We have begun to hear comparisons of the Ebola outbreak with the spread of AIDS 30+ years ago. Many suggest that Ebola may turn out to have an impact just as bad as AIDS turned out to be. Others suggest Ebola will not be as bad because of one critical difference:
“There is one crucial difference with Aids however. Ebola has only been passed on by an infected person demonstrating symptoms of disease, while HIV can be transmitted by people who for years show no signs of carrying the virus that causes Aids.”
The initial spread of AIDS was propelled through homosexual sex, a conscious, deliberate act. During the early years of the spread of AIDS, the great majority of AIDS cases were transmitted that way. Even today, the website that describes how people contract AIDS http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/how-you-get-hiv-aids/ implies that homosexual sexual activity is a major means of transmission. Most other causes of transmission are by other deliberate acts of immorality such as having multiple sex partners or use of AIDS-tainted drug needles.
So with AIDS, the majority of ways it can be acquired is through deliberate acts of immorality.
Not so with Ebola.
Even though the presumed window for transmitting Ebola is when the carrier shows symptoms, the path of contamination is invisible, long lasting, and deadly. Here is a report from The Public Health Agency of Canada:
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low temperatures (4°C) Footnote 52 Footnote 61. One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote 61. In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for several hours under ambient conditions (between 20 and 250C and 30–40% relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours), but is less stable than some other viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa) Footnote 53. When dried in tissue culture media onto glass and stored at 4 °C, Zaire ebolavirus survived for over 50 days Footnote 61.
New information reveals that Ebola may be spread BEFORE full-bore symptoms are obvious in the carrier. This from World Net Daily:
NEW YORK – A group of German medical doctors in a peer-reviewed medical journal article published by Oxford University Press have challenged a key assumption regarding the Ebola virus repeatedly asserted by Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The researchers found that a patient showing no symptoms of the disease can still transmit a virus like Ebola by air if droplets containing the virus are transmitted to another person by a sneeze or cough.
With AIDS, those who stayed on the straight and narrow moral path were unlikely to get that disease. On the other hand, with Ebola, moral indiscretion plays no role. All it takes with Ebola is for the unfortunate soul to be in the wrong place at the wrong time where the infected individual is or has been within the last several hours.
Based on the above known information, what will be worse: AIDS or Ebola?
It is obvious after 30+ years of combatting AIDS, we know a lot more about that disease than we know about Ebola. The jury is still out on Ebola. We can be sure that the impact of Ebola will get much worse over the next several months before we even begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.