There is lot of debate in the blogosphere about whether Ebola is an airborne virus. We have previously highlighted the Canadian independent study where it was shown that pigs could pass Ebola to monkeys without physical contact. We have also featured the CDC release which clearly warned of infectious material through the air and urged that precautionary steps be taken in the commercial airline industry.
Still, no one seems to be willing to go on record and admit what many already suspect, that Ebola is in fact an airborne transmissible disease.
The latest information comes in the form of a research report and video from “Pissin on the Roses” blog. The gathered information would seem to suggest that the chances of Ebola going airborne are going to be greatest this winter.
Here is the video description:
According to the Center for Aerobiological Sciences, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland:
(1) Ebola has an aerosol stability that is comparable to Influenza-A
(2) Much like Flu, Airborne Ebola transmissions need Winter type conditions to maximize Aerosol infection
“Filoviruses, which are classified as Category A Bioterrorism Agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA), have stability in aerosol form comparable to other lipid containing viruses such as influenza A virus, a low infectious dose by the aerosol route (less than 10 PFU) in NHPs, and case fatality rates as high as ~90% .”
“The mode of acquisition of viral infection in index cases is usually unknown. Secondary transmission of filovirus infection is typically thought to occur by direct contact with infected persons or infected blood or tissues. There is no strong evidence of secondary transmission by the aerosol route in African filovirus outbreaks. However, aerosol transmission is thought to be possible and may occur in conditions of lower temperature and humidity which may not have been factors in outbreaks in warmer climates . At the very least, the potential exists for aerosol transmission, given that virus is detected in bodily secretions, the pulmonary alveolar interstitial cells, and within lung spaces”
Its clear that when Ebola is in the air it is at least as hardy as Influenza. Its also clear that coughing and sneezing is what makes Influenza airborne; the same should be expected of Ebola.
Moreover, just as sun, heat, and humidity along the Earths’ Equatorial regions serve to ‘burn’ Influenza out of the air, the same should be expected of Ebola. The difference with Ebola is that physical contact with even the tiniest amounts of infected bodily fluid can cause infection, hence unlike flu it also readily spreads in equatorial regions. When Ebola spreads to the regions of the Earth which experience Fall and Winter Flu seasons, airborne Ebola infectious routes are to be expected in conjunction with direct contact infection.
Ebola has the capability to infect pretty much every cell in the entire human respiratory tract. Similarly, our skin offers little resistance to even the smallest amounts of Ebola. How much airborne transmission will occur will be a function of how well Ebola induces coughing and sneezing in its victims in cold weather climates. Coughing and nasal bleeding are both reported symptoms in Africa, so the worst should be expected. In that regard, co-infections with Flu, Cold, or even seasonal Allergies will readily transform Ebola victims into biowarefare factories.
Unlike Flu, a person need not inhale airborne Ebola to be infected via airborne transmission. Merely walking through an airspace (or touching the objects therein) where an Ebola victim has coughed or sneezed is potentially enough for a cold weather infection to occur. As such, all indicators are that Ebola’s potential rate of infectious spread in cold weather climates is EXPLOSIVELY greater than what is occurring in Equatorial Africa
Given that the experts are keenly aware that most mutations lead to viral dead ends and given the ARMY’s public research documents make such a clear case that the Ebola airborne risk is here and now, the question remains: why are the experts pushing a “future mutation” fear on the public?
The primary benefits of the media mutation gambit are:
1) When the public becomes aware Ebola is airborne, the public will default to blaming a mutation rather blaming the experts for having prior knowledge of Ebola’s transmissability
2) A scary future fear makes for great immediate fund raising from a public seeking to avoid it.
3) The expert clique comes down hard on experts that do anything which is perceived to immediately raise public fear, an accurate warning to the public can immediately negatively affect a forthright expert’s budget and prestige
4) Public knowledge of imminent Public Health threats negatively affects supply chains and the logistics planned responses
The next time some expert pushes the Ebola mutation risk ask them to specify exactly what mutations would be required to do as they claim. When they refuse, ask why experts spelled out the mutation steps of Avian Influenza and why they won’t for Ebola. The answer is: Ebola can already infect pretty much every cell in the human respiratory system.
For those who want to do further research, here are the source links that POTR provides:
Whether you agree with this interpretation, or not, it would be wise to be prepared to make it through a potentially rough winter. Thinking you are smart enough to “out think” the virus is not wise. After all, things have been somewhat unpredictable thus far.
You should be prepared to self-quarantine to keep your family safe. Even if Ebola does not hit America this winter, there are plenty of other threats, including the respiratory illness that has been sweeping across the country and infecting America’s children.
I would urge you to have a talk with your family and think about common sense preparations for this winter. We are loading up on more water and non-perishable food. If money is tight, as it is for most, simply do what we are doing. Prioritize things that you will use anyway. We are getting things like extra diapers and non-perishable foods that we won’t mind eating even if there is no outbreak. It doesn’t have to hurt financially if you buy things that you will use anyway. Please do something. This is no time to roll the dice.