By Peter Mills MA PhD
At this time of writing, the world’s most widespread and lethal outbreak of Ebola has already caused the highly unpleasant deaths of some 700 people. The number of fatalities is increasing on a daily basis. The Ebola virus is now active in at least three African countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where it has reached the capital city Conakry .
The Ebola virus is believed to originate and spread within animals such as fruit bats, antelope and chimpanzees. Considering the popularity amongst certain people of so-called “bush-meat” (meat from animals civilized people would not dream of eating, such as fruit bats, antelope and chimpanzees) it is perhaps hardly surprising that such viruses become adapted to, and then spread, in human communities .
Tracing the origin of Ebola in humans to ‘bush-meat’ is evidently a sensitive subject in countries that have large bush meat eating populations, as evidenced by the strangely self-contradictory protestations of Dr. Yewande Adeshina, Special Advisor on Public Affairs to the Lagos State Government. On a local TV program, she pronounced the assurance: “We don’t have any proven scientific relationship between eating bush meat and catching the infection. But we do know that preparation of these wild animals, especially if they carry the virus, can lead to the infection” .
So there you have a local expert’s comforting official opinion given in a single breath – Ebola may not transfer to humans from bush-meat, but eating bush-meat may cause Ebola to transfer to humans. It’s a shame there is no prestigious world award such as a Reverse Nobel Prize given for the most self-contradictory piece of political propaganda or government face-saving.
Ebola is a truly ghastly way to die. There is as-yet no vaccine. It is medically incurable. It has been established that the current outbreak involves the deadliest and most aggressive strain, which has a death rate of over 90%. (Medecin Sans Frontieres). First symptoms are sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat. This progresses into vomiting, diarrhoea and uncontrollable internal and external bleeding. Put as delicately as possible, the infected patient essentially discharges their liquefied internal organs as excrement. The virus spreads like wildfire through contact with infected blood, body fluids or body parts. It can thus also be transmitted sexually and by simply kissing, even by shaking hands.
Alarm bells should be ringing all over Britain regarding this outbreak. Why? Because it is spreading, helped by modern travel methods. Ebola reached Lagos, Nigeria, in July from a man who travelled there by airliner. He has since died. There is nothing to prevent someone infected with the Ebola virus from boarding a flight into the United Kingdom. We have no way of knowing whether the virus has by now entered the UK – we can only pray that it has not!
However, don’t waste your time praying to our politically-correct, immigration-worshipping politicians!
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said that the UK government is taking the current outbreak “very seriously”. That’s good to hear. However, he also claimed that the UK health service has the experience to deal with the Ebola virus. How, we must ask – when there is as-yet no cure?
He went on to state reassuringly that the main threat to Britain only comes from “…someone contracting the disease abroad and becoming unwell back in the UK.” Yes – we know that! (In response to this particular assessment by the Foreign Secretary, I think it is entirely appropriate to paraphrase John Cleese’s classic remark as Basil Fawlty:- “You should go on ‘Mastermind’ – Philip Hammond, specialist subject: the bleedin’ obvious!”)
He then blustered: “It’s not about the disease spreading in the UK, because we have frankly different standards of infection control procedure that would make that most unlikely.” Well, I think we can all spot the mistake there, can’t we?
With a National Health Service ruptured by the government, swamped in most regions by swelling immigrant populations and in a state of acknowledged total meltdown, and thereby unable to even supply a full and efficient Accident & Emergency service, and where local GP surgeries have emergency waiting times measured in weeks and pensioners are regarded as a time-wasting nuisance because they’re only going to die soon anyway, what possible action can the government take to control an outbreak of Ebola in the UK? The answer is simple and rhymes with “rugger ball”.
Rubbing salt in the government’s wounds, Lucy Moreton, General Secretary of the Immigration Service Union, has issued a statement that UK immigration and border control staff are complaining they are not prepared to deal with arriving Ebola carriers. As their union general secretary has recently pointed out on BBC Radio 4, immigration and border staff “serve on the front line” and are the first point of contact for people disembarking from aircraft. However, there are no health facilities at UK borders and no containment facilities, and staff are telephoning to ask what they are supposed to do in the event of Ebola, how can it be identified as infecting an incoming person, and what should be done if Ebola is suspected?
Well, I can do no better than to give what appears to be the Government’s official answer to such questions:- keep your fingers crossed and it might go away!