Tuesday, April 1, 2014

[UPDATED] EBOLA Just 1 Gaëtan Dugas Away for North America; Africa's Outlook Is Bleak

Update 8/3/14:

Based on CDC warnings to hospitals and flight crews, Ebola may be transmitted via inhalation.
Meaning even small amounts of aerosolized Ebola can kill. Additionally, post recovery testing on Ebola Zaire survivors shows that transmittable levels of virus remain in semen for 91 days after infection.
Because of this data, we now suspect the North American Ebola Risk is higher, and the outlook for Africa is bleak

Former title:

Until Gaëtan Dugas or Other Flying Rats Catch Ebola, The North American Risk Remains Low 

As we reported in a previous post, Ebola has finally gotten enough out of hand in Africa that the US Government is now willing to license an experimental Ebola vaccine based on the the Rabies virus.
The driver for this policy shift seems to be based on the unusual and some what rapid geographic spread of Ebola in Africa.

What we  know of Ebola is that it generally has the same promulgation vectors as the AIDS virus, with the additive effect of being able to jump across species. Moreover, Ebola is much less fragile than the AIDS virus, it can be passed by causal, passing transient contact with body fluids. But EBOLA operates in a different infectious time domain compared to AIDS; Ebola can take as long as 1-2 months to kill and spread from time of infection.

Given the inter state spread of Ebola in Africa, if it continues to spread, it means that EBOLA has likely gotten a foot hold either the food supply or among philandering truck drivers. From that perspective, the threat to North American is Ebola hitching a ride into the continent via another proverbial Gaëtan Dugas. Dugas being AIDS' infamous flight attendant "patient zero".

However even if EBOLA made it into North America, it would have to hang around long enough to find a way into a native wild host before it could remain a continuous threat. So barring some mutation, Ebola does not seem to be a massive threat in North America to anyone who does not intermingle with large populations of individuals who are disposed to transiently contacting bodily fluids on a frequent basis. And in this sense, frequent, means many times per day.

However if you fall into that category of  "frequent", you might wish to consider using Chlorhexidine Gluconate aka Hibiclens as a risk mitigation item.

Updated Sources:

ALERT! CDC Warns Hospitals On EBOLA "CONTAMINATED AIR" and Directs use of "Airborne Infection Isolation Room"s

Inhalation Ebola: Governments Ready For World War Ebola


US Licensing LIVE Rabies Based EBOLA Vaccine, Preps Pandemic Quarantine Stations &  Injury Fund

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