What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, NYT OpEd, Air Transmission

What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, NYT OpEd, Air Transmission

MINNEAPOLIS —The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.

There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in charge of the crisis at this time.

There are two possible future chapters to this story that should keep us up at night.

The first possibility is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to megacities in other regions of the developing world. This outbreak is very different from the 19 that have occurred in Africa over the past 40 years. It is much easier to control Ebola infections in isolated villages. But there has been a 300 percent increase in Africa’s population over the last four decades, much of it in large city slums. What happens when an infected person yet to become ill travels by plane to Lagos, Nairobi, Kinshasa or Mogadishu — or even Karachi, Jakarta, Mexico City or Dhaka?

The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air. You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. But viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next. The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.  Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/opinion/what-were-afraid-to-say-about-ebola.html?_r=0

The question of air transmission has suppressed.  It is known that it can occur.  An AUN-TV article earlier in the outbreak said this:

In a 2012 scientific study reported in Nature in 2012, the most serious strain Ebola Zaire was proven to travel without contact with any bodily fluids  Ebola Zaire jumped through the air from infected piglets to macaque monkeys in a proven experimental context.  One should recall that the virus originated in monkeys and jumped to humans.   “All it takes is one cough, one sneeze, one drop of saliva, and the virus is loose in one of the main transportation centers of the U.S.,” journalist Paul Craig Roberts wrote.

Contact with bodily fluids was not required for transmission of the infection in the Reston incident.  On October 4, 1989, Ebola-infected monkeys from the Philippines (a crab-eating type of macaque) were imported as laboratory animals into Reston, Virginia, only 22 miles from The White House populated business center straddling major commuting routes straight into the Nation’s Capitol.   “The Ebola Reston virus jumped quickly from room to room… Ebola apparently drifted through the building’s air-handling ducts.” Ileana Johnson reports.

Two (2) of the 100 monkeys arrived dead in their crates when the Ebola-infected animals arrived at the monkey house called the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit operated by Hazelton Research Products, a division of Corning, Inc.   Within 6 weeks, 29 more died.  It took nearly 7 weeks for an intern Thomas Geisbert to discover that the cause was Ebola — in fact, a new Ebola Reston, a mutated strain of Ebola Zaire.  Two monkey handlers got sick, one had a heart attack and another one was sent to the Fairfax Hospital with flu like symptoms and vomiting.  http://aun-tv.com/ebola-already-in-the-usa-across-mexican-border-doctor-alleges/

That fact so many doctors with protective gear have contacted Ebola is a sign they got it through the air.

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