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Is Ebola spiraling out of control?

Is Ebola Spreading to the USA?
Is Ebola Spreading to the USA?
Photo by: Cyprien Fabre/European Commission/CC BY-ND Courtesy of Devex.com

A recent ABC report posted online on August 18, 2014 is detailing the latest events involving the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. Eerily, there seems to be some rather deadly parallels between this recent health crisis and the early days of the HIV pandemic in the 1980’s. And like our government officials during the Reagan years, are we actually hearing everything that we really need to know about the recent Ebola scare?

AIDS was first discovered in 1981, yet Ronald Reagan waited over 6 more years until 1987 to even say the word “AIDS” in public. During those six, long years, 71,176 people were diagnosed with the disease and another 41,027 people had actually died from AIDS. Could the HIV pandemic have been stopped if government action had been taken earlier in 1981 when the CDC first warned the Reagan Administration? Worse yet, is history repeating itself with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa?

According to the ABC News Report, the virus has already infected 2127 victims, killing some 1145 people to date. This is the deadliest outbreak in recorded history, and there are no signs of its slowing down. In fact, out of all the reported cases on the books since the virus was first discovered in 1976, over 42.5% of all cases have actually occurred in the past 4 months. That is an alarming increase.

And Ebola is often described as “HIV on Steroids.” The website Devex is running a story today on August 18, 2014 that compares the viruses of HIV and Ebola in startling detail.

  • Ebola has an incubation period of 3 weeks or less, progressing at a rate that is 100 times faster than HIV.
  • Both HIV and Ebola are spread through contact with human bodily fluids.
  • Both viruses seemingly came out of nowhere, both of which may be linked to West African bats and monkeys.
  • Ebola has over a 90% mortality rate currently, very similar to the AIDS pandemic death rates of the early 1980’s.

Ebola Patients Vanish in Liberia

Just two days ago on August 16, 2014, an angry mob in Monrovia’s West Point Township attacked, looted, and stole Ebola-contaminated medical equipment from an area clinic treating many of the Ebola victims. 37 patients fled into the crowd. 20 of them came back after the violence stopped, but 17 patients are still missing.

The key to curbing the Ebola outbreak is to contain it before the disease spreads to other countries. We learned this from the 1980’s HIV Pandemic as well. But with a US government in a decades-long state of gridlock and a presidential cabinet that is often referred to as the “lead from behind” administration in the press, one has to wonder if this recent Ebola outbreak is being taken as seriously as it should.

With no known cure in sight and an incubation rate that is 100 times faster than HIV and an over 90% fatality rate, many healthcare professionals fear that the disease may already be approaching a level that is impossible to stop.