Yes, Ebola can be spread by inhalation, and yes the Government is preparing for "Inhalation Ebola". Just yesterday the President issued an executive order which allows the CDC to use the guise of infectious pneumonia to quarantine people for Ebola. And today New York held its largest ever unannounced pandemic response drill. Such drills are an effective way to stage logistical pandemic supplies without alerting the public.
To understand the risk of inhaled Ebola and why these actions have been taken, consider that two American medical missionaries appear to have come down with EBOLA by spraying down their protective clothing with disinfectant. It seems that the disinfectant spray aerosolized the infectious contamination on their protective clothing. Now consider what it means for the spread of EBOLA when the people spraying the disinfectant on their protective clothing die from that action.
It seems that this information resulted in the CDC issuing guidance to aircraft crews that focuses on suspected Ebola cases spreading Ebola by actions as minimal as "talking". CDC's guidance even warns against using compressed air to clean aircraft as it will result in the airborne spread of Ebola.
Its this airborne potentiality which makes EBOLA basically untreatable and un-quarantineable in anything but a very few Level 4 Biosafety facilities. Its a situation which has the potential to bring the majority of Zombie Apocalypse vignettists into play.
The current situation is grave enough to scare the pants off even Pentagon Planners. In that regard, If you're easily frightened, or can act without first thinking, now is a good time to stop reading this post as we explain the worst case "Red Team" scenario.
The act of attempting to treat Ebola victims becomes impossible outside of anything but a level 4 safety facility as it becomes impossible to decontaminate protective clothing without facing a large risk of becoming infected with Ebola. (This appears to be the situation now in Africa as international teams evacuate)
The 2nd or 3rd appearances of Ebola in the USA result in large numbers of people placed in quarantine under the guise of a 'viral pneumonia'. Experts will make claims that Ebola is not "airborne" while taking ethical solace that 'Inhalation Ebola' doesn't meet their technical definition of "airborne" even though the outcomes are similar. Such subterfuges are undertaken to avoid panic and uncontrolled disease spread. If such quarantine fails to stop the spread then whole cities are quarantined and travel is shut down.
At this point, no person with Ebola can expect treatment; and anyone with a fever (and their direct associates) can be expected to be rounded up and placed in isolation with Ebola victims. From this point onward if the spread of the disease is not stopped and death rates remain over 50%, Governments enact Zombie Apocalypse type rules as any potential victims are too high risk to keep alive.
Of course none of this means that the worst case will happen with Ebola, it just means that Governments are making contingencies to do what they believe is required under the worst case; and that alone should scare the crap out of you.
Our take:We don't expect Ebola to be Zombie Apocalyptic; our take is that the Powers-That-Be are currently more afraid of the damage from public panic than from the actual spread of the disease. Unfortunately this sets up a situation where the desire not to be truthful with the public places the public at risk and actually increases the probability of the worst case scenario playing out.
What this situation means is that wise people will realize that Public Health communications could rapidly go from "Everything is okay" to "Shut up and do what you are told". One should not expect to be able to make effective last minute logistical action IF things go bad.
Health Department Conducts the Largest No-Notice Emergency Response Exercise in New York City History
The scrub-down area where the disease was passed