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Fear of Ebola, beginning of wisdom (1)

BY EBELE ORAKPO

OGA Ebola! Hmm, the almighty HIV has become a child’s play. God please save the poor woman and us too!” said Nneka, a commuter in the Tin-Can Island-bound commuter bus this Tuesday morning as the bus approached the notorious Second Rainbow Bus-stop along the ever- busy Apapa-Oshodi Expressway where the usual hold-up had built up.

Medics in full gear to avoid contracting the virus
Medics in full gear to avoid contracting the virus

The radio presenter had just announced that the female doctor who was in contact with the Liberian that died of ebola in a Lagos hospital has tested positive to the virus.

“Oh, and to think that she was just doing her job of saving lives! God have mercy,” lamented Jide to which Patreplied thus: “She will survive; after all, the American doctor who got infected is recovering so there is hope for her and others.”

Ehn, how come the American doctor survived while Sierra Leone’s Dr. Humarr Khan died? Just asking oo,” noted Jide.

Replied Pat: “I heard the American was given an experimental antibody serum. Moreover, Khan must have been overwhelmed and he died before help could come. It’s also possible he has had longer exposure to the virus than the Oyibo doctor.”

“Why wasn’t Khan given same serum or didn’t they bring it to Africa? Oyibo people with their abracadabra, the more you look, the less you see,” quipped James.

Said Mercy: “They said it’s experimental serum which means it is still on trial. It has not been approved by the FDA; so it must have been administered under FDA’s “compassionate use” regulation. But then, desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Busybodies:

Continuing she said: “Come to think of it, ebola was identified in 1976 and has not caused us so much pain as it is doing now. Something must have gone wrong. One of my lecturers told us that man is the architect of most of his problems, especially microbial diseases. These microbes have their natural habitats where they are quietly minding their business, but our busybody nature would not let them be. We disrupt their life pattern and they strike. It’s as simple as that. You break the hedge and the serpent strikes, as the Bible puts it. Ebola virus has been living in bats, monkeys and other animals for centuries without problem; so wetin come happen?”

Said Nneka: “You are right. It’s possible that just as they messed with AIDS virus and people got infected, so they are messing with ebola virus. I read somewhere that the United States’ bioweapons laboratory in Sierra Leone which has links with the Soros and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,is at the centre of this latest ebola outbreak.”

Said Pat: “Kai, but Oyibos no good oo. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have a cure for ebola disease just as they did with HIV. They had the drug but decided not to release it to Africans until the anti-retroviral drugs they made have been sold or given out to Africans in so-called aids then they will sell the real drugs to us at very exorbitant price to recoup their money. It’s a big conspiracy against Africa.”

Ha! Tatafo! Radio without station! Who told you all these? You will never cease to amaze me with your conspiracy theories. Don’t say what you don’t know oo,”admonished Tina.

“Conspiracy indeed! Are the Asians not being conspired against, if indeed there is any conspiracy? Why are we always the ones complaining instead of doing something to help ourselves,” snorted Mercy.

”I get really pissed off with the way some of us reason. For God’s sake, let’s get our acts together and solve our problems by ourselves. Even if we will need help from Oyibos, let us at least do something first and then they can support us. Don’t we have researchers in the field of Virology and Microbiology as a whole? What are they doing?” asked James angrily.

“The truth is that viral infections generally have no cure. The body fights the viruses with antibodies; drugs are just to fend off secondary infections,” said Mercy.

 


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