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The Hot Zone

EdRegis edregis at aol.com
Sat Jan 13 09:45:59 EST 1996

Hans Andersson writes:
>EdRegis argued for that there's" nothing at all scary" about Ebola 
>Reston or Marburg... 

Sorry Hans.  Ed Regis argued there's nothing scary about The Hot Zone,
which is a book, not that there's nothing scary about the viruses.  For a
journalist, you should do a better job of getting your facts straight.

I have since changed my mind about the book: it was scary in the reading,
when you didn't know the outcome, but not scary at the end, when you
realized that the risks to humans were rather slim.  Marburg is certainly
scary if you're infected, but you have a greater chance being hit by
lightning than of being infected by the Marburg virus.  Ebola Reston is
not fatal to humans, period.  By contrast, rabies is 100% fatal to humans
if untreated, and is carried by many of the lovely rodents that are
currently walking around in New York City, and by skunks and raccoons
found everywhere in the suburbs and even in some metropolitan area city
parks.  You should find that scary and stop worrying about a virus like
Marburg, which has killed exactly three people in the last 20 years, all
of them in Africa, and has not appeared anywhere on the planet since 1987.

Please note: This is not "minimizing the risks," it is a simple statement
of what the facts are.  

edregis at aol.com

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