one of our biggest pork producers...
(LINK:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithfiel ... y_WH_Group)

So perhaps not as much leverage as they thought?
Oh well...
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by sparks » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Shit happens Skeeve.

And Michelle is still hot while Mrs. Orange Fucktard is still a bought and paid for skank. Kinda like her fat, fugly fuckin piece of shit for brains psychopath husband actually.

But it was Chaos' turn.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:09 pm

You actually think Michelle was not kept?

How naïve you are.

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by sparks » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:37 pm

I don't know.



Do you?

Evidences please.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:03 pm

You are the one having a most embarrassing hate-laden temper-tantrum without evidence, son.

Now you complain when someone plays it better than you?

Are you a Jets fan?

--J.D.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by sparks » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:29 am

No. Don't care for sports much at all, but I get your point.

Thanks.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:28 am

It is fine.

I use the "Jets" and "hiLARiOUs SPORTZ" analogies, because discourse should really not be at the level of Fanboy Bitch Fests where it is all, "YOUR TEAM SUCKS!" "NO! YOUR TEAM SUCKS!!!!"

Oddly enough a weird British show I have referenced did a whole episode on soccer hooliganism which makes MFY v THE GLORIOUS WORLD CHAMPION RED SOX conflicts seem mundane. There is class and religion involved--as it use to be in 'murica actually--which breeds a lot of hate for "Those People" who support that team. The DCI investigating a murder notes that the victim, "was a City Fan which means it's justifiable homicide."

And that is how pointless it is. BECAUSE Anax SUCK BUTT-FUMBLE DI you wear a particularly scarf all opinions, evidence-based or not, are therefore invalid.

You do not have to "love Trump." But spewing hate at his wife is, well, like spewing hate at Michelle Obama. They did not ask our opinion regarding marrying and spawning with either of their husbands, or, in the case of Michelle, the homeless dude [Stop that!--Ed.]

Certainly, both can merit criticism if they open their mouths and say something actually stupid. Michelle has done that a little bit, but more so since her husband left office.

However, go back in time, to a pleasant village Winden in Germany . . . no . . . wait . . . back when President Bubba was in the process of screwing everything that moves. There was, for a brief moment, some sympathy for Her Turn Hillary. I wish I could remember which elderly commentator ended his rant with, "and Hillary does not deserve this."

Then she blamed the victims.

That is the difference. Hillary came out and tried to be a part of the administration. So she merited criticism. She would also merit support in some matters. That is a matter of debate.

So if Melania wishes to come out and support juicing "as a healthy alternative to vaccination" then, yes, she should be criticized for that.

Otherwise . . . you become Fireman Ed.

--J.D.
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DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
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"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Skeeve » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:55 pm

Meanwhile back in the DRC...
Donors look to retool response as Ebola outbreak grows
...
More health worker infections

Two of the 12 cases confirmed yesterday involved health workers, the DRC health ministry said, one in Mabalako and one in Butembo. One of them was vaccinated, but officials did not specify how long ago.

The unvaccinated healthcare worker died in the community after refusing to be followed up. Community deaths—those that occur outside a healthcare setting—raise the risk of disease spread.

At least 125 healthcare workers have now contracted Ebola in the DRC, with at least 40 of them dying, the health ministry said.
So apparently the protective protocols they are (or should have been) following were not enough.
Or (scary version) perhaps this strain of Ebola may also be air born....
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Skeeve » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:08 pm

Here comes summer.....

‘This is a warning sign’ Fears Ebola could go global amid struggle to contain epidemic
FEARS have been raised that Ebola could spread far beyond the border of the Congo amid a battle to contain the disease. Professor Steven Hatch, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, warned there is the potential for the deadly virus to spread at an unprecedented rate.

So far, the latest outbreak, which has mainly affected the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but recently spread to Uganda, has killed at least 1,500 people – making it the second deadliest outbreak of it ever.

But Professor Hatch warned it could get worse.

Writing in the Conversation, he said: “The vaccine keeps the current outbreak partially in check, while instability prevents its eradication.

“By contrast, the West African outbreak of 2014–15 rose with such unprecedented speed that it dominated world headlines for nearly four months between August and October of 2014.

“The alarm it generated led to the international response that helped contain it; today’s DRC outbreak has not resulted in the same alarm.

“The longer Ebola persists in the DRC, the more likely an improbable event will occur – like the spread of the virus beyond the borders of the DRC, or perhaps much further beyond its borders.

“The spread into Uganda may simply be a warning sign.”
...and the heat and humidity fest is just beginning....
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by shemp » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:19 pm

Well, if 80% of the world's population were to die, the survivors can probably stop worrying about global warming.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:04 am

Ebola-chan comes to a city of more than a million people:
The health ministry confirmed that a pastor tested positive for the virus in a centre in Goma after arriving there by bus on Sunday.

The ministry says that risk of the disease spreading is low.

More than 1,600 people have died since the Ebola outbreak began in eastern DR Congo a year ago.

The pastor travelled 200 km (125 miles) to Goma by bus from Butembo, where he had been with people with Ebola.

The health ministry said in a statement: "Due to the speed with which the patient has been identified and isolated, as well as the identification of all passengers from Butembo, the risk of spreading to the rest of the city of Goma remains low."

It said that the bus driver and 18 other passengers would be vaccinated on Monday.

Bugger'd by Colonists
Okay, so why was a pastor who visited people with ebola-chan not vaccinated? I am afraid the WHO Statement is not very convincing other than, "well, like, "ring vaccination" where they claim that it is not completely like fully you know definitely studied so, like, smallpox eradication. This is particularly surprising since the WHO calls for the vaccination of at risk populations.

People visiting patience with ebola are rather "at risk" by any definition.

"Cost?" you ask?

Ask Your Mom since there does not appear to be any information available on t3h g00gl3z searching.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Rob Lister » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:35 am

Unless it is free, it's too expensive for 99% of the at-risk population. I really don't expect the at-risk government to give too much of a damn quickly enough anyway. They will react rather than proact. The U.S. is stockpiling $1 billion worth of the stuff. I expect that will yield about 50 doses.

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Witness » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:23 am

Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster

"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," WHO director-general says.

As the world anxiously monitors the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo, health officials note that a measles outbreak declared last month in the country has killed more people—mostly children—and faster.

Since January 2019, officials have recorded over 100,000 measles cases in the DRC, mostly in children, and nearly 2,000 have died. The figures surpass those of the latest Ebola outbreak in the country, which has tallied not quite 2,500 cases and 1,665 deaths since August 2018. The totals were noted by World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech today, July 15, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," Dr. Tedros said (he goes by his first name). He gave the speech in response to two new developments in the Ebola outbreak. That is that two Ebola responders were murdered in their home in the DRC city of Beni and that officials on Sunday had identified the first case of Ebola in Goma, a DRC city of over one million at the border with Rwanda.

"Both of these events encapsulate the challenges we continue to face on a daily basis in DRC," he said. Tedros was referring to the scattering of disease—including Ebola and measles—as violence hampers outbreak responses and access to medical care. Since January, officials have counted 198 attacks on health responders, which left seven dead and 58 healthcare workers and patients injured.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/07 ... nd-faster/

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Skeeve » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:12 pm

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency
GENEVA (AP) — The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday after a case was confirmed in a city of 2 million people .

A WHO expert committee declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration for this outbreak, even though other experts say it has long met the required conditions. More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.

A declaration of a global health emergency often brings greater international attention and aid, along with concerns that nervous governments might overreact with border closures.

Full Coverage: Ebola virus
The declaration comes days after a single case was confirmed in Goma, a major regional crossroads in northeastern Congo on the Rwandan border, with an international airport. Also, a sick Congolese fish trader traveled to Uganda and back while symptomatic — and later died of Ebola.

While the risk of regional spread remains high, the risk outside the region remains low, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said after the announcement in Geneva.

The international emergency “should not be used to stigmatize or penalize the very people who are most in need of our help,” he said. Tedros insisted that the declaration was not made to raise more money — even though WHO estimated “hundreds of millions” of dollars would be needed to stop the epidemic.

Dr. Joanne Liu, president of Doctors Without Borders, said she hoped the emergency designation would prompt a radical reset of Ebola response efforts.

“The reality check is that a year into the epidemic, it’s still not under control, and we are not where we should be,” she said. “We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”

Liu said vaccination strategies should be broadened and that more efforts should be made to build trust within communities.

The U.S. Agency for International Development applauded the WHO decision and said USAID officials would “continue to scale up life-saving support” to end the outbreak.

This is the fifth such declaration in history. Previous emergencies were declared for the devastating 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, the emergence of Zika in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic and polio.

WHO defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response. Last month, the outbreak spilled across the border for the first time when a family brought the virus into Uganda after attending the burial in Congo of an infected relative. Even then, the expert committee advised against a declaration.

Alexandra Phelan, a global health expert at Georgetown University Law Center, said Wednesday’s declaration was long overdue.

“This essentially serves as a call to the international community that they have to step up appropriate financial and technical support,” she said but warned that countries should be wary of imposing travel or trade restrictions.

Such restrictions “would actually restrict the flow of goods and health care workers into affected countries so they are counterproductive,” she said. Future emergency declarations might be perceived as punishment and “might result in other countries not reporting outbreaks in the future, which puts us all at greater risk.”

WHO had been heavily criticized for its sluggish response to the West Africa outbreak, which it repeatedly declined to declare a global emergency until the virus was spreading explosively in three countries and nearly 1,000 people were dead. Internal documents later showed WHO held off partly out of fear a declaration would anger the countries involved and hurt their economies.

The organization’s emergency committee will meet again within three months to assess the situation. Committee members will review whether the outbreak is still a global emergency and whether other measures are needed.

Wednesday’s announcement prompted fear in eastern Congo, where many do business across borders and travel overseas.

“I am vaccinated and I protect myself against Ebola,” said Zoe Kibwana, a 46-year-old shoe salesman who does business in Uganda, just 70 kilometers (40 miles) from Beni. “Closing the borders would handicap our economy. The health ministry and WHO need to end this epidemic as soon as possible.”

The current outbreak is spreading in a turbulent Congo border region where dozens of rebel groups are active and where Ebola had not been experienced before. Efforts to contain the virus have been hurt by mistrust among wary locals that has prompted deadly attacks on health workers. Some infected people have deliberately evaded health authorities.

The pastor who brought Ebola to Goma used several fake names to conceal his identity on his way to the city, Congolese officials said. WHO on Tuesday said the man had died and health workers were scrambling to trace dozens of his contacts, including those who had traveled on the same bus.

Congo’s minister of health resisted the characterization of the outbreak as a health emergency.

“We accept the decision of the committee of experts but one hopes that it’s a decision that wasn’t made under pressure of certain groups that want to use this as a way to raise funds for certain humanitarian actors,” said Dr. Oly Ilunga.

Those working in the field say the outbreak is clearly taking a turn for the worse despite advances that include the widespread use of an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine.

Dr. Maurice Kakule was one of the first people to survive the current outbreak after he fell ill while treating a woman last July, before the outbreak had even been declared.

“What is clear is that Ebola is an emergency because the epidemic persists despite every possible effort to educate people,” he told the Geneva meeting.
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:50 pm

Saudi Arabia suspends Hajj visas for DR Congo over Ebola
Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia has banned entry to travellers coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo over fears Ebola could spread during next month's Hajj pilgrimage.

The decision, announced in a note issued on Wednesday by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited last week's move by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the Ebola outbreak in DRC's eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces a public health emergency of international concern.

"The granting of arrivals visas for people entering from DRC has been stopped, to conserve the well-being of pilgrims," the Saudi ministry's note said.

...
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Witness » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:49 am

In Congo, a New Plan to Fight Ebola Follows a Government Power Struggle

After the resignation of the country’s health minister, the president will take over the response to the epidemic and distribute a new vaccine.

Faced with a lethal Ebola outbreak threatening eastern Africa, public health officials are conceding that their battle plan is failing and have proposed a comprehensive new strategy for containing the virus.

It envisions reframing the epidemic as a regional humanitarian crisis, not simply a health emergency. That may include more troops or police to quell the murders and arson that have made medical work difficult, as well as food aid to win over skeptical locals.

The Democratic Republic of Congo also plans to deploy a second vaccine to form a protective “curtain” of immunity around outbreak areas.

The outbreak, which began a year ago in Congo and was declared a global health emergency this month, is now the second-biggest in history, with more than 2,600 cases and more than 1,750 dead. It has persisted in part because of a fierce but hidden power struggle within Congo’s government for control of the response, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with Ebola experts.

The country’s health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga, resigned on Monday after a public dispute with donors at a meeting in Geneva over whether to roll out the second vaccine, which he opposed. The containment effort will no longer be overseen by the health ministry but by an expert committee reporting directly to Congo’s new president, Felix Tshisekedi.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/heal ... frica.html

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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:05 am

Image
Half of Ebola cases in DR Congo 'unidentified'

Only about 50% of cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being identified, the government's response co-ordinator has said.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe warned that the current deadly outbreak could last up to three years.

He said a man who died this week in the city of Goma, on the Rwandan border, had 10 children and had infected a number of people.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people in the past year.

At least 2,700 people have been infected in the worst Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo's history.

Tackling the disease has also been complicated by conflict in the region.

["Snip!" – Ed.]

Speaking about the latest victim in Goma, a gold miner, he [Muyembe – Ed.] said that the man "will have contaminated several people".

"But for the moment it is only his wife and one of his 10 children who are sick," Mr Muyembe said.

He added that the miner's sister had travelled [Sic – Ed.] to South Kivu province, but was quickly located and brought back to Goma.

["Snip!" – Ed.]

Efforts to control the outbreak have been hampered by violence against healthcare workers and Ebola treatment facilities. Seven people have been killed and 58 injured in 198 attacks this year.

A major problem has been the distrust of healthcare workers. As a result, about a third of Ebola deaths have not been at specialist treatment centres but in the community, where there is a greater risk of the disease spreading to neighbours and relatives.

["Snip!" – Ed.]

[Vaccine – Ed.] It is 99% effective and more than 161,000 people have received it.

["Snip!" – Ed.]

People give a variety of reasons for not taking the vaccine, including:

They may have religious beliefs that do not permit them to take vaccines
They may think they do not need it
They may not believe in Ebola

The vaccine, made by Merck, was developed during the epidemic in West Africa and has been available throughout the latest outbreak.

It has proven effective but is in relatively short supply, so the WHO has recommended a second vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson to complement it.

Bugger'd by ebola-Chan
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DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
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"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Skeeve » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:02 am

Is Ebola Evolving Into a More Deadly Virus?
This July, the World Health Organization declared that an outbreak of Ebola in the provinces of Ituri and North-Kivu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, was a “public health emergency of international concern.” This particular strain of the virus, which first appeared in the region in 2018 and hasn’t been given a formal name—I’ll call it Kivu Ebola—is a variant of a species known as the Zaire Ebola virus. As of last Saturday, 2,753 cases of Kivu Ebola have been reported, with 1,843 deaths. There appear to be many undiscovered cases in the region, too. Ella Watson-Stryker, a social scientist with Doctors Without Borders, who has been studying the outbreak, said that around half of all Ebola patients admitted to treatment centers in eastern Congo aren’t part of any known chain of transmission. In other words, the infected person has caught Ebola from somebody whom disease investigators haven’t yet identified. “A lot of transmission is not being seen, but nobody knows the exact amount,” Watson-Stryker told me.

Ebola virus is a microscopic parasite that replicates inside the cells of a host. The outbreak in eastern Congo began more than a year ago, in or near a town called Mangina, when a few particles of Ebola virus apparently moved out of some wild creature, Ebola’s natural host—in this case, probably a bat—and entered the bloodstream of an as yet unidentified person. From that person, the virus began spreading through the local population. Ebola can overwhelm the human immune system in a matter of days. Symptoms typically include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, rash, dementia, hemorrhages, and hiccups. Death occurs like the slamming of a door, when the patient abruptly goes into shock.

The Kivu Ebola outbreak area is in a conflict zone, beset by armed militias and ethnic violence. Local people often don’t trust the international medical organizations that run the Ebola treatment centers. There have been at least a hundred and ninety-four attacks on local health workers, seven of whom have been killed. Watson-Stryker, the researcher, said that social media complicates containment and treatment efforts. Conspiracy theories about medical workers and false information about how the virus is spread are ricocheting around popular platforms like WhatsApp. “The problem is the post-factual reality that exists in social media,” she said.
An effective experimental vaccine for Ebola exists, and more than a hundred and seventy-five thousand people have received it. Even so, the virus is finding new victims and extending its geographic range. Three cases of Ebola recently appeared in Uganda, and there have now been four cases in the Congolese city of Goma, which has roughly two million residents and is situated on the border with Rwanda. The W.H.O. recently estimated that more than two hundred million dollars in emergency funding would be needed to bring the virus under control. That money hasn’t been raised yet.

An Ebola particle is a very small, filament-shaped object, made of six different structural proteins. Ebola’s genetic code, or genome, is contained in a strand of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, that is coiled tightly in the core of the particle. The genome, which has some nineteen thousand letters in it, holds the master designs of Ebola’s proteins.

RNA viruses—which range from Ebola to measles and influenza— tend to produce errors, or mutations, in their code when they copy themselves. Most mutations are either bad for the virus or have no effect on it. Every now and then, however, a virus gets a mutation that benefits it. In fact, the production of errors during copying plays an important role in the long-term survival of viruses. As time goes by and the virus makes inaccurate copies of itself, slightly different varieties of the virus arise. The different varieties are called lineages. They can be imagined as moths of the same species whose wings are slightly different colors. Some wing colors help a moth camouflage itself more effectively, be eaten less often by predators, and survive longer than moths of other colors. Those types of moths go on to reproduce successfully, while moths of other colors eventually die out, until the population of moths has changed color entirely. This is the process of evolution.

Considered as a life-form, the Kivu Ebola isn’t a single organism but, rather, an immense swarm of particles that jumps from victim to victim. Each particle in the swarm possesses a biological drive to copy itself. As the particles copy themselves, they compete with all the other particles for survival. Ebola particles copy themselves every eighteen hours. This is the generation time of the virus—the time it takes for a particle of Ebola to get inside a human cell and potentially create thousands of identical copies of itself in the cell. The copies then exit the infected cell and drift into the bloodstream, infecting more cells. Early in the disease, Ebola patients tend to get sicker in downward lurches. In some patients, the lurches are spaced roughly eighteen hours apart, as each new generation of particles floods the body. An infected person’s bodily fluids are lethally infectious, because they are filled with Ebola particles. If some of those particles get into new people, the virus spreads.

By now, the Kivu Ebola swarm has been going through its eighteen-hour replication cycle in humans for more than a year. Some virologists wonder whether Kivu Ebola could start evolving, or whether it has already started to evolve, in a way that makes it more dangerous to people—perhaps by becoming more contagious, in which case it would get much harder to control. These questions introduce a new aspect to the international emergency.

During the Ebola epidemic that ravaged West Africa in 2014 and 2015, that form of Ebola showed possible signs of evolving. Virologists are still trying to determine the significance of what happened. The epidemic began in a village in Guinea, in December, 2013, when some particles of Ebola apparently went from a bat into a small boy. That strain of the virus, now referred to as Makona Ebola, killed the boy and most of his family, and then began spreading. In the end, around thirty thousand people were infected and more than eleven thousand died before Makona Ebola was finally brought under control and eliminated from the human population. (There were eleven cases in the United States.)

As the epidemic progressed, a team of researchers, led by Pardis Sabeti, a genomic scientist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, studied the genetic code of various samples of Ebola taken from the blood of people who had been infected. They found that the virus began mutating as soon as it got into people. “From the outset, I was intrigued by the large number of mutations we found,” Sabeti told me. Makona Ebola quickly developed into several basic varieties. Then, in late May, 2014, one of the lineages took off like a wildfire and spread rapidly all over Sierra Leone and Liberia. This lineage is named the A82V Makona Variant of Ebola. For simplicity, I’ll call it the Makona mutant. The majority of patients in the epidemic were infected with the Makona mutant, including all eleven individuals in the United States. Meanwhile, the other lineages of Ebola died out. It seemed that the Makona mutant had somehow beaten them in a contest for survival.

Sabeti and other research groups noted that the change in the code of the Makona mutant happened in a single letter, which was part of the genetic recipe that causes the Ebola particle to be covered in roughly three hundred soft, squishy knobs. The knobs, called glycoproteins, are essential for the particle’s survival; they help it stick to cells and get inside cells, where it can reproduce. Sabeti wondered if the change in the knob protein could help this particular lineage of Ebola survive and prosper. “The mutation showed up at an inflection point in the outbreak, just as the outbreak exploded,” Sabeti said. “This was really intriguing.” It seemed that there might be something different about the knobs on the outside of the Makona mutant.

In 2016, a research team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, led by a doctor named Jeremy Luban, ran some experiments on the Makona-knob protein. The team found that the knobs on the Makona mutant were four to five times better at invading human cells than those on the earlier strain of Makona. The Makona mutant stuck to human cells like a magnet, and the knobs seemed able to open a cell’s outer membrane, with the ease of a slide opening the teeth of a zipper, to allow the virus inside. “But what the significance of this mutation is for the outbreak, and how deadly this virus is, are still open questions,” Luban told me. “In biology, there is almost no such thing as proof.” Luban is planning more experiments to try to find out whether the Makona mutant was, in fact, more devastating or contagious than its predecessor.

A British team led by a virologist at the University of Nottingham named Jonathan Ball found that the Makona mutant seemed to be around twice as infectious in human cells than the earlier version of the virus had been. It also was less infectious in bat cells. The Makona mutant seemed to be evolving away from bats and turning into a virus suited for human cells. “I wasn’t at all surprised by this,” Ball said. “If you put a virus in a different system, you quickly see that the virus adapts to the new environment. I was surprised that other people were surprised.” Ball stressed that the experiments had been done in test tubes, using knobs of Ebola grafted onto a harmless virus. “We can’t show how the [real] virus will actually behave in a human,” he said. “You can’t do that experiment.” Many scientists, including Ball and Luban, aren’t so sure that the Makona mutant was any more dangerous than any other form of Ebola. The Makona mutant most likely spread far and wide because of social and behavioral factors, but it may have spread faster and more widely than it would have otherwise because of a change in one part of its genome.

What about the Kivu Ebola? The violence in the outbreak area makes doing scientific research there difficult. Nevertheless, a Congolese team of genomic researchers at the National Institute for Biomedical Research, at the University of Kinshasa, working with international colleagues, has been collecting blood samples from the outbreak and reading the genetic code of the Ebola. The Kivu Ebola, so far, has mutated into four lineages. Three of the four are active in the population. The swarm is exploring people’s immune systems and jumping from one victim to the next. So far, none of the three active varieties has become dominant. “The virus has been brewing in that area for a while,” Sabeti said. “If you give Ebola enough time to transmit from human to human, then an unpredictable event can occur. How likely is it that Ebola could change suddenly? We don’t have a good answer to that question.”
...
Right now, there may be around six hundred people in eastern Congo who have Kivu Ebola particles replicating in their bodies. As Ebola re-creates itself, many of the resulting particles are deformed duds and can’t replicate further. The ones that can copy themselves are infective. The Kivu swarm, with its three new lineages of Ebola, may amount to about one or two quadrillion infective particles of the virus. If these particles were collected in one place, they would fill three teaspoons and would weigh about fifteen grams. That small space contains numberless genetic possibilities. The longer the outbreak is allowed to continue, the greater the chances that Ebola will mutate, get better at spreading in humans, and vastly enlarge its circle of victims.
Last edited by Skeeve on Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by Doctor X » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:07 am

Ebola virus is a microscopic parasite that replicates inside the cells of a host.
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Re: The Official Ebola Thread

Post by sparks » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:00 am

Isn't that what viruses do? Take over some of the cellular machinery to make copies of themselves?
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