American panic over ebola has subsided a tiny bit. The government has responded with plans to get the military involved for rapid responses to new cases, limited airports that will take passengers from infected nations, an ebola czar and beefed up screening process. It all seems half assed. America still only has 117 hospital bed units that can handle level four contagious diseases. Even a spread to 150 people would be a major problem for our medical system. Things do not appear to be going well in west Africa either as case numbers still rise and officials claim more are dying, but the dead are just hidden now. Conspiracy theories are running wild now because of massive distrust in the USG, the locals involved and the connections between USG-ebola-ground zero. The Kenema hospital in Sierra Leone is a focus for west African anger and has odd connections to the USG.
This is not a conspiracy theory. This is just to lay out some odd stories and facts about the Kenema hospital, which is right near ground zero along the Guinea-Sierra Leone border. The Kenema hospital also has a research facility attached to it. The Kenema hospital was a partner in the Viral Hemorrhagic Consortium, based in the US, because of its specialty in handling Lassa Fever. They have expanded their research to include ebola. The research is done is a special, unattached building with specific protective protocols to prevent contamination between the hospital and the research facility. Kenema expanded research to include other hemorrhagic diseases, including ebola, and just in January had received a deal worth $140 million with the Department of Defense and the pharmaceutical company Tekmira to conduct trials (Phase 1 style) for an ebola vaccine. Do vaccines sometimes get tested on people in devious manners? Yes. Do third world countries have worse health infrastructure? Yes. Has this new ebola virus even overcome first world hospital protocols? Yes.
The Viral Hemorrhagic Consortium is a new creation. It was started in 2010 after Tulane University received a five year $15 million contract from the NIH. The focus was on Lassa Fever due to its possibility as a biological weapon. From day one, Kenema hospital has been a part of the consortium due to its proximity to so many infectious hemorrhagic diseases. What is interesting is how the money the Kenema hospital received for various contracts did not improve their containment capabilities. Besides proximity to disease sources, why put such a risky research facility in an area where people have an odd understanding of modern medicine sometimes still using traditional mystical ways? Whether improperly blamed or not, the hospital was a source of frustration for locals as the ebola outbreak happened. This is the Sierra Leone hospital that required military protection as the locals blamed it for the virus spreading and rioted. Supposedly, a mentally deranged nurse spread a rumor that the facility was infecting people with ebola. The facility is now abandoned. The odd coincidence is that new cases of ebola in Kenema have dropped to almost none. This is after cases exploded in the summer time.
This is not to blame the outbreak on a medical research facility. That is straight out of Resident Evil. There is enough confusion and misinformation out there about what is going on or went on in west Africa. A main point is that this ebola virus is different, is mutating different, and is spreading differently. There could be absolutely nothing to the Kenema research facility and ebola or there could be a connection. Transparency would be appreciated. There is probably nothing to this. The overreaction by locals is most likely just a scapegoat moment for a disease that is horrible and has no cure. The problem is that we will never get an official explanation or revelation and this little research facility with shoddy looking buildings will become part of a west African myth about the outbreak of ebola in 2014.