Yesterday reports surfaced of a possible Ebola outbreak in the Congo, simultaneously the US Government released a contract which specified that they want samples from people in the Congo who have survived a 'NATURAL exposure to Ebola'
"The purpose of this contract is to evaluate samples from individuals who have survived a natural exposure to Ebola virus in order to assess the specific immune responses"
This brings up the obvious question, is there such a thing as an unnatural exposure to Ebola in Africa? After all, the reported exposures are: wild creature infects a person, and then that person infects several others.
It seems the US Government is concerned that there is something UNNATURAL about the West African Ebola outbreak. It does have somewhat different symptoms than previous outbreaks. And, the outbreak has grown faster and farther than all previous outbreaks combined. IF the outbreak is man made, then obviously one source of comparison which might point to that distinction might be made by looking at differences between the current unnatural outbreak in West Africa and the previous natural outbreaks in the Congo.
Its also clear one would want to take such samples from the previous natural Ebola outbreaks in the Congo prior to the region being infected by the unnatural outbreak from West Africa. Given yesterday's the reports that West African Ebola may have spread into the Congo, it makes for a clear indication why that new may have triggered yesterday's contract for blood samples from survivors of "natural" Ebola in the Congo.
Sources:Solicitation Number: NIAID-NOI-14C-1688951