Alexandria,LA Examiner, February 22, 2015- While Virologist says that the Ebola virus “will not become a respiratory pathogen” plenty of other reports with backed scientific data are reporting something entirely different.
As a matter of fact, experts say that it “very likely” the virus will have the ability to spread through airborne particles. All of the new data debunks what many feel were attempts to control public panic moving the chances from slim to none to very likely.
It was actually when the Ebola virus was at its peak in West Africa that public health authorities started admitting this deadly virus may be airborne. They compared transmission to that of chicken pox or measles. With the current outbreak of measles we have living example of how that might work.
It has been proven that to some degree Ebola is spread through infectious aerosols from sneezing,vomit or through coughing.
It has been concluded that the Ebola virus is evolving, and it has the “potential to evolve” into a full blown airborne virus. As a matter of fact it has the potential to become classified as a respiratory virus. Coming into contact with “super spreaders” at this point could possibly take out entire towns.
The data shows that “aerosol inhalation occurring both close to and far away from any infectious sources.” Furthermore, vomiting can also produce infectious aerosols with the virus living around “100 minutes” in this aerosol state.
In conclusion, with the new data even the weather itself could effect the spread of a respiratory Ebola strand. Super Spreaders would be catastrophically dangerous, to the point that no conclusions can yet be drawn as to the devastation that may be expected under these circumstances. You would not have to be “near” the infected individual to be sick, and if you enter the room where they sneezed in less that 100 minutes you may be walking in to a mist of active Ebola pathogens.
Still, there are a significant amount of scientists and medical professionals arguing that they do not think it will become airborne to that extreme. Linda Dickey, RN and infection preventionist at the University of California, is one of those professionals that are more inclined to believe that it will not be as infections as what is being reported in the new studies.
Linda Dickey released a statement saying that “”When somebody might have Ebola in their sputum or in their vomit, you’re going to create droplets. I don’t think anyone would dispute that when you have direct contact with droplets on mucus membrane, you have transmission. In a sense that’s sort of like contact, it’s just contact with large droplets.” She went on to say, “You’d think epidemiologically and empirically that we’d see a lot more cases in the community if it were truly spread in the air over long distances,; the epidemiologic evidence indicates contact spread, and droplets are certainly implicated with that, but I don’t see the evidence for true airborne spread.”
The only question that remains is, “what information can be trusted?”
If Ebola poses no threat as a respiratory virus then why all the gear, and why dose the CDC recommends wearing powered air-purifying respirators when doing aerosol-generating procedures with Ebola patients to protect them from droplets?
The new data is not only supported by fact and studies but in things that was reported throughout the South Africa outbreak. While it is understandable that as little information as possible be reported to avoid panic, not releasing needed preventative information backed by facts is merely an accident waiting to happen.