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A Load of Ebola: From haemorrhagic fever to non-specific viral disease

The virus which re-caught public attention 30yrs after the announcement of HIV was not the virus said to cause AIDS, but Ebola.

Anyone who’s caught any form of mainstream media in the past year can’t have failed to notice news reports of a plague emerging in Sierra Leone which even struck some commendable visiting health workers from developed countries.

If someone never heard of Ebola before, it is now ringing in their ears. Early news reports described the core symptom of the virus: internal bleeding. Indeed, prior to 2014 the WHO’s site page on Ebola had the header: Ebola haemorrhagic fever (2008 entry).

Reports of the unpleasant detail of haemorrhaging in the current outbreak were scant. Partly because it was assumed to be true for all untreated cases at some stage and possibly because that detail was upsetting to keep mentioning.

When I say scant reports, I actually mean non-existent.

A seemingly trivial event showed that the Ebola story almost parallels the HIV/AIDS debacle.

The WHO’s page on Ebola now calls Ebola formerly EHF (Ebola haemorrhagic fever) and now EVD (Ebola virus disease). This is not dissimilar to the nomenclature of AIDS where “HIV disease” and “AIDS” are both the same and not the same. Using the Wayback Machine to go back to an archived year shows only the former acronym on the WHO site page (second hyperlink on this page).

The symptoms under EVD are non-specific and can apply to ailments such as flu and malaria – indeed, the mainstream media has admitted malaria and Ebola can be symptomatically confused. Given that antibodies can cross-react we cannot be sure if antibodies that are said to be to Ebola are to that if the clinical picture of a patient is vague, i.e. not including haemorrhagic fever.

Historical cases of Ebola did present haemorrhagic fever but there is some rational discussion as to whether this was due to chemical exposure rather than viral. We also know that many people from Gabon have Ebola antibodies and yet never expressed any disease, and if they ever did it was certainly not EHF but vague EVD.

The fact that an outbreak of disease (EVD) was more fatal to indigenous people in Sierra Leone and not foreign health workers boils down to the fact that colonialist plundering has lowered the general immunity of the inhabitants – they are likely to suffer from any ailment quite badly while foreigners from developed countries are often healthy to begin with and have good access to drugs, like the unproven ZMapp. If ZMapp is helpful to anyone with EHF or EVD, or anything similar, in addition to basic recuperation methods remains to be seen. The administration of antibodies from the cured seems odd given that a genuinely infected person will produce antibodies anyway that confirm their infection (or cross-reaction); this parallels that some people are said to have useful antibodies to HIV and others not, but their existence obviously means that the adaptive immunity arm is functioning.

While it seems unsurprising to some non-dissidents that (some) “AIDS denialists” would deny the nature of another virus, it seems painfully obvious to others that the Ebola story has slid down the same landslide already created by HIV. The disconnect between those who diagnose Ebola patients and those who treat them (as confirmed in England) is part of the problem: the people who diagnose are not responsible for treatment and those who are providing treatment are not expected to question diagnosis.

The HIV/AIDS debacle is therefore more harmful than thought because, as that theory is accepted, it serves as a template for everything that follows.

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