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Growing concerns over 'in the air' transmission of Ebola

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posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 09:53 AM

Canadian scientists have shown that the deadliest form of the ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species.

In experiments, they demonstrated that the virus was transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact between them.

link to published paper

Here we show ZEBOV transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques without direct contact. Interestingly, transmission between macaques in similar housing conditions was never observed. Piglets inoculated oro-nasally with ZEBOV were transferred to the room housing macaques in an open inaccessible cage system. All macaques became infected. Infectious virus was detected in oro-nasal swabs of piglets, and in blood, swabs, and tissues of macaques. This is the first report of experimental interspecies virus transmission, with the macaques also used as a human surrogate. Our finding may influence prevention and control measures during EBOV outbreaks.

Well that makes a lovely bio weapon then doesn't it. Also there is another new outbreak in Uganda.

posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 10:09 AM
Ebola will never make a good bioweapon. It kills too fast to spread very far, and it doesn't survive long outside of the body. It would take a major bioweapons project to make it into any kind of decent weapon. Someone might eventually make it into one, but it won't be easy.

posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 10:39 AM
reply to post by johnb

On the matter of of air transmission,USAMRID knew about that back in the '90s.They had proved back then it could jump in aerosol form.It's how it spread to those monkeys in the lab that the army had to nuke.

On it surviving for long outside of bodies? Well at USAMRID they were shocked to find that when they purposely left it sit on level 4 bioweapons lab counter, it appeared to 'die' only to come back alive when introduced to monkey cells again.

I read a very interesting book called the 'Hot Zone' back then about it,and what all they did to contain it and hunt down its natural host.They were pretty sure it had to come out of Ketchum Cave in africa but could never find the source after going there and trying.

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 06:07 PM
reply to post by Dimithae

Here is some more info...

The book "The Hot Zone" was written about an incident at a primate quarantine facility in Reston Virginia. What happened was that the facility, whose purpose was to quarantine incoming primates for research labs and the pet trade, received a shipment of monkeys and they started to die from the Ebola virus. Then it got worse as the virus started to spread through the air system from room to room which means it was something previously unheard of. an airborne strain of Ebola.. Scarier still, it was 100% fatal. But wait, there's more. When the CDC took samples back to the lab for testing it tested positive as the Ebola Zaire human strain. This last fact was made pretty clear in the book but was glossed over in the movie.

The building was eventually torn down sometime in the 80's.

As it turned out we dodged a pretty big bullet on that one. Even though it tested positive as the Zaire strain, it wasn't. It had little or no effect on humans. But testing positive as a human strain, and air transmissible as well, was as close a call as I ever hope to see.

The virulence and infection rate of this particular strain was so high that if it had been a human form there would have been no way to stop it from decimating a sizable portion of the human race. Even on the best life support equipment the death rate is over 90% for some strains. But in a true pandemic, or even just an epidemic, the hospitals would quickly run out of life support machines and new patients would be left to die.

This particular strain has already been discovered in pig populations in some areas. This is frightening because pigs are the perfect mutation labs for viruses. Infect a pig with two or more viruses and you will soon see mutations combining traits of all of them. The only good thing is that the vast majority of these mutations are not viable and are no danger. However, all it takes is just one mutation to take off and multiply to start an epidemic.

If such a mutation takes place and leaves the Ebola virus just as deadly as before but gives it the ability to spread like the common cold we are going to be in the deep weeds.

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