By Dr. Mercola
For the third time in the history of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency has raised its level of emergency alertness to "Level 1"—this time in response to the Ebola virus, following outbreaks in West Africa.
CDC Level 1 emergency response, reserved for the most dire health emergencies, was declared for the first time in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 for the H1N1 influenza outbreak.1
On August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) also declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency.2
The outbreak began late last year. Affected areas include Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. At the time of this writing, of the 1,711 people infected 932 have died in these three areas. Nine people have also been diagnosed with the disease in Nigeria.3
While the death rate for Ebola can be upwards of 90 percent, the current outbreak has a death rate of about 55 percent.4
Two American aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, have contracted the disease, and have been flown back for treatment in the US, aboard a specially-equipped plane. At least one of the victims is being treated at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.5, 6
What Is Ebola?
The Ebola virus7 was first discovered in 1976 when an outbreak occurred in Sudan. So far, five subtypes have been identified:
Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), identified in 1976, is thought to be the most virulent
Sudan ebolavirus, (SEBOV)
Ivory Coast ebolavirus (ICEBOV)
Ebola-Reston (REBOV), isolated from monkeys in the Philippines in 1989. In 2009, this variant was thought to have been transferred from pigs to humans
Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV). The first outbreak of this virus occurred in the Bundibugyo District, Uganda, in 2007.8 The virus was deposited with the CDC in November 2007, and was patented in 2009.9 It is the most closely related to the ICEBOV strain, but it's more virulent
The current outbreak involves Zaire ebolavirus, which produces symptoms within six to 16 days of infection. The virus leads to severe immunosuppression, but most deaths are attributed to dehydration caused by gastric problems. Early signs of infection include:
Non-specific flu-like symptoms
Sudden onset of fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, and abdominal pains
Other, less common symptoms include sore throat, rashes, and bleeding
As the infection sets in, shock, cerebral edema (fluid on the brain), coagulation disorders, and secondary bacterial infections may occur. Hemorrhaging tends to begin four to five days after onset of the initial symptoms, which includes bleeding in the throat, gums, lips, and vagina. Vomiting blood, excreting tar-like feces indicative of gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver and/or multi-organ failure can also occur.
How Ebola Spreads
According to Fabian Leendertz, an epidemiologist and disease ecologist at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the West African outbreak is spreading via contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. Those at greatest risk are women caring for sick relatives, those handling the dead, and health care workers.
However, he notes that Ebola doesn't spread as easily as most people might think. Again, person-to-person transmission requires close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection, or after death.10
Leendertz recently told Science News11 that "even if an infected person were to hop on a plane and fly to the United States, Europe, or elsewhere, tight health care measures would ensure that Ebola will never get far."
Researchers have also confirmed that Ebola is not airborne. Like HIV/AIDS, the Ebola virus requires contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.
Interestingly, the Ebola virus is inactivated by UV radiation.12 It certainly isn't the first time sunlight has been shown to be beneficial in the fight against disease, although bacteria appears to be more susceptible to UV radiation than viruses.
Additionally, regular sun exposure will help optimize your vitamin D, which is crucial for overall robust immune function. Americans in particular may want to take that advice to heart, seeing how most are vitamin D deficient and therefore more open to infections of all kinds.
Where Did the Ebola Virus Come from?
Potential hosts of the Ebola virus include humans, various monkey species, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons, duikers (a type of African antelope), two species of rodents, one species of shrew, and three species of fruit bats. The current outbreak in West Africa is thought to originate from either bats or primates.
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In a recent NPR interview,13 David Quammen, author of Spillover, a book that traces the evolution of viruses that move from animals to people, said:
"[T]here's a group of diseases, called zoonotic diseases, which pass from nonhuman animals into humans. And spillover is the moment when a new virus has the opportunity to leap from a bat, monkey or rodent into its first human victim. We're pretty sure that's what happened with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa...
We don't know where Ebola lives permanently — its so-called reservoir host. A reservoir is the animal in which a pathogen or virus lives inconspicuously, without causing symptoms...
There was one Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was suspected that the first case involved contact with a big fruit bat. There were some large, migratory fruit bats roosting along the river in this area.
One man in particular bought a bat at a market and carried it home. Then, I believe, the infection passed from him to his daughter. There was a strong, but not definite, implication that the killing of fruit bats, and the selling and buying of them in the market, is what triggered an outbreak."
Fast-Tracked Ebola Vaccines Moving Into Human Trials
"Once phase 1 testing is completed in January , Fauci expects phase 2 will be conducted on both American and African populations. 'If it proves to be safe, you expand the trial,' he says. 'All of that, the second phase, takes several months. You need to scale up production of the virus.'
From there, if the vaccine is successful in both US and African populations, it may skip the third phase of trials and go directly to Africa. According to Fauci, the earliest this might happen is 'sometime before the end of 2015'—a timetable he describes as 'lightning speed.'"
According to Biotechnology Focus,16 Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation already began a Phase 1 human clinical trial of a drug called TKM-Ebola back in January. This drug is being developed under a $140 million contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD). (Monsanto has also invested in Tekmira, which is a developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics.17) In 2013, the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center at Vanderbilt University also received a $4.4 million grant from the US DoD for Ebola vaccine development and other Ebola treatments.18 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also been working on an Ebola vaccine for more than a decade.
Debate Grows Over Use of Experimental, Untested Drugs
A debate is now growing over the use of experimental drugs to combat the Ebola outbreak. As noted by WebMD,19 an experimental treatment called ZMapp, formulated in January, is based on genetically engineered tobacco leaves. The drug is a joint venture between Mapp Biopharmaceutical and Kentucky Bioprocessing, and is being developed in collaboration with LeafBio of San Diego, Defyrus Inc. of Canada, the US government, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.20
The two American aid workers who contracted Ebola both received this drug, despite the fact that it's only been tested in monkeys. The scientists working on the drug haven't even published the initial findings of their research, and the drug has not gone through the FDA drug approval process yet.
"Making the serum is slow, in part, because the plants must be grown for several weeks before they are 'infected' with a type of protein. 'Basically the plants act like a photocopier of the proteins,' WebMD explains.21 Once they're infected... it takes a week for the plants to make enough of the protein to harvest and distill into a useable drug... [T]he compound... is a combination of three antibodies that are thought to help in two ways.
One of the antibodies alerts the immune system to infected cells so they can be destroyed... the other two antibodies probably prevent the virus from making more copies of itself. 'We're still trying to figure out exactly how it works,' [Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., professor of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA] says. 'But it seems to neutralize the virus.'"
Dr. Kent Brantly is said to have recovered after receiving the drug, Thomas Geisbert, MD, professor of infectious disease at The University of Texas Galveston Medical Branch, who has studied the Ebola virus for more than 25 years, urges everyone to be cautious about interpreting the effect of the drug. It may or may not have had anything to do with Brantly's recovery. There are still many unanswered questions about the safety and efficacy of this genetically engineered plant-vaccine. As noted by Dr. Ollmann above, they don't even understand how it works yet! It should come as no surprise then that they have no idea what the side effects might be...
Such worries are not foremost on the mind of investors in companies creating Ebola drugs however. As noted by NPR:22 "Interest in drugs that might be used to treat Ebola virus has hit a fever pitch, but the buzz isn't simply about fear of Ebola, or about saving lives in poor nations of West Africa. It's also about money... [Tekmira] trades on the stock market, so—no surprise—there's a fair amount of chatter online by investors pumping up the prospects of the putative Ebola drug and hoping to make a buck." According to Time Magazine,23 the price of Tekmira stock shot up by 45 percent once the company announced the FDA approved limited use of the drug in already infected Ebola patients.
'New Drugs Are Not the Answer to Ebola,' Infectious Diseases Expert Says
Meanwhile, common-sense basics like hygiene, nutrition, vitamin D, and intravenous vitamin C are overlooked. Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD recently published an article24 addressing potential Ebola remedies, noting that massive doses of vitamin C may be of particular importance:
"To date, not a single virus has been tested that is not inactivated (killed) by a large enough dose of vitamin C (ascorbic acid)... A primary way in which vitamin C destroys viruses, or sets them up for destruction by the immune system, is by activating the 'Fenton reaction.' In a nutshell, this reaction can proceed inside the virus, inside cells in which viruses are replicating, and on the surfaces of the viruses themselves.
The result of this reaction that is stimulated by the presence of vitamin C, one or more transition metal cations, and the local presence of peroxide is the immediate production of hydroxyl radicals. These radicals are the most reactive oxidizing agents ever identified. As such, they radically upregulate oxidative stress and end up destroying whatever is in their immediate environment."
The large doses of vitamin C that are recommended here far exceed what is commonly found in standard dietary supplement dosage recommendations.
I've also interviewed Dr. Ronald Hunninghake, an internationally recognized expert on vitamin C, about its benefits in serious cases of H1N1 infection. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the most powerful tool against Ebola is basic medical care.25
"The real area of focus... should be setting up medical infrastructure in the affected countries to provide sick people with basic medical support such as replacement fluids and blood. That will have a much bigger effect on health than a few batches of experimental medications," he told USA Today.26
There's really no reason to suspect that Ebola would actually become a major threat in the US, as airborne transmission is unlikely.27 But scaring Americans is undoubtedly a profitable venture...
Fear-Mongering Is a Lucrative Business
The Ebola panic is very reminiscent of the 2005 bird flu hoax, and the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) scare—another Level 1 "emergency" that turned out to be grossly hyped to promote the sales of unnecessary vaccines that turned out to be riddled with horrible side effects, including the devastating sleeping disorder, narcolepsy.
In 2005, President Bush made the public prediction that two million Americans might die from the bird flu. Similar predictions were issued in 2006, 2007, and again in 2008. Those fears were exposed as little more than a cruel hoax, designed to instill fear, and line the pocketbooks of various individuals and industry. I became so convinced by the evidence AGAINST the possibility of a bird flu pandemic that I wrote a New York Times bestselling book, The Bird Flu Hoax, revealing the massive fraud involved with the epidemic that never actually happened.
Then, in 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned its 194 member nations to expect up to 1/3 of the world's population to be infected with the swine flu (H1N1). Massive amounts of casualties were again predicted; dangerous vaccines were fast-tracked, and antiviral drugs later shown to be useless were stockpiled. The antiviral flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza were found to shorten duration of symptoms by less than a day, and had no effect on the number of hospitalizations. One British study concluded that Tamiflu drugs given for the swine flu was "a waste of £500 million," as it did nothing to halt the spread of influenza.28, 29, 30 According to The Telegraph:31
"The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug's Swiss manufacturer, gave a 'false impression' of its effectiveness and accuses the company of 'sloppy science.' The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them."
In reality, the 2009 flu season turned out to be far milder than average, despite the H1N1 variant of the influenza virus being in circulation. An explosive CBS News investigation published in October 2009 clearly showed that the vast majority of "swine flu cases" were not even influenza at all, let alone H1N1. Rather, based on lab testing, the vast majority of people who reported flu-like symptoms actually had some other type of cold or upper respiratory infection.
Now, health officials warn that an Ebola outbreak in the US is just "one airline passenger away." While theoretically plausible, panic should be tempered by the fact that the American medical system is far better equipped to contain a non-airborne virus like Ebola, compared to West Africa. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,32 it would be "extraordinarily unlikely that it will be an outbreak at all because of the way we take care of people, how we have the capability of isolating them, how we understand what one needs to do to protect the health care providers and the kinds of health care facilities we have."
Why Does the CDC Promote Unreasonable Fear and Panic?
The fact is, the CDC is trumping up the fear factor, while simultaneously downplaying its own role in potentially creating a devastating outbreak through its own negligence. Mere weeks ago, the CDC was found to have accidentally released two dangerous pathogens: anthrax and H5N1 avian influenza. Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the CDC, recently issued a report that admits to sloppy work ethics at the lab.33 If you ask me, we should probably be more afraid of what the CDC does with the Ebola virus than anything...
The CDC promoted and was intimately involved with the film Contagion, which was in part filmed at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA.34 In the summer of 2011, the agency again gave a nod to Hollywood, creating a Zombie Preparedness Campaign;35, 36 ostensibly to bring awareness to pandemic, hurricane, earthquake, and other disaster preparedness.
Promoting Fear to Further Financially-Driven Agendas
As I've discussed many times previously, there are tremendous hazards inherent with fast-tracking vaccines. By their very definition, fast-tracked vaccines are those that have received very little safety testing prior to being used, and US regulations already place ALL the risk on the public receiving the vaccine, regardless of whether the vaccine is mandated or voluntary. Vaccine makers can more or less create a lethal vaccine and get away scot free at this point; they're that well-protected against liability for adverse events of pandemic vaccines.
The PREP Act removes your right to a trial jury unless you can provide clear evidence of willful misconduct that resulted in death or serious physical injury. But that's not all. But first you must apply for and be granted permission to sue by the DHHS Secretary. The most problematic aspect of the PREP Act is that it removes all financial incentive to make a safe product. In fact, vaccine makers now have a negative incentive to test it for safety, because if they are aware of problems, then they could potentially be held liable for willful misconduct!
As long as they can prove they "didn't know" of any problem, they will not be liable for damages. Hence, it's in their best interest to know as little as possible about the adverse reactions it might cause. It seems unimaginable, but under these pandemic conditions, you and your children are little more than unpaid human trial subjects for experimental, fast-tracked vaccines (and other pandemic drugs).
For the most part, most all of the conventional media portrays the entire vaccine process as something heroic and vital to the health of our culture, and they will be reluctant to ever promote any news that contradicts this belief. But as recent history shows, the GREATEST danger could actually be the CDC and other bioterror labs.
I believe we need to consider the financial motives behind the promotion of pandemics and the vaccines that go along with them. It is vital for you to carefully research ALL sides of the vaccine issue and not merely trust federal public health authorities, most physicians, and the media, as they are largely influenced by massive conflict of interest and collusion. Seek other independent and objective views like those at NVIC before you make any important decisions about deciding to vaccinate.
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips..
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:
NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.