Ebola-infected Mosquitoes Threaten to Destabilize Global Civilization

The Marburg virus, a hemorrhagic fever virus related to the Ebola virus and nearly identical to ebolavirons in structure, is causing panic among doctors in West Africa. The Ebola and Marburg viruses both use the cholesterol transporter protein NPC1 to affect humans, but unlike the Ebola virus, the Marburg virus is believed to be possibly carried by mosquitoes.

The Soviet Union was firmly dedicated to weaponizing the Marburg virus in order to unleash a deadly plague in populated enemy centers. Ken Alibek, in Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World -- Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It, describes his experience in the Soviet bioweapons division. Fearing a capitalist-led invasion, the USSR stockpiled Smallpox in underground bunkers and also began to weaponize [page 18] the Marburg virus; so successfully that three miscroscopic viral particles were enough to kill individuals even several days after an attack [page 32.] 

The Marburg virus was first recorded in 1967 during an outbreak in Marburg, Germany, after a green monkey shipped from Africa bit an animal keeper. Eventually, 31 were infected, and 7 died. The horror of the 7 deaths caused more panic than the death rate of the virus itself: "The mysterious virus appeared to liquefy body organs. One of the survivors went mad after the virus chewed away his brain cells. Before the victim dies, every inch of their body was wet with blood."

Nine years after the Marburg virus struck, the Ebola river came to give name to a new, related enemy: the Ebola virus. Interest in this new family of viruses -- filoviruses -- quickly rose. One year after the Ebola virus ravaged the Ebola River, the Soviet Union began experimenting with the Marburg virus.

Ustinov, one of the Soviet scientists injecting Marburg virus into guinea pigs, accidentally injected himself, dying and giving rise to a strain of Marburg virus known as "Variant U," which was weaponized in 1989 after Gorbachev revitalized the Soviet bio-warfare labs in Siberia [page 148.] Soviet scientists found it easier to weaponize Marburg virus than they did Ebola, but by the 1990s, long-term cultivation problems had been solved, and an Ebola weapon became feasible.

Fast forward to 2014, and we're currently in the early stages of what is already the worst Ebola outbreak in history. So far, almost 2,000 people have died and over 3,500 have been infected [conservative estimates.] The World Health Organization first predicted that it would need 50 million dollars, then close to 400 million, and currently it says it needs over 600 million dollars to bring this Ebola epidemic under control, something they themselves say will only happen in no less than half a year.

The situation is so drastic that wild dogs are eating Ebola-infected carcasses in the streets of overpopulated Monrovia. While people panic and bodies lie abandoned, mosquitoes begin feasting. Some scientists fear that the Ebola filovirus may eventually mutate to a strain more similar to its Marburg cousin. While the Ebola virus is currently believed to be carried naturally only by fruit bats, it is feared that the Marburg virus can be transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and mites for up to 3 weeks or more. In 1975, a man in Zimbabwe contracted Marburg virus after being bitten by an arthropod [a spider, scorpion, or wasp.]

Some scientists fear that many cases of Marburg are currently being misdiagnosed as Ebola, leading some to fear that arthropods may be partly responsible for the current filovirus outbreak. One single mutation in the filoviruses -- that would make arthropods natural reservoirs for filoviruses -- would lead to the decimation of the global human population; as many as 400 million people could die in the first year alone. 

At this stage, the future of human civilization depends on whether we can bring this current filovirus outbreak under control before it crosses the arthropod Rubicon. Humanity's future may very well be hanging by a spider's web.