Viruses are not easy to kill -- especially as scientist claim they are not alive.

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Ebola in America

Jim Bynum                                                                                                                                                                      

At one time we did have some decent information about viruses. They don't give up easily. It is hell when the military
Public Health Service gets so politically correct it doesn't want to upset people's peace of mind. That is what is going on
when they claim viruses only survive for a few minutes to a few hours. Early scientific studies most told the truth until
EPA authorized spreading bacteria and virus contaminated sewage sludge on crop and ranch land as well as on school
grounds and parks.  

Some early documentation on virus survival

Can J Microbiol. 1975 Jun;21(6):819-23.
Virus survival on inanimate surfaces.
Mahl MC, Sadler C.
The persistence of several types of viruses on hard, inanimate surfaces under different relative humidities,
temperatures, and types of surfaces was investigated. No differences in survival on glass, vinyl asbestos tile, ceramic
tile, and stainless steel were found. Under conditions of low humidity and room temperature, adenovirus, poliovirus, and
herpes simplex virus survived for at least 8 weeks. Vaccinia and coxsackie viruses survived for at least 2 weeks but
differences due to surfaces found in many environments, in addition to the laboratory, emphasizes the possible role of
hard surfaces in the transmission of viruses.

Excerpted from early work

In 1986, Dr. Charles Gerba, (63) University of Arizona warned in a USEPA study document, Development of a
Qualitative Pathogen Risk Assessment Methodology for Municipal Sludge Landfilling,   that,  "Information on the fate of
pathogens at existing landfills is sorely lacking. Additional laboratory and field studies are needed to determine the
degree of pathogen leaching, survival and transport in groundwater in order to estimate potential risks
from pathogens at sludge landfills with reasonable validity."

He noted organisms in bioaerosols could be transmitted by inhalation or by contact after the settled on  a surfaces
which humans come in contact with. He also noted suspension of the sludge particles would be possible under windy
conditions. Gerba also note "dried sludges "may be very light and fine in texture and, therefore easily resuspended"
Exposure may be direct or aerosols  may  contaminate equipment. Animals and could also transport contaminated
sludge offsite.

Perhaps the most important point Gerba made was that no risk assessment can be considered complete when dealing
with microorganisms. New pathogens are recognized and the significance of well-known ones change. His main point
was that "microorganisms are subject to mutation and evolution allowing for adaptation to changes in their environment."

Even worse, many are long lived, Greba said in the EPA document, "In a sludge-soil samples from subsurface sludge
injection in Butte, MT, viruses were recovered 6 months after application (Moore et al., 1977). At a site where sludge
was applied to a forest plantation, enterviruses were detected in the soil for as long as 21 weeks after application
(Jorgensen and Lund, 1985)."

That's not all, "Natural occurring enteroviruses have been isolated from soils beneath a sludge disposal site in Denmark
(Jorgenson and Lund, 1985) and at several sites where land application of domestic sewage was practices (Hurst et al.,
1980b, Goyal et al., 1984)."

He acknowledged, "Enterviruses have been isolated from groundwater at numerous sites where land application of
wastewater is practiced (Keswick and Gerba, 1990). Stamer (1984) observed that poliovirus 1 survived in groundwater
over 100 days after leaving a septic tank."

1996 a hot virus is the one that causes Ebola fever.It is worse than Lassa fever

Patients initially develop a fever, followed by a general deterioration in health during which bleeding often occurs.
Superficial bleeding reveals itself through skin signs, such as petechiae (tiny releases of blood from vessels under the
skin surface), bruises or purpura (characteristic purplish discolorations). Other cardiovascular, digestive, renal and
neurological complications can follow. In the most serious cases, the patient dies of massive hemorrhages or sometimes
multiple organ failure. (pp. 56-7)

An article by Peter Jaret (medical writer) entitled "Viruses" in National Geographic for July 1994 also reports the latest
pathogen threat from emerging viruses--the "hot agents--viruses that spread easily, kill swiftly, and have no cures or
vaccines." (p. 64) These viruses are so deadly that extreme precautions must be observed by scientists who study
them.  According to the article, scientists at CDC "must wear suits hooked to outside air supplies and enter a lab via
airtight hatches that seal behind them. All materials entering the lab must be sterilized or burned to ensure that nothing
hazardous escapes." (p. 64)

Jaret began his article with a firsthand graphic description of the effects of one of these deadly hot
viruses, Lassa fever, on its young victim:
First came fever. Then Hamid Mansaray, a young nurse's aide at a remote African hospital, began to hemorrage. Blood
erupted from his nose and mouth. It burst out of capillaries beneath his skin and eyes. By the time I reached the village
of Panguma in Sierra Leone, Mansaray lay isolated in a special ward. Doctors had diagnosed an obscure illness called
Lassa Fever. Its cause was a virus, an infective agent so small that 100,000 all clumpted together would still scarcely be
visible. (p.  64) He also describes his trepidation upon entering the Lassa fever ward where Mansaray lay:
It is also what made my chest tighten as we entered the Lassa fever ward. I knew that in neighboring Liberia a medical
team had unsuspectingly treated a pregnant woman who was infected with the Lassa virus. Within four weeks two
patients from the ward and two of the hospital staff were dead.

According to Jaret, although the Lassa fever virus is frightening, a more frightening hot virus is the one that causes
Ebola fever. He reports that the Ebola virus, which was first documented in 1976 when it killed half the people in a small
village in the Sudan, affects its victims much like the Lassa virus causing fever and bleeding. He wrote that by the time it
had later struck Zaire, it was "seemingly more virulent than before." (p.  64) It killed 90% of its victims in over 50 villages.

Although these hot viruses have mostly been found in Africa, the rest of the world is not safe from infection-- including
the United States. Jaret reports on what could have been a disastrous outbreak of Lassa fever in Chicago. According to
his account, in 1989, a 43-year-old mechanical engineer, who had recently returned from attending his parents'
funerals in Nigeria, came to a suburban Chicago clinic with a fever and sore throat. He was sent home with a
prescription for antibiotics. More than a hundred people had come into contact with him before he died. Jaret reports
the concerned reaction of the CDC to this incident: "We had all the makings of a catastrophe," said C.J. Peters, who
directs the CDC's Special Pathogens Branch. The disaster may have been prevented because threat of the AIDS virus
had led to stringent standard sanitary procedures.  According to Jaret, "Next time," says Peters, "we may not be so
lucky." (pp.65., 67).

We may not be so lucky because as Jaret says in his article "When a rare virus does emerge from its seclusion, modern
air travel may offer it a free ride anywhere in the world. "(p. 65) This was brought home to us in 1996 when a research
laboratory outside of Alice, Texas, which our fire and safety company serviced, averted a near catastrophe when during
the quarantine period they discovered a monkey brought over from Africa was carrying the Ebola virus.  Fortunately,
the monkey was destroyed before it could spread the virus.
More on virus survival
Isolated from sewage and effluents
Known viruses in sludge and effluent
Index to more virus studies
Forgotten viruses
Drinking water viruses
Restricted Viral agents
Role of viruses in irrigation of crops
Table of viruses
Transmission of viruses
Treatment Plant viruses