The world’s most deadly virus is infecting our populace with two dangerous diseases: fear and misunderstanding. First comes the misunderstanding. Ebola is not contagious until a person shows symptoms. One of those symptoms is fever, but fever can precede a more commonplace flu.
But people on aircraft who show signs of flu will now be asked to de-board, in some places. Not official policy, just someone being careful. Too much care. Everyone on a flight where an Ebola patient flew — one who had symptoms, but wasn’t detected — will be tested for the virus.
In Texas schools, children who show up with flu have trigged a closing of their schools in the days that follow.
Misunderstanding comes first, and fear follows. Finally, civil rights are removed.
The Ebola virus can only be contracted by contact with bodily fluids. Healthcare workers have elaborate protocols to follow. The CDC is making those protocols more severe. Hospitals don’t have the funding or staff to follow the protocols that are in place. More elaborate protocols will be harder to follow.
Hazmat suits are sold out in major cities in the US. The only people who need a hazmat suit are those in contact with Ebola victims who are fighting the virus. Healthcare workers. But the suits are being purchased by plenty of people who don’t work in healthcare.
Sold out hazmat suits: More evidence of fear, driven by misunderstanding. This is the kind of emotion that drove the Patriot Act, which founded the TSA, which now demands we remove our shoes. Unless the passenger is under 12. Honestly, wouldn’t a dedicated terrorist use a child anyway?
So in response to Ebola fears, airline traffic will decline over the next several months. Smaller airlines, or those in bad financial condition, will struggle when they miss ticket revenues in this busiest of travel seasons. Fear is the most common symptom of a viral infection. It spreads to everyone who does not understand how a virus works, or how to protect ourselves.
Getting a flu shot is more effective than buying a hazmat suit or skipping school or a flight. Last year 52,000 people died in the US due to flu. Ebola has killed one person in the US.
One of the world’s deadliest viruses uses sophisticated masking techniques to evade immunizations, according to Emory University. The university directly across the road from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a study
Efforts to develop a vaccine against Ebola virus have met with limited success, and it is likely that the virus employs complex immune evasion mechanisms that present unique challenges for vaccine design. Understanding these evasion mechanisms is a critical first step in developing an effective vaccine.
Gopi Mohan, a graduate student at Emory University is first author of the paper. Richard Compans, professor of microbiology and immunology, led the research along with assistant professor Chinglai Yang.
In Viral Times, a New Flu weakens the bodies of loved ones enough to let them contract HIVE-5, the latest immune deficiency virus. Ebola is far more lethal, but it uses vectors of bats and pigs to travel to its hosts. HIVE-5, and the resulting AIDS Ultra, is transmitted by touch. It’s up to Dayton Winstead and Angie Consoli to discover how the most deadly virus survives and thrives, in order to stop its spread.