Originally published September 26 2014
Ebola may never be conquered, warn experts; infections could plague humanity forever
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Not enough is being done to curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the result could be a never-ending circulation of the disease, says a panel of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 60 WHO experts, publishing their prediction in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), say the current outbreak appears "bleak," with a true mortality rate of more than 70 percent.
Many more people than are being reported also likely have the disease, says the panel, which warned that far more than 20,000 new cases of Ebola will emerge by November if new control measures aren't implemented immediately. We can expect the number of new cases per week to jump from the current rate of just hundreds into the thousands, and not long after that into the hundreds of thousands.
"The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak," wrote the WHO panel in NEJM. "We must therefore face the possibility that Ebola virus disease will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated."
Because the currently circulating strain of Ebola appears to be slow to mutate, it was originally predicted that it would eventually fizzle out on its own. But considering the fact that Ebola is spreading in and out of rural and urban areas, and across national boundaries, with relative ease, it is highly likely that the disease will linger in certain pockets and mutate.
If this occurs, it will be much more difficult to fully stamp it out, and experts say it will be nearly impossible to ensure that the virus is ever truly gone from human circulation. In the immediate future, the disease will continue to spread exponentially, infecting potentially millions of people and leading to societal breakdown in some areas.
"West Africa will see much more suffering and many more deaths during childbirth and from malaria, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, enteric and respiratory illnesses, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and mental health during and after the Ebola epidemic," the authors added.
Public being programmed to accept vaccines as solution to Ebola In order to even have a chance at containing Ebola, experts say the current transmission rate will have to be cut in half. And the way the Los Angeles Times suggests this can happen is by vaccinating at least 50 percent of the population against Ebola, the assumption being that the vaccine will prevent transmission and spread.
This, in fact, appears to be the endgame of the current outbreak -- to scare as many people as possible into getting vaccinated for Ebola. Experimental vaccines for Ebola are already set to undergo human trials in the next few weeks, with plans to release a limited batch of vaccines for healthcare workers by the end of the year.
The trajectory of the bulk of media reports on Ebola seems to be headed in one direction, and that is to condition the minds of the public to accept a vaccine once it's ready for public release. It could be early next year, or later in the summer and fall when the outbreak is likely to have already morphed into an unstoppable global pandemic.
In either case, the message is clear, as summed up by the authors' conclusion in their new study:
"The risk of continued epidemic expansion and the prospect of endemic EVD [Ebola virus disease] in West Africa call for the most forceful implementation of present control measures and the rapid development and deployment of new drugs and vaccines."
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