October Festival Guide

Humans infected with Ebola in Virginia 25 years ago

RICHMOND, Va. — For the first time in nearly 25 years, Diane Woolard, an epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health, revisited a time when the Ebola virus consumed the Commonwealth.

“This is the first time Ebola Virus was isolated in the United States,” Woolard said about an outbreak in late 1989 and early 1990. Research monkeys from the Philippines at a quarantine facility in Reston, Virginia, started getting sick and dying. “Five of them tested positive for Ebola Virus,” she said.

Four humans who worked with the monkeys tested positive for Ebola too.

“Their blood showed they had been exposed to Ebola virus,” Woolard said.

For three weeks, Woolard and others monitored the workers to see if they would get sick.

“People from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) were drawing blood, testing their blood,” Woolard said.

The workers never got sick.

Dr. Dave McRuer, Director of Veterinary Medicine at the The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, said the outbreak served as the “gold standard” for vet training.

“A lot of times we don’t know what these animals may be carrying,” McRuer said.

He said the incident was a scary reminder of why people who work with wild animals should take every precaution.

“Whether it be gloves on your hands, a mask on your mouth, or, in some cases, full body suits,” McRuer said.

Woolard said the Northern Virginia buildings where the outbreak occurred were emptied in 1991 and torn down in 1995.

That outbreak is now known as Ebola-Reston. It is a different strain from the Ebola virus impacting Africa right now.

2 comments

  • IC

    Nationwide Media Blitz Campaign to desensitize the masses to the threat and danger
    invited into the US at the height of the Epidemic in Africa, along with the Chickenpox outbreak
    in the NM International Club Med Federal Facility for Invader children.

    • Robbie

      Yawn, fart, scratch your rear end, pick your nose, whine and watch Faux news. Let’s see what else Faux news can tell you to cry about today. See yo shortly!

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,697 other followers