"There are many villages in the eastern part of Sierra Leone that are basically devastated," virologist Robert Garry of Tulane University told National Pubic Radio. "We walked into one village ... and we found 25 corpses. One house with seven people, all in one family, were dead.
"It's a very serious situation there," adds Garry, who just returned to the U.S. from West Africa. "This is about as bad as it [an Ebola outbreak] gets."
The epicentre of the current Ebola epidemic is the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. BeforeItIsNews claims the hospital houses a US a biosecurity level 2 bioweapons research lab. That claim is unconfirmed, however, this we do know.
Analysis of clinical samples from suspected Lassa fever cases in Sierra Leone showed that about two-thirds of the patients had been exposed to other emerging diseases, and nearly nine percent tested positive for Ebola virus. The findings, published in this month’s edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, demonstrates that Ebola virus has been circulating in the region since at least 2006—well before the current outbreak, reports Global BioDefense.
According to GBD, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has been operating in the area since 2006, supposedly working on "diagnostic tests."
Author Randal J. Schoepp, PH. D. reports that because the USAMRIID team just happened to be working on disease identification and diagnostics in the area, they had pre-positioned assays in the region to address the ebola outbreak:
We had people on hand who were already evaluating samples and volunteered to start testing right away when the current Ebola outbreak started.The laboratory testing site in Kenema is supported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center-Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System. Other contributors to the work include the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office-Critical Reagents Program, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, and the DTRA Joint Science and Technology Office.
Metabiota Inc., a non-government organization (NGO) is also involved in the testing. It lists among its partners, the Department of State, Biological Engagement Program and the Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Advisors to the NGO include Admiral Gary Roughead, former US Chief of Naval Operations.
Oh, and about Robert Parry, the virologist that I quote above who was in Sierra Leone, BioMed Central reports, that:
He is currently managing a consortium of scientists who are developing modern diagnostics for several biodefense pathogens.