They didn’t have soap when the world-wide Plague first hit in 1348.
Not unless you were landed gentry and brought the stuff back from Italy or France.
Nobody knew about hygiene or anything, so if you caught the Plague it was a death sentence.
Ebola is a virus.
The Plague was, and is, a bacterium – yersinia pestis. It’s still alive today in various parts of the world – like the south-western US.
And way more deadly.
Virulent as it is, the World Health Organisation puts the average survival rate from Ebola at 50%.
But if you come down with the pneumonic form of the Plague, you’d be lucky to make it at all. Mortality averages at 95% or higher. No wonder they called it the Black Death.
Today of course, we know about hygiene and keeping things clean. Which means controlling vermin and their parasites too – ie, the bacteria-carrying fleas on the rats that brought the Plague to Europe throughout the Fourteenth Century.
Half of Europe died in that first pandemic. And again, right through to the Seventeenth Century.
No soap, no hygiene – so Britain was ravaged repeatedly.
Until the Great Fire of London stopped it dead in its tracks.
By which time Black Death had killed half the people.
Up to 7,000 a week died in the months leading up to that catastrophic blaze.
Which made burning it all down one of the biggest hygiene levellers in history.
So should we get out the matches to stop Ebola?
Surprisingly, good plain old soap and keeping ourselves clean stops a lot of bugs getting to us already. Without dirt and slovenly habits, even Ebola finds it more difficult to get traction.
But just as people were ignorant about germ defence in the Fourteenth Century, so our heads are in the sand about serious protection in the Twenty-First.
Ebola can be stopped, totally – before it even gets to us.
Because like all viruses and bacteria, it cannot survive being oxidised.
OK, we can’t exactly fumigate the whole planet.
But we can mist up enclosed spaces – especially where larger numbers of us congregate – office buildings, schools, hotels, restaurants.
And the super-oxidiser that works is hydrogen peroxide.
Right now, we have the machines and the know-how to mist places up.
Ionising them as it happens, to boost spread and reach. With an electrostatic charge, so it reaches out and grabs germs as it finds them, ripping their cell structure to bits.
Slightly more effective than soap.
And less devastating than reaching for the matches.
You’re still right to be worried about Ebola.
But before anything happens, it IS possible to do something about it.
Originally posted 2014-10-07 11:54:22.