Contrary to reports that the first case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United States was in a man diagnosed with the illness on September 30, 2014, former researcher with the United States Defence, Prof. Maurice Iwu, stated that it occurred in a macaque monkey on October 4, 1989, and was then transmitted to one of the research workers.
To prove that the first Ebola case in the U.S. came from a monkey in 1989, Iwu referred The Guardian to a story, ‘The True Story of Ebola in Reston, Virginia’, published by Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh on August 5, 2014 in Canada Free Press with link- http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/65053#.VCwwBEiWpQA.email.
canada free press
The story reads: “… Hazelton Research Products, a division of Corning, Inc. was importing and selling lab animals. On October 4, 1989, the monkey house called Reston Primate Quarantine Unit located not far from Leesburg Pike, received a shipment of one hundred crab-eating monkeys (a type of macaque) from the Philippines, caught on the island of Mindanao. Two of the monkeys were dead in their shipping crates. By the first of November, 29 of the monkeys were dead, most of them in Room F. The heating and air system had failed so it was assumed the deaths had occurred from ambient conditions. Each night more macaques died. By November 16, a tentative diagnosis was given as ‘simian hemorrhagic fever.’
“Thomas Geisbert, an intern at the institute discovered under his electron microscope the dreaded Ebola virus. Dr. Jahrling tested the virus cultures from the macaques against three known blood serums: Musoke (test for Marburg virus); Boniface (test for Ebola Sudan); and Mayinga (test for Ebola Zaire).
“The virus cultures glowed brightly against the Mayinga blood serum indicating that the monkeys in the Reston house died of Ebola Zaire strain, the deadliest of all filoviruses (Ebola).
“The institute is short for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) located at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Its ‘mission is medical defense’ with specialty in ‘drugs, vaccines, and biocontainment.’ The institute’s Army and civilian personnel were instrumental in the containment of the Ebola Reston virus in Reston, Virginia monkey holding facility.
“To contain the spread of Ebola Reston, the mutated strain of Ebola Zaire, the Army chose the bio-hazard operation of killing all the monkeys, bagging them, incinerating their carcasses, and chemically cleaning and fumigating the building with formaldehyde gas. Their mission was to safeguard the population, euthanize the animals humanely (anesthetic, sedative, and a lethal drug), and gather samples for research from liver and spleen in order to identify the strain and how it traveled. The entire operation was done in biohazard Level 4 suits. To a trained eye, the badly liquefied organs and tissues, the red eyes, frozen faces, and slacking muscles left no doubt that the monkeys died of Ebola. By December 7, 1989, four hundred and fifty monkeys were euthanized, some already very sick and some harboring the virus.
“Two monkey handlers got sick, one had a heart attack and another one was sent to the Fairfax Hospital with flu like symptoms and vomiting. For unknown reasons, although both had been exposed to the Ebola virus, neither had contracted Ebola.
“After the three-day decontamination, the building was turned back over from the Army custody to the Hazleton Research Products who bought more macaques from the Philippines from the same source in Manila. By the middle of January 1990, monkeys in Room C started to die with bloody noses. It was Ebola again from the Philippines, not Africa. The monkeys were destroyed and the company vacated the building.
“According to Richard Preston, the disaster in that ‘building was a kind of experiment.’ ‘Now they would see what Ebola could do naturally in a population of monkeys living in a confined air space, in a kind of city, as it were. The Ebola Reston virus jumped quickly from room to room… Ebola apparently drifted through the building’s air-handling ducts.’
“Strangely, an animal caretaker, ‘John Coleus,’ who was doing a necropsy on a dead monkey, cut his thumb with a bloody scalpel, which is a major exposure to Ebola. Everyone expected him to die, but he never got sick. The virus entered his blood stream. The other two animal caretakers, however, did not cut themselves. The virus entered their bodies through ‘contact with lungs; everyone at USAMRIID concluded that Ebola can spread through the air.’
“Peter Jahrling, who actually ‘whiffed the Ebola and lived to tell about it,’ wondered, ‘Why is the Zaire stuff hot for humans? Why isn’t the Reston hot for humans, when the strains are so close to each other? The Ebola Reston virus is almost certainly transmitted by some airborne route. Those Hazleton workers who had the virus-I’m pretty sure they got it through the air.’
“Pictures of the lungs of a monkey infected with Ebola Zaire are fogged with Ebola… You can see Ebola particles clearly in the air spaces of the lung,’ said LTC Nancy Jaax, chief of pathology at USAMRIID in 1989, a participant in the Reston biohazard operation.
“The four strains of Ebola filoviruses (string viruses) are: Marburg, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Zaire, and Ebola Reston. They are named for Ebola River, ‘a tributary of the Congo, or Zaire, River.’ The most virulent of the viruses, the Zaire strain first appeared in September 1976 in 55 villages around the Ebola River. The kill rate is 90 per cent.”