September 25, 2014


Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

There has been a lot of news coverage on the Ebola outbreak in Africa over the last several months. On August 8, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency. For only the third time in history, the US CDC raised its level of emergency alertness to “Level 1.”

As of now, about 1,700 people have been infected and 952 have died in basically three areas of Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The government says Ebola can be up to 90% lethal, but this outbreak has a death rate of about 55%, says Dr. Mercola.

What is Ebola? It is a virus with five subtypes or mutations identified. The first discovered and most common is Zaire Ebolavirus (ZEBOV), first found in 1976 and thought to be the most virulent. It is this strain causing the current epidemic.

The virus produces flu-like symptoms in the first 6 to 16 days of infection. Sudden onset of fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, vomiting and abdominal pain are the initial symptoms. As the infection sets in, brain swelling, blood clotting disorders and secondary bacterial infections may occur. Hemorrhaging tends to begin four or five days after the onset of the initial symptoms. Bleeding at the throat, gums, lips and vagina are the most affected areas. Vomiting blood from GI bleeding may occur, with liver or multi-organ failure as the next worst step. The virus leads to severe immune suppression, but most deaths are attributed to dehydration caused by gastric problems. It isn’t pretty, that’s for sure.

According to my reading, Ebola is hosted by humans, various monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons, two species of rodents, a species of shrew and three species of fruit bats. The current outbreak is thought to have started with bats or primates.

According to Fabian Leenderty, an epidemiologist and disease ecologist at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the outbreak is spreading by contact with bodily fluids from an infected or dead person.
He reports that Ebola doesn’t spread as easily as most think. He says it is directly person to person with close personal contact necessary.

He says researchers have “confirmed” that Ebola is not airborne. I have read research to the opposite though. On September 11, 2014, the New York Times printed a quote from Michael T. Osterhelm, the director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He said this, “In 2012, a team of Canadian researchers proved that Ebola Zaire, the same virus that is causing the West Africa outbreak, could be transmitted by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys, both of whose lungs are very similar to those of humans.” The pigs and monkeys were not able to ever touch each other. That is very troubling for obvious reasons.

There are several fast tracked vaccines in the works, but like other vaccines, I wouldn’t get anywhere near them. Fast tracked is another term for “not tested nearly enough.” Fear mongering is a lucrative business, especially for the vaccine companies. The last “Level 1” emergency was the swine flu back in 2009. That turned out to be a complete hype job, promoting a vaccine that had no good effect, yet caused a terrible sleeping disorder called “narcolepsy.”  It was a fast tracked vaccine.

I do believe Ebola is a scary virus in a third world country. As for here in the US, it is being hyped in my opinion. Basic care in a hospital to control hydration, and bleeding, and care to not infect health care workers will keep it from being an epidemic here. Having said that, I will not be found anywhere near a hospital if it ever does reach our home soil. I believe in the body’s ability to fight off most diseases, but I am also not in the habit of needlessly exposing myself to deadly things on purpose. 

The truth is that everyone that has survived Ebola so far has done so with their own immune system. There are no drugs or vaccines to date. Even the American doctor who survived by coming back to the US, did so by his own immune system. There is no evidence the vaccine or drug given him did any good, and we surely don’t know the ill effects it may have on him in the future.

Fortunately, Ebola is inactivated by UV radiation. That’s right, sunlight kills the virus? That’s why it won’t last long outside of a host, and won’t become the epidemic here that it is in Africa.

The best thing you can do is keep your immune system at full strength. Vitamin D is the key with Ebola, just as it is with the common flu and any other virus or bacteria. The best cure is not getting it in the first place.