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Page #35

October 13, 2010
Carson City, Nevada

It was nice to drive up to MAs house again, the leaves are just starting to turn and this old historic neighborhood is something out of a movie set. It is the perfect home for Mother Abigail.

Her housekeeper was there to let me in and lead me to the library. It is still a wonderful and comfortable venue to sit in the afternoon and talk about the world. And when you discuss the world with MA you need to make certain you had a good breakfast, studied hard and listen closely.

MA came in looking very well and none the worse for wear, and that is a great relief to me.

MA: It is good to see you again.

Q: And equally good to see you MA. Are you feeling well?

MA: Fit as a fiddle.

Q: That's excellent. The last time I saw you was in the hospital and as we discussed on the phone - it was a bit scary.

MA: A bit frightening for me as well. Would you like tea or a cocktail?

Q: No MA I'm good.

MA: It is still too warm for a fire but one of the mornings soon it will be winter. I miss not going to the lake this summer but my Cardiologist reccomended I relax this year.

Q: The cabin will still be there next year.

Q: The first thing I would like to say is congratulations on uncovering the host of the Ebola Virus. Your post from April of 2004 is, I believe, the earliest identification of Rousettus aegyptiacus that I have found. You were not doing field work then, how did you arrive at that conclusion?

MA: Well, you are way to generous with your praise there were others, I assure you, who were looking at this species as a host reservoir as well. As to how - it just seemed the right fit for all the epidemiological clues that were available. Dr.Pourrut and his team have been working on this problem since 2003 and their work will probably stand as the definitive study unless we get further data.

Q: Perhaps they should have written about it sooner then. For as the facts stand (and I am always open to correction) your post about fruit bats as the natural reservoir predates their publication by five full years. And in 2007 you stated:

R. aegyptiacus - Carries both antibodies and viral RNA fragments - strongly suggesting that this bat species is the natural reservoir.

That is pretty definitive...

MA: It was my firm belief that the overlapping of the primates and fruit bats during the late season had to be the common transmission point.

Q: Bravo to you - it was early an early and correct diagnosis.