Ebola in the Congo

AFP: Ebola epidemic kills nine in central DR Congo: report

Ebola fascinates me.  In fact most viral illnesses like this (especially the emerging infectious diseases) I find totally intriguing.  There is something near-beautiful about these guys. The simplicity.  The minimal code that makes up these natural predators.  Many folks freak out over Ebola thanks in part to Hollywood (remember Outbreak?), but the reality is that until Ebola goes airborne, standard universal (and contact) precautions can protect anyone in contact with patients infected with it.  Many people point to Ebola as a good biological weapon, but the reality is that smallpox is far more deadly and virulent, and there are many more stores of smallpox available, and in some cases (like the former Soviet Union) possibly unsecured.

My inner cynic says we are more likely to see an attack with smallpox, anthrax or other weaponized agent than Ebola.  But that’s just the pessimist talking.

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