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Could Ebola now be airborne? New research shows lethal virus can be spread from pigs to monkeys without contact
Findings come as scores of Ugandans are isolated in latest outbreak
Untreatable virus causes internal bleeding and multiple organ failure
Previously thought to be transmitted only by direct contact
....It was previously thought the untreatable virus, which causes massive internal bleeding and multiple organ failure, could only be transmitted through contact with infected blood.
But now Canadian researchers have carried out experiments showing how monkeys can catch the deadly disease from infected pigs without coming into direct contact.
...The virus is known to be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
...Experts say this extreme virulence is its weak spot. The virus can be contained because it kills its victims faster than it can spread to new ones. However, if the disease is now airborne it could make containment more difficult.
....Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg deliberately infected six piglets with the ebola virus and put them in pens where macaque monkeys were housed in wire cages.
Within eight days all four monkeys caught the virus through indirect contact, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
...large droplets of moisture containing the virus were being exhaled with the piglets' breath.
'They can stay in the air, but not long, they don't go far,' he told the broadcaster. 'But they can be absorbed in the airway and this is how the infection starts, and this is what we think, because we saw a lot of evidence in the lungs of the non-human primates that the virus got in that way.'
Further work is needed but the findings are worrying as macaques are close genetic relatives to humans, said the researchers.
We do not have enough Ebola outbreaks for it to reach that level of mutation.
Animal to animal is not scary.
reply to post by signalfire
Not to mention door knobs they have touched, money that they have held, and just anything they have touched...
Things spread quick that way. When I was a cashier I watched a few times as people would catch flues and different infections just from holding a credit card or money from someone who was sick...
Thank god for hand sanitizer !
Filoviruses are not naturally transmitted by aerosol. They are, however, highly infectious as breathable 0.8–1.2 micrometre droplets in laboratory conditions