By Johan van Dongen, Breda the Netherlands –The Marburg virus MARV, a synonym for Ebola virus, is a severe and highly contagious form of haemorrhagic fever caused by a virus from the family of filoviruses. After vaccine experiments had been carried out in 1976, in order to find a medicine against the MARV, the outbreak in Sudan and Zaire was reported.
Fifty four years ago, to be exact on the 22nd of August 1967, the MARV was first discovered during simultaneous outbreaks at laboratories in Frankfurt and Marburg, Germany, and after that sporadic small outbreaks have been reported. German health officials linked the infection to contact with green monkeys imported from Uganda for research on a polio vaccine. This first filovirus ever detected, made its appearance in Europe, causing severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in German laboratory workers.
Epidemiological studies were done in parallel with the microbiological studies. It became apparent very early that all patients in Marburg were employees of Behringwerke, a producer of sera and vaccines, while patients in Frankfurt were employees of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, a control institute for sera and vaccines. Institutes that were well known under Hitler’s regime.
All patients with unusual symptoms indicating an infectious disease were admitted to the University hospitals in Marburg and Frankfurt. The first patients were treated in their homes for up to 10 days, even though the illness was described as beginning suddenly with extreme malaise, myalgia, headache, and a rapid increase in temperature.
Officials stated that these green monkeys were imported from Uganda and were used mainly for the production of kidney cell cultures, which were needed for the propagation of polio vaccine strains. Unfortunately, information on the health status of these monkeys is scarce and very contradictory in fact they are lies as was the official statement.
Let us follow the route of the shipment of the monkeys, the first discovery of the disease and the first publications.
The fate transportation route of the monkeys were complicated and only gradually revealed. Because of six day military clashes (5 to 10 June 1967), the monkey shipments from Uganda could not be transported directly to Frankfurt airport for distribution to their final destinations. Instead, they were brought to a London airport, where the airport employees were on strike at the time. Since no carrier was available for the transport from London to Frankfurt, the animals had to be kept in an animal house at the London airport, where they were caged in contact with langur monkeys from Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. In theory, the monkeys might have acquired an infectious agent from the langur monkeys, or they might have transmitted the virus to these animals. After a two days delay, probably 12 June 1967, the monkeys were finally transported, via the Frankfurt airport, to their final destinations in Frankfurt, and Marburg. It is clear that the two institutions received monkeys from the same shipments in June and July 1967.
According to newspaper reports, two monkeys escaped from the shipment when the monkeys were transported to the animal house in London. These animals were found only a few days later and were shipped separately to Frankfurt. Fortunately, the monkeys did not distribute the virus in the London population.
Monkeys from two shipments were identified retrospectively as the most probable source of infection. These animals were received on 21 and 28 July 1967. Their health status seems to have been in the normal range, but they were killed soon after their arrival in Marburg and Frankfurt. The statement that the monkeys were killed soon after their arrival is a lie; it is as false as it can be. As an animal technician and experimental micro surgeon I know for sure that monkeys out of the wild will be quarantined before the shipments and after they arrive on airfields. After arrival in laboratories they will be put in quarantine for at least thirty days according to official regulations. A specific prove of quarantining monkeys for laboratory purposes can be obtained, as an example, by the Ferlite Farms Company in Mindanao Island, Philippines. After monkeys were flown from Manila, with landings in Amsterdam Schiphol, the Netherlands, and New York USA, the monkeys are transported by truck to Hazleton Research Products and placed within the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit in Reston, Virginia USA. Because of the 1967 Marburg incident, all primates imported into the United States must be quarantined for 30 days to insure that they are disease free before they are released.
Following back the track of the monkeys which are travelled to Marburg; these animals were received on 21 and 28 July 1967. After their arrival they went into, or at least they should have according to European regulations at that time, be in quarantine for at least six weeks. This means that the first experiments with these monkeys could have begun somewhere in September 1967. So I would like to remind you the beginning of my report that on 22 August 1967, twenty five days after arrival of the monkeys, the Marburg virus was first discovered during simultaneous outbreaks in different laboratories in Germany and the former Yugoslavia. The statement that the monkeys were killed soon after their arrival is as false as it can be because they were, according to strict European guidelines as I have learned during my education as animal technician at the University of Leiden the Netherlands in 1969, put in quarantine for at least thirty days.
Since the discovery of MARV in August 1967 the virus is first identified on 20th November of the same year, three months after the outbreak had begun. The successful isolation of the virus were first reported to the scientific community at the Fourth Congreso Latinamericano de Microbiologia in Lima, Peru on the 26th of November 1967, followed by a publication in German language in; Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift on 22 December 1967.
According to the afore mentioned track of the green monkeys, the quarantine, the outbreak of MARV, its discovery, detection and isolation it is almost impossible, in fact it is not possible, that a German scientists are able to publish an article on the 22th of December 1967 named: ‘Zur Aetiologie einer unbekannten, von Affen ausgegangenen menschlichen Infektionskrankheit Dtsch Med Wochenschr (Stuttgart) in such a short period of time.
The conclusion is as simple as crystal clear; the virus must have existed before the outbreak in Marburg in order to use the genetic engineered virus, as performed by the Russians and Englishmen, for biological warfare purposes only. Within the next chapter I will describe this strange phenomenon because the first outbreak in laboratories took approximately ten years till the first outbreak became public in Nzara, Sudan and two months later in Yambuku, Zaire the former Belgian Congo.
In 1975 the virus reemerged in Johannesburg, South Africa in a person who had been traveling in Zimbabwe. Several other cases of Marburg occurred sporadically through 1980, all of patients who had been recently traveling in Africa. In 1998, an outbreak occurred in Congo amongst individuals who had been working in a gold mine. In all cases, attempts to isolate the virus from all locations were unsuccessful. The virus has been appearing sporadically throughout parts of Africa since. In Angola from October 2004 to August 2005 for instance, an outbreak of Marburg occurred leaving 329 of 374 infected people dead a mortality rate of eighty eight percent.
Siegert R, Shu HL, Slenczka W, Peters D, Mueller G. Zur Aetiologie einer unbekannten, von Affen ausgegangenen menschlichen infektionskrankheit Dtsch Med Wochenschr (Stuttgart) 1967; 92:2343, 2370.
Siegert R, Shu HL, Slenczka HL, Peters D, Muller G. The aetiology of an unknown human infection transmitted by monkeys; preliminarycommunication. Ger Med Mon 1968; 13:1–2.
Slenczka W, Shu HL, Piepenburg G, Siegert R. Antigen-Nachweis des “Marburg-Virus” in den Organen infizierter Meerschweinchen durchImmunofluoreszenz. Dtsch Med Wochenschr (Stuttgart) 1968; 93:612–6, 626.
Kunz C, Hofmann H, Kovac W, Stockinger L. Biologische und Morphologische Charakteristika des in Marburg aufgetretenen Haemorrhagischen Fiebers. Wien Klin Wochenschr 1968; 80:161–2.
Kissling RE, Robinson RQ, Murphy FA, Whitfield SG. Agent of disease contracted from green monkeys. Science 1968; 160:888–90.
To be continued…