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The Informed Citizen
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Marburg : Malice or Malpractice ?

I entered some correspondence today,concerning possible origins of the Angola Marburg epidemic: an outbreak that started among very young children,and that is killing anywhere from 89% to 99% of those it infects-(depending on whose stats you trust.)

This was the response I got.

" I think if you check back, previous Marburg epidemics have been in places where there weren't any children, e.g. gold-mining camps.

WHO has reported that traditional healers are re-using non-sterilized syringes & needles to give their medicines to victims, hence spreading the disease, also some local doctors have not been using proper precautions & have become exposed.

Clearly there was an index case who caught the virus somewhere out there, went to hospital and started a chain of contamination.

But ProMed won't get into speculation about where & how the index case got it from, in the absence of any hard evidence."

It would seem ProMed,which is ( I believe) maintained by the Federation of American Scientists,has now adopted the ludicrous proposition that :

  1. There was an adult Marburg patient;
  2. Needles were stuck in this patient for incomprehensible reasons;
  3. The self-same needles were then used to inject the (now dead) children-again for incomprehensible reasons;
  4. Maybe the "native healers" (witchdoctors) were responsible.

I've given serious thought to other possibilities,including this one :

The infection began with children who were in some sort of daycare/nursery situation. (Angola is definitely the sort of place where both parents must hustle if the family is to survive.)

Powdered milk and/or powdered protein drink was served to the children.This is very common in 3rd world countries.

The powder was contaminated-with Marburg , by unknown means.When the children drank it,their doom was sealed.

There was a case a few years ago in the back-country of India:children were dying mysteriously.The mystery poison killing them was finally identified as a mycotoxin:the product of a fungus,which had contaminated their powdered milk.

This case was "baffling" to the world medical community,until proper testing was done.

So how did our hypothetical Marburg get into our equally hypothetical powdered milk ?

I doubt we'll ever know.There is no way to construct a "chain of evidence" on bulk stores of powdered milk,and thereby establish whether malice or "malpractice" was involved.

Clearly,there is little interest in the origins of this outbreak;nor is there likely to be,as long as the World Health Organization can shrug and (inferentially) blame "native healers".

I wonder what WHO will say when this 90% killer virus breaks out of Africa,and starts killing White people ?

Addendum: There is now a running " Marburg Surveillance" thread on Free Republic,which can be accessed here.

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