IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

The return to The Hot Zone

Frank Eldredge bime at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jan 18 14:39:56 EST 1996

I thin that both Hans and Mr. York  have over-stated their arguements -
-How about you others in the Group???
F. A. Eldredge, PhD
In <v01530502ad236bb2b2c4@[]> hasse at PANIX.COM (Hans
Andersson) writes: 
>Ian York wrote:
>>The lethality of a virus has little or nothing to do with the
>>public >health problem.
>It's only in a world of theories that the lethality of a virus has
>or nothing to do with the potential public health problem. In this
case you
>can add the high lethality of Ebola Zaire to USAMRIID's assessment
that the
>Reston strain has showed airborne potential just outside Washington
>And when you have done that, then take a moment to consider the recent
>USAMRIID study that shows airborne potential for Ebola Zaire.
>If it was just a lethal virus hiding forever in the deep forest where
>nobody lived - Yes, then you might be right. But, Richard Preston is,
in my
>opinion, correct in his observation that Ebola is a virus trying to
>out - out
>of the jungle, out of the monkey species, and out of Africa...
>>For example, diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease are lethal,
>>they >are not of concern to the population as a whole because they're
>>>particularly infectious.
>Maybe you should read something more recent than Jane Austen's "The
>of England"?
>For the population in the U.K. and for more than 20 nations that are
>banning British beef it seems to be a concern with Creutfeldt-Jakob
>disease. You can read about it in the British Medical Journal,
>November 25, 1995, Nature, Vol 378, 21/28 Dec.1995 and on proMED. In
>range of professionals are discussing how likely they think it is that
>cattle affected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy could be
>for cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in farmers and among a few
>teenagers. Some experts believe that the outbreak of "Mad Cow disease"
>could led to an epidemic of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Others (see the
>Nature article) don't think that BSE can jump species,
>from cattle to human, and that the risks are overexaggerated.
Personally, I
>agree with Paul Brown, neurology expert from NIH: "The jury is still
>>The worst case for an Ebola virus outbreak would be the appearence of
>>>disease in an urban center in the third world, where identification
>>>isolation of patients is difficult. Well, pay close attention:
>>pretty >much what happened in Zaire, and if you'll notice the world
>>still alive.
>Gee whiz,to quote Ed Regis. That's a good case scenario for Ebola -
>for those who died and their families! Kikwit '95 was not even a worst
>scenario for Zaire, Africa or the third world. And, believe me, I'm
not at
>all suprised that the world is still alive - but I'm suprised that you
>some others are so sure that Ebola will stay in the third world.
>A worst case scenario for the authorities in the U.S.is an outbreak of
>highly lethal airborne Ebola in New York City, Washington and Los
>That's a real worst case scenario that CDC and USAMRIID are working to
>In your post, you said:
>>Look, nobody argues that we should not be paying attention to
>>But you've lost sight of the diseases that have already emerged.
>>No realistic mutation you can propose for filoviruses can make it a
>>killer than any of these diseases.  (Measles, Rabies, and TB.)
>>It helps to understand which diseases are more important.
>You're correct that we shouldn't ignore bacterial diseases just
>there are viruses.  We shouldn't ignore any health threats.  *This*
>discussion just happens to be about Ebola.
>USAMRIID's experts have demonstrated "fatal aerosol transmission" of
>Zaire in monkeys and are emphasizing "the importance of taking
>precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans". 
>could well be worse than measles.
>However, why set one disease against another as though it were a
>competition?  *All* of these things are worthy of consideration.  In
>discussion, we are talking about scenarios that haven't happened yet,
>risk assessment is a valid pursuit.  This doesn't take anything away
>the seriousness of things which have already happened.
>>Everybody on this newsgroup agrees that virology funding should be
>I don't think so. Ed Regis have already answered you that he can't
agree "to
>any such blank statement to the effect that 'virology funding should
>>Until it is, let's use our knowledge to identify true menaces, not
>>flavour >of the month.
>Yes, let's agree on that one.
>Hans Andersson, NYC
>hasse at panix.com
>Hans Andersson, NYC
>hasse at panix.com

More information about the Virology mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net