Ebola, ISIS issue have a familiar ring

Thursday, September 18, 2014

An American aid doctor being treated in Nebraska is expected to recover after receiving an experimental drug and a transfusion from another aid worker who had recovered from Ebola.

Before the doctor can be discharged from the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, he must have had two blood tests, 24 hours apart, that are negative for Ebola.

The deadly disease is believed to have sickened nearly 5,000 people and killed at least 2,400, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, plus Nigeria and Senegal.

While the disease is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients, some are concerned that since it is a virus, Ebola could mutate into a form which could be transmitted through the air.

Sound familiar? That possibility was part of the plot of a Tom Clancy novel, in which the disease was "weaponized" by terrorists.

"A virus that doesn't replicate, doesn't mutate," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told a House Foreign Affairs subcomittee.

The best way to keep that from happening is through stopping the epidemic from spreading, he said.

Was the late Tom Clancy off base with his airborne Ebola idea?

The same novel, published five years before 9/11, featured terrorists flying a jumbo jet into a Washington building, and a successful effort to establish a united Islamic state, 16 years before ISIS.

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