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ebola

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Fri Mar 3 08:35:58 EST 1995


In article <Pine.3.89.9502281520.A6732-0100000 at student-mail.jsu.edu>,
st0109 at STUDENT-MAIL.JSU.EDU (Jackson Kang-M Lin) wrote:

(omitted...)
> Secondly, I think I need to make myself more clear when I talked about 
> the STD's being scary things. I meant, well, since Ebola viruses kill 
> people fast, the chance of other people contracting the viruses is actually 
> slimmer than contracting the HIV or HSV I and/or II (let us forget about 
> the aerosol transmission for a moment). Because at least people who 
> unfortunately contracted the Ebola viruses would not possibly get a 
> chance to become active or passive carriers and "running around" showing 
> no symptoms at all. Something else like HIV and HSV, could you actually 
> tell who have the viruses and who don't. And Anything like Ebola which 
> really cause some real nasty diseases and consequences (i.e Ebola 
> hemorrhagic fever) in just a few days, could you not say now that Ebola 
> are not as scary as STD's in a sense? By the way, thanks for the info on 
> "The Coming Plague." Really appreciate it.
> 
> 						Jackson   

I agree with your general consideration about the fact that maybe we are
apparently paying too much attention to Ebola. I said apparently because
beside the great rumor triggered by these books, research about HIV ans HSV
is still a bigger issue. Anyway, I wouldn't compare HSV1 or 2 with HIV in
terms of public health danger. First, because already 70-80% of world
population (but I think even more) is already infected by HSV1. Second,
because HIV, as you pointed out, is a slow killer, HSV1 or 2 are mostly
low-medium pathogens. Cases of HSV infections which lead to sever
pathologies and/or life danger for the patients are now rare (unless they
superinfected an immunocompromised host). Moreover, the best known
antiviral drugs that have been developed in the last 25 years by
reaserchers are against HSV. It says a lot about the relevance of anti-HSV
research. Do not forget that the best inhibitor of HIV (AZT) was developed
by an approach all-in-all similar to the one already proven to be valid for
HSV more than 10 years before HIV went out. (Just an annotation: whereas
HSV2 infection is commonly considered an STD, the same is not true for
HSV1. In fact most of the HSV1 primary infections occur just in the first
years of life, well before any sexual relationship is possible).
maga at vetbio.unizh.ch



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