Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Why I Am Less Fearful About Ebola Than I Used To Be
Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever. It turns that mant Americans (at least those of European ancestry) are likely immune to it, because so many of us have the CCR5-delta 32 mutation, which protects from HIV and hemorhhagic fevers. Even if it were to break into the general population, the net effect would be to disproportionately kill the poorest and most reliably Democratic voters. Since many Americans have already been exposed to HIV (especially in the 1980s through blood transfusions) without developing AIDS, my guess is that the risks of getting Ebola are relatvely lower than for the unlucky people of West Africa. Our ancestors in Europe paid the price during the Black Death, thank them for their sacrifice.