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Ebola blood samples stolen in Guinea; this is how terrorists can easily acquire the bioweapon

Ebola virus

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(NaturalNews) One of the chief concerns about the Ebola virus is that, someday, it could be turned into a deadly bioweapon and used to kill tens of millions of people around the world.

So far -- at least publicly -- no country has admitted to having successfully "weaponized" the virus, even though bioweapons have been used for centuries and modern governments (and terrorist groups) are still believed to be developing them.

That said, the virus doesn't have to be "weaponized" per se, in order to be utilized as a true "bioweapon." What happens if, say, samples of tainted blood were to turn up missing - perhaps through theft -- and spread through direct contact to unsuspecting victims?

According to The Canadian Press (CP), blood samples believed to be infected with the deadly virus were stolen recently by bandits during a highway robbery when they stopped a taxi in the Ebola-ridden West African country of Guinea.

As the CP reported, officials are attempting to retrieve the potential bioweapon:

Authorities publicly appealed on national radio Friday to the unidentified robbers to hand over the samples that were stolen from the taxi during its 265-kilometre (165-mile) trek on winding rural roads from the central Kankan prefecture to a test site in southern Gueckedou.

If they handle it, that's dangerous

The samples were harbored in tightly wrapped vials and placed in a cooler bag. They were being transported in the care of a courier with the Red Cross who was among nine passengers sharing a single taxi when it was stopped by three bandits riding a motor bike near the town of Kissidougou, according to local Red Cross officials.

The CP reported that the bandits forced the taxi's occupants out of the vehicle, then took their cellphones, jewelry, cash and other valuables, firing weapons into the air while demanding the cooler bag, according to Saa Mamady Leno, a Red Cross official in Gueckedou. Police later questioned the courier, Abubakar Donzo.

A Guinea Red Cross spokesman, Faya Etienne Tolno, told the CP that the organization was short of transport vehicles, so officials turned to using a taxi for transport of the tainted samples. The report said no one was injured in the theft, which occurred on a route known for banditry.

"We don't understand why they stole the blood sample. Perhaps they thought there was cash hidden in the flask," Tolno told the CP.

The head of patient care for the national Ebola response coordination committee, Guinea Dr. Barry Moumie, told The Associated Press that officials "have informed the security services."

"If these thieves handle this blood," he noted, "it will be dangerous."

"I can assure you, however, that the sample-transportation procedures will now be strengthened to avoid such disappointments," he added, as reported by Britain's Daily Mail.

Spread to Mali

More than 5,000 people have died from the deadly virus, most in West Africa, in what has become the worst outbreak since Ebola was discovered in 1976.

Worse, the disease appears to be spreading. As the Daily Mail noted:

[A] doctor in Mali died of Ebola after treating an imam who also succumbed to the disease, taking the total toll in the west African country up to seven, health authorities said.

The World Health Organization said the virus was 'almost certainly re-introduced into Mali by a 70-year-old Grand Imam from Guinea, who was admitted to Bamako's Pasteur clinic on 25 October and died on 27 October.'

The paper said the physician had been treated for Ebola for almost two weeks, citing the Malian health ministry. In all, five infections -- all of which have proven fatal -- have been tied to the imam.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com





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