Ebola virus and Marburg virus are related viruses that cause haemorrhagic fevers — illnesses marked by severe bleeding (haemorrhage), organ failure and, in many cases, death. Both viruses are native to Africa, where sporadic outbreaks have occurred for decades.
Ebola virus live in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.
People diagnosed with Ebola virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases.
Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection with Ebola or Marburg virus. Early signs and symptoms include:
• Severe headache
• Joint and muscle aches
Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea (may be bloody)
• Red eyes
• Raised rash
• Chest pain and cough
• Stomach pain
• Severe weight loss
• Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum)
• Internal bleeding
Ebola virus has been found in African monkeys, chimps and other nonhuman primates. A milder strain of Ebola has been discovered in monkeys and pigs in the Philippines.
• Transmission from animals to humans
Experts suspect that both viruses are transmitted to humans through an infected animal’s bodily fluids. Examples include:
Blood. Butchering or eating infected animals can spread the viruses. Scientists who have operated on infected animals as part of their research have also contracted the virus.
Waste products. Tourists in certain African caves and some underground mine workers have been infected with the Marburg virus, possibly through contact with the faces or urine of infected bats.
• Transmission from person to person
Infected people typically don’t become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.
Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. Medical centres in
Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn’t sterilized between uses.
There’s no evidence that Ebola virus or Marburg virus can be spread via insect bites.
For most people, the risk of getting Ebola viruses (hemorrhagic fevers) is low. The risk increases if you:
Travel to Africa. You’re at increased risk if you visit or work in areas where Ebola virus outbreaks have occurred.
Conduct animal research. People are more likely to contract the Ebola virus if they conduct animal research with monkeys imported from Africa or the Philippines.
Provide medical or personal care. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives. Medical personnel also can be infected if they don’t use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves.
Prepare people for burial. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are still contagious. Helping prepare these bodies for burial can increase your risk of developing the disease.
Both Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers lead to death for a high percentage of people who are affected. As the illness progresses, it can cause:
• Multiple organ failure
• Severe bleeding
One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defence. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and Marburg and others don’t.
For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for weeks. People may experience:
• Hair loss
• Sensory changes
• Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
• Eye inflammation
• Testicular inflammation
Tests and diagnosis
Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers are difficult to diagnose because early signs and symptoms resemble those of other diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. If doctors suspect you have Ebola or Marburg viruses, they use blood tests to quickly identify the virus, including:
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors the United States for conditions such as Ebola infection, and its labs can test for the Ebola virus. Mayo Clinic does not test for the Ebola and Marburg viruses.
Treatment of Ebola
Dr. Gail Derin studied the symptoms of Ebola Zaire, the most deadly of the three that can infect human beings. Dr. Vickie Menear, M.D. and homeopath, found that the remedy that most closely fit the symptoms of the 1914 “flu” virus, Crolatus horridus, also fits the Ebola virus nearly 95% symptom-wise! Thanks go to these doctors for coming up with the following remedies:
1. Crolatus horridus (rattlesnake venom)
2. Bothrops (yellow viper)
3. Lachesis (bushmaster snake)
5. Merc. cor.
(This article appears in the forthcoming book by Dr. Eileen Nauman, “Poisons That Heal”. Published by: Light Technology Publishing,)
No antiviral medications have proved effective in treating infection with either virus. Supportive hospital care includes:
• Providing fluids
• Maintaining blood pressure
• Providing oxygen as needed
• Replacing lost blood
• Treating other infections that develop
You know what they call an Ebola victim foolish enough to use these five homeopathic remedies in the hope of curing their disease? Almost certainly dead, that’s what! While it’s true that Ebola disease can result in up to a 90% case fatality rate, which is what the Zaire Ebola virus can do, even with good medical care. Basically, all science-based medicine can do right now is to try to support the patient and keep him alive until the body can clear the virus, if it can manage to do so. Of course, homeopathy can’t even do that, which would not only increase the chance of death but prevent even the palliative care that can be given to the suffering.
Unfortunately, Derin and Menear are not the only homeopaths recommending this nonsense. Homeopathy has been proposed by clueless homeopaths as a valid means of combatting bioterrorism, chief among the bioterrorism agents being
Ebola. For instance, Joetta Calabrese has suggested:
In the case of Ebola, no conventional treatment or vaccine is available. Fortunately for us, homeopathy has great renown for its healing ability in epidemics.
Calabrese proposes a variant of Derin and Menear’s delusional treatment:
The following remedies would be considered by a homeopath for any of the viral hemorrhagic fevers that match this symptom picture.
As a preventative if an outbreak happens nearby, Crotalus horridus 30C, one dose daily, until the threat is out of the area is the method many homeopaths familiar with this disease suggest.
If a person is infected, the remedies most commonly used would be the following. One dose every hour, but as the severity of the symptoms decrease, frequency is reduced. If no improvement is seen after 6 doses, a new remedy ought to be considered.
Crotalus horridus 30C – Is to be considered for when there is difficulty swallowing due to spasms and constriction of the throat, dark purplish blood, edema with purplish, mottled skin.
Bothrops 30C – Is the remedy to think of when nervous trembling, difficulty articulating speech, sluggishness, swollen puffy face, black vomiting are present
Lachesis mutus 30C ,– when there’s delirium with trembling and confusion, hemorrhaging in any area, consider this remedy. Often, the person cannot bear tight or constricting clothing or bandages and feels better from heat and worse on the left side.
Mercurius corrosivus 30C, – For copious bleeding, better when lying on the back with the knees bent up, delirium, headache with burning cheeks, photophobia, black swollen lip, metallic, bitter or salt taste in mouth.
Secale cornutum 30c,– For thin, slow, painless oozing dark hemorrhage with offensive odor, cold skin and tingling in the limbs. The individual wants to be uncovered and feels WORSE from motion.
Echinacea 30C – For when there’s sepsis or blood poisoning, fetid smelling discharges and enlarged lymph nodes.
Homeopathy is an ideal medical stratagem for survivalists, homesteaders and anyone wanting to be self-reliant in any situation.
I thought this might be a joke, given its proximity to April 1 this year, but it’s not. All you have to do is to peruse the rest of Calabrese’s website to realize that she actually believes these things. Calabrese also pimps her forthcoming book, The Survivalist Guide to Homeopathy. In any event, all of these remedies, being 30C dilutions, are nothing more than water, likely soaked into sugar pills. (I still can’t figure out why homeopaths take their water, press it into sugar pills, and then let them dry out. Why not just administer the water with a bit of salt? In that case, it might at least have a chance to contribute to the rehydration of a vomiting and bleeding patient.
The only reason that Adams’ rant is marginally less delusional than homeopaths believing they can cure Ebola is because his rant doesn’t rely on a system of “medicine” that postulates principles that violate the laws of physics and chemistry, but that’s the only reason. The bottom line is that, with increasing outbreaks of Ebola, the fear mongering is going to reach extreme levels, and the quacks always take advantage of that. What they don’t understand is that Ebola is unlikely to spread very far because it is so fatal. Outbreaks of diseases that is this fatal this fast tends to burn themselves out very quickly because the infected can’t travel far or come into contact with enough people to allow wide dissemination. That’s not to say Ebola is not a threat, but it’s certainly not a threat that homeopathy can do anything about.
Prevention focuses on avoiding contact with the viruses. The following precautions can help prevent infection and spread of Ebola and Marburg.
• Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before travelling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website.
• Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available.
• Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
• Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person’s body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
• Follow infection-control procedures. If you’re a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
• Don’t handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.
Scientists are working on a variety of vaccines that would protect people from Ebola viruses. Some of the results have been promising, but further testing is needed.