There is a monster Ebola outbreak in Africa right now. Liberia is especially affected. Ebola is a deadly virus that causes a mortality rate of up to 90%. CBS News posted this morning,
Ebola: What you need to know
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has surpassed 700, according to the World Health Organization. It’s the deadliest outbreak ever recorded. U.S. health officials are warning Americans not to travel to the three countries hit by the outbreak: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Amid fears that air travelers could spread Ebola to other countries, many are asking questions about the disease and how it is transmitted. Here’s what you need to know about Ebola. The information comes from WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I posted some of the CBS News information about Ebola below, and of course, please click on the link above to find out more. The fears related to travel come on the heels of a scare from a few days ago. The Washington Post’s choice of headline added to the scare. They wrote: This is the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Here’s why you should be worried.
What’s particularly scary, though, was the recent death of a Liberian man in Lagos, the bustling coastal mega-city in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. The man, a consultant for the Liberian government, had traveled from Liberia through an airport in Lome, the capital of Togo, before arriving in Nigeria. The hospital where he died is under lockdown, and the WHO has sent teams to Togo and Nigeria. (source)
That incident sparked headlines like this,
Ebola only a plane ride away from USA
The growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves as a grim reminder that deadly viruses are only a plane ride away from the USA, health experts say.
What is Ebola? Back to the CBS News article,
Ebola virus disease, sometimes known as EVD, is a highly infectious, usually fatal virus that leads to flu-like symptoms and severe internal bleeding. Just how deadly is Ebola? The survival rate is very low. Somewhere between 60 percent and 90 percent of the people who develop Ebola will die.
Of the 1200 or so cases reported in Africa, over 700 have died. That is a 60% mortality rate.
The severe internal bleeding mentioned in the CBS News article as one of the final symptoms of Ebola is caused by hemorrhagic fever. About half the cases don’t result in hemorrhagic fever, but of the half that do, the end is truly horrific. The bleeding is severe because the patient’s insides are melting.
The onset is just like regular flu and is often mistaken for that. The severity of the disease doesn’t make itself apparent at initial onset. Worse, the incubation period is from 2 to 21 days, meaning that up to three weeks can pass before a person comes down with symptoms. Meanwhile, he could have flown from country to country.
The good news is that it isn’t spread through the air. You can’t catch it like you catch a cold, after someone next to you sneezes. Though it is highly contagious, it is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, like blood. Health care workers are especially at-risk. American’s Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol of Samaritan’s Purse contracted Ebola while on scene but are stable. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, one of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors, died from Ebola this week.
|Guinea: With no vaccine and no treatment for Ebola, MSF’s priority is to
isolate cases as quickly as possible. Isolation teams are obliged to work in
‘hazmat’ suits. Photo Luis Encinas/MSF (March 2014)
This outbreak won’t be considered over until there are no new confirmed cases for 42 days.
To halt the spread, Liberia had in the early days restricted public gatherings such as marches and demonstrations. However, with the rapid spread, Liberia this week took the additional dramatic move to shut its schools and close its borders. This should give some indication of how serious the situation is.
Untreated or not caught early, the mortality rate is 90%, but this outbreak was jumped on by doctors immediately and measures were taken, this is why the mortality rate is at 60%. This is still a very high mortality rate.
By comparison, in the so-called “Mother of All Pandemics” the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918-1919, Wikipedia reports,
The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed.
This pandemic has been described as “the greatest medical holocaust in history” and may have killed more people than the Black Death. It is said that this flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century.
Officials are concerned, obviously, with the current Ebola outbreak because the mortality rate compared to the Spanish Influenza pandemic is so much higher. The population one hundred years later is also much more mobile. As the previously referred to article suggests, Ebola could be a mere plane ride away.
Thus, despite the measures taken socially and medically, Jake Tapper reports today,
Liberian President: There are dead bodies all over
Denial and fear turning to panic.
“President: This is serious… very nearing a catastrophe“
The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said that initially people in Liberia, one of the three nations affected, didn’t believe in the gravity of the situation. “They thought it was a scam,” she said. Now, some weeks later, “They are seeing dead bodies all over the place” and they understand the seriousness. Unfortunately, the President said, they are panicking, and are fleeing places where Ebola has broken out, making quarantine difficult. It also makes it more difficult to track who they came into contact with, President Sirleaf said.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that,
The outbreak of the extraordinarily lethal Ebola virus has worsened in West Africa, with the contagion showing no sign of coming under control, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to warn Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. A patient who was infected with the virus in Africa is expected to be treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta within several days, the university said in a statement Thursday. The patient, his or her identity undisclosed, will be treated at a special containment unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat people exposed to serious infectious diseases. … It would be the first time a patient infected with Ebola has been treated in the United States, according to a CDC spokeswoman.
One can immediately see how and why the verses prophesying a third of the world killed by disease can easily come to pass.
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
John MacArthur has preached that the killing by wild beasts likely will include pestilential rats carrying pestilential fleas.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11)
I emphasize that this Ebola outbreak is NOT a fulfillment of either of those prophetic verses. I am reporting on a current event, with facts. I will also make note as to how and why the pestilential outbreaks during the Tribulation can easily kill a third and a fourth of the nations.
By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. (Revelation 9:18)
Did military medical doctors know in January 1918 at Ft. Riley Kansas that the few men who turned up sick would be the first patients of a wave of influenza outbreaks that would circle every corner of the globe? No. But they did have some inkling of the virulence of the outbreak.
In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service’s academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York. (Source)
And that was in 1918, without passenger air travel.
We never know if the outbreak we are watching is the one that will lead to the pestilential outbreaks note in scripture. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could die out without ever escaping that continent. Or it could be THE one. Last night Liberian officials admitted the outbreak is above their control.
In Revelation 6 when the fourth horse carrying death and Hades rides, it is written that a fourth of the world will die. Let’s put that to some hard numbers. The world population is currently 7 billion. A fourth of that is one billion seven hundred fifty million dead.
The remaining population would be five billion two hundred fifty million. However, many of those will die in wars, or by beasts, or secondary causes like simply being petrified. (Luke 21:26). But say when the Revelation 9 verse comes true, and a third of the 5B are killed, that will be another 1.3 billion people dead.
Imagine billions upon billions laying around dead. The Liberian President’s words, “there are bodies everywhere” would have little meaning by comparison. People living in those days will wish for the days when only a few hundred had died, if they are not killed before hand.
Whether the plague is now or it is future, it will happen. All those living on the earth who are left behind after the rapture will see these things come to pass. It will happen, and it will be a horror beyond any imagining. Jesus said it will be the worst time on earth that ever was…and this includes the Flood. (Matthew 24:21).
If you believe in Jesus and repent of your sins, you will be saved. Repent means to be sorry for the things you have done that go against God (and all people have sinned fallen short of pleasing Him, Romans 3:23 says). All means all. All means you.
But if you have faith in Jesus and repent, He will take you up in the air when He calls for His bride. This is the rapture. Jesus will call His believers up to Him and award us, (2 Corinthians 5:10). This ceremony is known as the Bema Seat. While this ceremony is happening in heaven with Jesus and the believers, His Bride, on earth the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse described in Revelation 6 will ride. The Fourth Horseman is the horse of death and Hades. All those who had failed to believe in Jesus will be subject to their power. Those who die not believing in Christ will go to Hades, AKA hell. Many will come to faith in the Tribulation, but the potential for death and an eternity in hell at that time is high. Do not risk it. Believe now.
The glory of the LORD is that at the end of all things, He will throw Death and Hades into the Lake of Fire!
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16.33)
“The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7)
In Jesus YOU are an overcomer, too!