New difficult to diagnose and untreatable disease.

When talking about changes in medical care, Dr Day said   “…there would be new diseases to appear which had not ever been seen before. Would be very difficult to diagnose and be untreatable – at least for a long time.”

We have seen this with several diseases that have plagued humanity, and for which there is (as yet) no cure or effective treatment.

In the 1980s there was the outbreak of AIDS which spread rapidly throughout the world’s population and took years to get under control.

A long-term disease that has affected nearly all families in some way is cancer. Despite ‘extensive research’ there is still no known effective treatment for the most aggressive kinds.  ‘Treatments’ are limited to removing diseased tissue in the hope that the disease has been removed, and then using very primitive forms of treatment to (effectively) destroy the human body’s natural systems (again) in the hope that these will also destroy cancer cells and the body will natural regenerate its normal functioning mechanisms.

Sadly, there is a high likelihood that even after treatment the cancer will re-appear at a later date, sometimes decades after treatment.

We will cover cancer in another article because of the extensive data concerning the disease, research, and the financial and business interests involved.

In our immediate history, the spread of Ebola is of concern.

Ebola is one of the most deadly diseases known to man and can spread very rapidly, especially because of today’s connected world where humans can travel vast distances is short periods of time.

The Ebola (Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) virus was first isolated in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

The virus has a fatality rate of up to 90%. It spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. There is some evidence that is may also spread through airborne particles.

There is no known licensed vaccine or cure for Ebola. Treatment is limited to ensuring the patient is kept hydrated and hoping that the body’s natural defences are strong enough to fight the virus – which is rare.

The current outbreak of Ebola (2014) is the most severe yet in the virus’ 40 year known history, prompting the World Health Organisation to declare an International Public Health Emergency.

It was first reported in March 2014 and spread rapidly throughout West Africa, being responsible for over 1,000 deaths. It has also spread into Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country.

In response to the severity of the outbreak, on 31st July 2014 the World Health Organisation recommended that experimental drugs be used to try and contain the spread.

The main experimental treatment is ZMapp, a drug being developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. a collaboration between various drug companies and the governments of the U.S. and Canada.

ON 6th August 2014, three leading experts and Wellcome Trust called for ZMApp to be immediately available to African countries affected by the outbreak. The three are Peter Piot, who co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976 and is director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; David L. Heymann of the Chatham House Center on Global Health Security; and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a British health charity.

ZMapp has not undergone clinical trials, but has been used to treat three people with claimed positive results, but none of whom are of African ethnicity.

The statement provoked some outrage because it was not available to Africans first. Jimmy Whitworth, head of population health at the Wellcome Trust, said only limited amounts of the drug were available. He called for the experimental drug to at least be made available to West African doctors treating Ebola patients. As for wider distribution, he said, “We simply don’t have enough of the material available.”

At the time of writing (August 2014) Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) estimated that it would take at least six months to being the virus under control at best, and the World Health Organisation said that the spread of the outbreak was “vastly underestimated”.

Ebola continues to be one of a small number of viruses that are fast to spread and deadly. In nearly 40 years of research a cure or vaccine has not been produced. There are experimental drugs, but nothing that has passed the various safety testing measures before a drug is marketable.

At least four experimental drugs have been developed with promising results, including one that gives monkeys complete protection from the virus.

There are said to be main two main problems facing scientists. The first is that Ebola is unpredictable so it is difficult to find enough people to test new drugs on at any one time.

The second is its commercial value. The main interest so far is its risk as a bioterrorism agent, which has prompted much of the research and funding – especially by the U.S. Government.

In the current outbreak, approximately 1000 people have been infected, a very small market for commercial development.

Other experimental drugs can potentially treat Ebola even though they were developed for other medical treatments with a much larger commercial market.

We can look at the discovery and spread of Ebola from several different perspectives.

Firstly, that it is a naturally occurring virus, and the explanation for how it was discovered and how it has emerged in an ad-hoc way, and spread at varying degrees with each outbreak, is correct.

Secondly, that it is a naturally occurring virus that has been used by a government agency who have released it into the population for ulterior motives.

Third, that it is a man-made virus purposely developed for population control.

The first seems most likely but it is interesting that this was discovered a few years after Dr Day made his speech in 1969. It could just be coincidence.

The second is also possible. The virus has been transported to research facilities and has been studied for nearly 40 years. There may be parties interested in using variations of Ebola for their own purposes.  A 1989 incident in which a relative of Ebola virus named Reston virus (RESTV), was discovered at a primate quarantine facility in Reston, Virginia, less than fifteen miles (24 km) away from Washington, DC. The virus found at the facility was a mutated form of the original Ebola virus. With active research projects around the world, it is possible that some research may not be into finding cures or vaccines, but in developing different strains of the virus for different purposes.

As for the third, there is no evidence to support any such claims that we know of, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the third option is incorrect. We know that governments are covertly developing biological weapons all the time.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of the current Ebola outbreak will be.

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One thought on “New difficult to diagnose and untreatable disease.

  1. Pingback: Back in 1969, Dr Richard Day made some astonishing predictions about where the world would be today | Henri's Web Space

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