“The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by human parasite.” Richard Preston, The Hot Zone
By Alex P. Vidal
When he was still alive sometime in 2002, Dr. Rodolfo Jara-Mesa of La Paz, Iloilo City, handed to me a photocopied article from the Reader’s Digest that predicted the coming of a “serious” and deadly disease which he feared might decimate humanity “in the near future”.
I asked him if he or the article was referring to the HIV disease, a virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Dr. Jara-Mesa flatly said no.
Too bad I could not anymore find that article.
Like malaria and tuberculosis which nearly erased humanity some 600 to 800 years ago before medicine came up with a breakthrough to neutralize them in the 20th century, Dr. Jara-Mesa believed scientists would soon be able to discover the antidote to AIDS.
What could be that “serious” disease the article was referring to, doc?
Dr. Jara-Mesa admitted he had no idea.
The article, he explained, based the purported prophesy on the rapid population growth, poverty and lack of access to medicine, especially in famine-stricken countries like Africa and other so-called Third World countries.
When Dr. Jara-Mesa passed away in 2003, Ebola, otherwise known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), was already wreaking havoc in Sudan and Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Dr. Jara-Mesa had no inkling that 11 years later, Ebola would take the entire universe by storm and is, in fact, now threatening to wipe us out—unless a vaccine will soon be developed to arrest it and prevent a feared epidemic.
Ebola actually was first detected in 1976 and the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 1,716 cases since that year until 2013.
Ebola became a global sensation in the heels of ongoing and the largest outbreak in West African Ebola outbreak, which is affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria.
It has reached the United States and Canada, which is now moving heaven and earth to prevent the disease from invading the North America.
More than 4,000 cases have been reported worldwide as of press time, and the number is feared to increase, cautioned the WHO.
These are the key facts of Ebola, according to the WHO:
-Ebola Virus Dease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
-The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
-The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
-The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in West Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
-Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks.
Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.
-Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
-There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.
Do we feel some of the symptoms provided by health authorities?
The incubation period, the WHO explained, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.
Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools).
Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
Let’s hope the article given by Dr. Jara-Mesa 12 years ago had nothing to do with Ebola.
Judging from the way our health authorities worldwide panic, we hate to think that Ebola is the real McCoy in as far as the alleged prophesy in the Reader’s Digest article is concerned.