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Claims of US manufacturing Ebola with HIV go viral

The claim that pharmaceutical companies & the US Defence Dept is manufacturing Ebola with HIV has gone viral.

A volunteer recieves the ebola vaccination "cAd3-EBO-Z" at the vaccines center in Bamako, Mali, 09 October 2014. Human trials of the Ebola vaccine have started in Africa after being trialed in the USA and Great Britain. Three employees of the health department in Mali were the first people in Africa to receive the vaccine. EPA/ALEX DUVAL SMITH

JOHANNESBURG - A claim that western pharmaceutical companies and the United States Defence Department have been manufacturing the Ebola virus along with HIV have gone viral on social media.

The accusation implicates the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other United Nations (UN) agencies in the alleged selection of African countries to hold testing events and to promote vaccines.

The article, by Doctor Cyril Broderick, a former professor of plant pathology at the University of Liberia, is published in the Liberian Observer and addressed to the citizens of the world.

Its headline poses the question, Are Ebola and Aids manufactured by western pharmaceutical companies and the US Department of Defence?

Broderick says he questioned the presence of US biological warfare researchers in Africa and especially in Ebola-zones over the years.

He mentions the alleged involvement of the US, Britain Canada and France in the Ebola human trials.

Four people have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

The first diagnosis, a Liberian visitor to Texas in September who died, was riddled with missteps.

Two nurses who treated the man contracted the disease but have recovered.

The missteps and delays in diagnosis of the Liberian man prompted some states to impose or consider restrictions on travellers coming from the West African countries where the virus has killed nearly 5,000 people.

AUSTRALIA ISSUES BLANKET BAN ON VISA'S

Australia came under fire on Tuesday from health experts and rights advocates after it issued a blanket ban on visas from West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak, making it the first rich nation to shut its doors to the region.

Australia has not recorded a case of Ebola despite a number of scares, and conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has so far resisted repeated requests to send medical personnel to help battle the outbreak on the ground.

The decision to refuse entry for anyone from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, while touted by the government as a necessary safety precaution, was criticised by experts and advocates as politically motivated and shortsighted.

"The government has strong controls for the entry of persons to Australia under our immigration programme from West Africa," Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told parliament on Monday.

"These measures include temporarily suspending our immigration programme, including our humanitarian programme from Ebola-affected countries, and this means we are not processing any application from these affected countries."

All non-permanent or temporary visas were being cancelled and permanent visa holders who had not yet arrived in Australia will be required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period, he added.

The announcement comes amidst a toughening of rhetoric from the Australian states around the disease, with at least one local government saying it was considering mandatory detention for anyone suspected of carrying the disease.

Additional reporting from Reuters.

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