Los Angeles Times Exposes Obama Administration Lies about Ebola Transmission
October 19, 2014 • 11:26AM

In an article entitled Some Ebola Experts Worry Virus May Spread More Easily Than Assumed, the Los Angeles Times exposes the fact that several experts have questioned the lies being spread by official agencies on Ebola’s transmission.

Dr. C.J. Peters, who battled a 1989 outbreak of the virus among research monkeys housed in Reston, Virginia and who later led the CDC’s most far-reaching study of Ebola’s transmissibility in humans, said he would not rule out the possibility that it spreads through the air in tight quarters. “We just don’t have the data to exclude it,” said Peters, who continues to research viral diseases at the University of Texas in Galveston.

Dr. Philip K. Russell, a virologist who oversaw Ebola research while heading the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Development Command, and who later led the government’s massive stockpiling of smallpox vaccine after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, also said much was still to be learned. “Being dogmatic is, I think, ill-advised, because there are too many unknowns here.”

The Los Angeles Times article says that the researchers it reached in recent days for this article cited grounds to question U.S. officials’ assumptions in three categories.

One issue is whether airport screenings of prospective travelers to the U.S. from West Africa can reliably detect those who might have Ebola. Individuals who have flown recently from one or more of the affected countries suggested that travelers could easily subvert the screening procedures and might have incentive to do so: Compared with the depleted medical resources in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the prospect of hospital care in the U.S. may offer an Ebola-exposed person the only chance to survive.

A person could pass body temperature checks performed at the airports by taking ibuprofen or any similar common anti-pyretic analgesic. And prospective passengers have much to fear from identifying themselves as sick, said Kim Beer, a resident of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, who is working to get medical supplies into the country to cope with Ebola.

“It is highly unlikely that someone would acknowledge having a fever, or simply feeling unwell,” Beer said via email. “Not only will they probably not get on the flight -- they may even be taken to/required to go to a ‘holding facility’ where they would have to stay for days until it is confirmed that it is not caused by Ebola. That is just about the last place one would want to go.”

Moreover, said some public health specialists, there is no proof that a person infected, but who lacks symptoms, could not spread the virus to others. “It’s really unclear,” said Michael Osterholm, a public health scientist at the University of Minnesota who recently served on the U.S. government’s National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. “None of us knows.”

Russell, who oversaw the Army’s research on Ebola, said he found the epidemiological data unconvincing. “The definition of ‘symptomatic’ is a little difficult to deal with,” he said. “It may be generally true that patients aren’t excreting very much virus until they become ill, but to say that we know the course of [the virus’ entry into the bloodstream] and the course of when a virus appears in the various secretions, I think, is premature.”

Finally, some also question the official assertion that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air. In late 1989, virus researcher Charles L. Bailey supervised the government’s response to an outbreak of Ebola among several dozen rhesus monkeys housed for research in Reston, Va. What Bailey learned from the episode informs his suspicion that the current strain of Ebola afflicting humans might be spread through tiny liquid droplets propelled into the air by coughing or sneezing.

“We know for a fact that the virus occurs in sputum and no one has ever done a study [disproving that] coughing or sneezing is a viable means of transmitting,” he said. Unqualified assurances that Ebola is not spread through the air, Bailey said, are “misleading.”

Peters, whose CDC team studied cases from 27 households that emerged during a 1995 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, said that while most could be attributed to contact with infected late-stage patients or their bodily fluids, “some” infections may have occurred via “aerosol transmission.”

Peters, Russell, and Bailey, who in 1989 was deputy commander for research of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRID), in Fort Detrick, Md., said the primates in Reston had appeared to spread Ebola to other monkeys through their breath.

“Those monkeys were dying in a pattern that was certainly suggestive of coughing and sneezing -- some sort of aerosol movement,” Bailey said. “They were dying and spreading it so quickly from cage to cage. We finally came to the conclusion that the best action was to euthanize them all.”