Friday, November 14, 2014

Is Ebola the Next Bioterrorism Threat?

On November 10, 2014, a plastic vial supposedly containing a sample of the deadly Ebola virus was sent to New Zealand Herald, which is a major newspaper in New Zealand. The vial was part of a package with various documents and other things from a jihadist group. The package, sent to the mailroom, had a letter claiming that the liquid was a sample of Ebola. All precautions were taken and the mailroom was evacuated and the staff hosed down. Health officials assured the staff in the mail room that the risk of Ebola for them is almost non-existent.

Although the New Zealand Herald believes the delivery is a suspected hoax, the sample was sill send to Melbourne’s specialist Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory to determine if it is indeed a sample of the Ebola virus. Police also had access to the vial for swabbing and checking for fingerprints before the sample was sent to the lab for testing. Results should be back in a few days to confirm or deny if the vial had the Ebola virus.


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