Ebola And Nigeria: A What If Scenario

Ebola And Nigeria: A What If Scenario...

The other day, I was playing a ‘What If’ game to try and predict some scenarios of what may likely happen in Nigeria’s war against the Yusufiyya insurgency, and I came across a news piece on Ebola and Patrick Sawyer and it struck me : What If Shekau Goes Biological???

The link below talks about Ebola as a biological weapon, although I must add that I DO NOT NECESSARILY SUBSCRIBE TO the opinions of the writer of the article it links to…

http://investmentwatchblog.com/russian-health-official-the-current-epidemic-of-ebola-may-be-due-to-the-use-of-biological-weapons/

Anyways I thought about it and it crossed my mind that it is actually possible for a terrorist to use an infected corpse as a bio weapon delivery agent. So created a hypothetical situation and asked around from some pathophysiologists and virologists in Uganda and Rwanda who have actually dealt with Ebola cases before.

My question to them was simple “Is it possible that if a corpse that died of Ebola is deliberately dumped inside a source of public water e.g a river, a reservoir or a large holding tank, that consumption of such water may cause an epidemic?”. In other words can an Ebola corpse be used as a biological weapon?

It took a while while they consulted with their senior colleagues and they confirmed as seen below:

” Lol..just reasoned it out with fellow colleagues , when an Ebola Patient dies the Fluid that comes out from the body is still infectious and as you have described if such person is thrown into water bodies the deceased is capable of infecting it. Ebola isn’t totally understood as WHO says, we still do not know whether it can also be transmitted via airborne or otherwise.”

Now again.. The danger of Ebola is multiplied.

Shekau is an unpredictable personality and like I wrote earlier in a conundrum of exactly who to kill and how to kill. Now I believe it is entirely within reason to assume that if he finds a way to use Ebola as a mass murder weapon, HE MAY BE TEMPTED TO USE IT AS SUCH.. The operative words being he may be tempted to. I am placing those in caps so that if in case tomorrow he actually is stupid enough to use it, I will not be called out to testify.

Anyways assuming he is tempted to use it as a weapon of mass murder, he first has to obtain an infected corpse. With the corruption in Nigeria, one may assume he will easily obtain such a corpse, but that is not the case. I have never seen Nigeria so efficient in discharging responsibility as I am seeing in the handling of the Ebola outbreak in Lagos (kudos to the Lagos State and Federal Ministries of Health for an excellent job so far). Although they were slow in preemption they have been excellent in reaction. With all the quarantine and cremation routines in place, Shekau would have to be  Superman to get corpse from Lagos. That leaves him with looking for other sources.

The best source would be Liberia, where news organizations are reporting that dead bodies of Ebola victims are littering the streets of Monrovia and other parts of the country and nobody is bothering to pick them up for proper disposal. For the right price I believe anyone can obtain an Ebola corpse from Liberia especially those dumped on the streets.

And for the right amount of money (which he doesn’t lack), Shekau can transport the corpse and sneak it into Nigeria.
From the liquids of that corpse he can infect major sources of water including dams, reservoirs, urban water projects etc. With two corpses he can ensure the infection rate of catching on to the consumers is increased exponentially with none the wiser.

Who monitors what gets dumped in our waterways? So you have Ebola dumped inside the public water supply and none the wiser…

And then maybe a week down the road and the first Ebola infection cases start trooping to the hospital and before you know you have an epidemic, although it will die out faster, it will kill a lot of people in the process….

Surprisingly I discussed this observations with a Nigerian national security official, and he/she told me that there is no national security or defence perspective to the whole Ebola containment thing, and that he/she can not point out the dangers of Ebola probably getting used as a bio weapon, to his seniors, lest he/she gets labelled  pro-APC (opposition) who wants to point out the incompetence of the government for political gain. An act which is far from what he/she intended…

Another bane of Nigeria is the lack of strategic/contigency planning.

Again we can also hypothetically change the game parameters to be what if Shekau gets hold of a still living Ebola victim and then harvest his/organs to produce a culture which he can use to contaminate water sources etc?

Nigeria needs contingency planners to tackle and prepare for such situations.

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