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Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak

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posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 07:21 PM
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Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak

The Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa has mutated repeatedly during the current outbreak, a fact that could hinder diagnosis and treatment of the devastating disease, according to scientists who have genetically sequenced the virus in scores of victims.
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Thursday’s study also details hundreds of genetic mutations that make the current Ebola outbreak different from any in the past. Some of those changes have the potential to affect the accuracy of diagnostic tests or the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments under development for the disease.


From the original source: Genomes reveal start of Ebola outbreak

The analysis reveals that the outbreak in Sierra Leone was sparked by at least two distinct viruses, introduced from Guinea at about the same time. It is unclear whether the herbalist was infected with both variants, or whether perhaps another funeral attendee was independently infected. One Ebola virus lineage disappears from patient samples taken later in the outbreak, while a third lineage appears. That lineage—tied to a nurse who was traveling to reach a hospital but died along the way—seems to have originated when one of the lineages present at the funeral gained a new mutation. This third lineage was spread, Garry says, via a truck driver who transported the nurse, as well as others who cared for her in the town where she died.

Further studies of the differences between the various Ebola lineages might link such mutations to the virus's behavior—how lethal it is, and how easily it spreads, for example. “The paper shows the unrealized potential of what these methods could do,” says Roman Biek, who studies the evolution and ecology of infectious diseases at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom.

This is a rather interesting update on the ebola outbreak. For those who have kept up a little bit, I believe there are also concerns it is now semi-airborne; however, I don't think officially confirmed or commented upon. I wonder how much longer this will go on and how much more it can mutate. Better question, can it mutate to the point where we will have a much harder time containing it in what is already described as an outbreak out of control?




posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 07:24 PM
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All this virus needs to do is to start an infection cycle in India or China....or any other densely populated country with meger medical facilities.....then it will span the globe....



posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 08:23 PM
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Thankfully, it could also mutate into something non lethal but it's a crapshoot.

The CDC and WHO will NEVER admit that this is spread by air after saying it wasn't, even if it means whole cities will get exposed first. These are the same minds that gave us 'the air is safe to breathe' after 9-11.



posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 08:29 PM
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Well F**k....that sucks. WHO 'd a thunk that Ebola was highly communicable? CDC??

Thanks, MSF, you did your best!



posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 08:43 PM
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Read some of the detailed accounts of Ebola in the depths of the Congo. It burned its way through whole villages in a few weeks' time, only being stopped because of the remoteness of the area, often hours downstream from anything remotely resembling civilization.

It's out now and it's in cities with 10s of thousands of inhabitants. It's like letting Dracula loose in a bloodbank.

There's also nothing to prevent it from mutating dozens of different ways; some forms may be mild and confer immunity, others may kill in hours like the Spanish Flu did in 1918-19 (my grandmother's brother reportedly died a few days after his high school graduation; a strapping young man, he was fine at breakfast, sick at lunchtime and dead by dinner).

Think of Ebola as a domino game with millions of dominos set up all over the planet now. They will fall in any number of ways, completely randomly.



posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 08:49 PM
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originally posted by: stirling
All this virus needs to do is to start an infection cycle in India or China....or any other densely populated country with meger medical facilities.....then it will span the globe....


This coming fall when international students go all over the world to start university is what I worry about. Once they are on those planes, with recirculated air, anything airborne will spread.

And it's easy to prove that air circulates. In the past, I've peeled an orange/tangerine while on a flight and people could tell that someone was eating a tangerine from five rows away.



posted on Aug, 28 2014 @ 08:54 PM
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originally posted by: stirling
All this virus needs to do is to start an infection cycle in India or China....or any other densely populated country with meger medical facilities.....then it will span the globe....


I think it would have the same effects in the U.S. and perhaps U.K. due to many hospitals not having enough resources and staff...not to mention, look at how superbugs spread in hospitals. The first confirmed case in the U.S., particulary in my state MN, I am heading to where I grew up in MT...around nothing where hardly anybody travels outside the state.




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