The ongoing crisis with Ebola in West Africa has now gone from bad to worse. A global pandemic is now certain due to Patient Zero Mr. Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer flew on two separate flights, exposed dozens of people to the Ebola virus and ended up in Lagos, Nigeria. Of the 15 people the Nigerian authorities bothered to track, over one half are now showing symptoms. Of the dozens they did not monitor, much less quarantine, we can assume that one half of the dozens of people exposed are also showing symptoms. We can be sure the dozens of other people they exposed will also soon be showing symptoms. Lagos has a population of 21 million people. We can soon expect more frantic reports coming from there.
The other thing Doomer Doug is increasingly worried about is the possible creation of a new disease vector for Ebola. Up to now we have been assured Ebola is only able to infect people who come in close contact with the body fluids of infected people. Body fluids include: blood, feces, saliva and possibly nasal discharges. Ebola is not currently an airborne disease in the medical sense. An airborne disease vector requires coughing, sneezing and sputum from the lungs containing the virus. However, saliva is known to contain the Ebola virus. It is reasonable to assume that Mr. Sawyer, who was reported to be violent and screaming he did not have Ebola, may have sent droplets of saliva towards the people he was dealing with. Again, this is a possible way to spread the Ebola virus.
The news media has been full of reports of bodies being dumped openly on the streets of at least one West African country. We know a few things for certain.
First, we know the Ebola virus is live even after a person dies. Second, we know that if you dump that infected body, especially in a tropical, high heat and humidity, environment like West Africa it will decay. Third, we know that various insects, flies for instance are guided to dead bodies by smell, small vermin like rats; finally, dogs and cats. Fourth, we know the Ebola virus is related to the rabies virus. Fifth, we know that dogs, among other animals, can get the rabies virus, get infected and infect people by biting them. Given all that, it is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that dogs in particular may become a new disease vector for Ebola.
The feral dogs and cats eat the rotting Ebola infected corpses left on the street. They may then get infected, show symptoms, possibly infect either humans or other animals, and then die. The cycle will repeat as they are eaten by still more insects, vermin and still more dogs and cats.
If all this happens, and plays out like Doomer Doug thinks it could, we will have created a new way for Ebola to spread via insects, rats, dogs and cats. Assuming the Ebola virus doesn’t kill these new virus carriers, it may set up a place where the virus can stay between cycles of infection.
It is entirely possible, after Ebola becomes a true global pandemic, that we will dealing with waves of epidemics, much like the aftershocks of an earthquake, for centuries into the future. While the mass die off from the Black Death was between 1348 and 1350, there were a few large outbreaks, and many smaller ones, well into the 1600 time frame.
The Ebola crisis is still in its early stages. The criminal negligence in Nigeria has now made certain the global spread of this highly lethal disease. At this point, it is just a matter of time, not before Ebola gets to the USA, but until we have to deal with a mass epidemic at the least.