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“And it should be clear to all of us: This isn’t an epidemic anymore. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don’t just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, keeps and foodstuffs. Such an epidemic can destabilize entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad.”
Federal health officials rushed Friday to assure a frightened public that Ebola does not pose a serious threat in the U.S., even as the first — and thus far only — diagnosis on American soil exposed potential flaws in border screening, treatment and disposal of contaminated items. As Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who showed symptoms of the often-fatal disease shortly after arriving from Liberia, was in serious condition and being treated in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, relatives in Dallas resisted a quarantine amid reports that cleanup specialists were balking at disinfecting their home.
Ebola has been around for a long time and still has not mutated to the point to where people can get infected just by being the same room with someone who has it.
Well, we're not quite as sure of that as you suggest. There's an interesting story in [I]The Los Angeles Times[/I] that presents a variety of opinions on the subject. Here's one:
Finally, some also question the official assertion that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air. In late 1989, virus researcher Charles L. Bailey supervised the government's response to an outbreak of Ebola among several dozen rhesus monkeys housed for research in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington.
What Bailey learned from the episode informs his suspicion that the current strain of Ebola afflicting humans might be spread through tiny liquid droplets propelled into the air by coughing or sneezing.
"We know for a fact that the virus occurs in sputum and no one has ever done a study [disproving that] coughing or sneezing is a viable means of transmitting," he said. Unqualified assurances that Ebola is not spread through the air, Bailey said, are "misleading."
In late 1989, virus researcher Charles L. Bailey supervised the government's response to an outbreak of Ebola among several dozen rhesus monkeys housed for research in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington.