The latest Ebola outbreak has claimed almost 900 lives in West Africa.
Despite warnings from health officials villagers in West Africa continue to purchase and eat bats, rodents and bush meat.

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.
Ebola Virus

Scientists report that Ebola may be present in more animals than previously thought. So far, it has been detected in chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, antelopes, porcupines, rodents, dogs, pigs and humans.

Now this…
Several studies show the deadly virus may spread through airborne transmission—

In 2012 investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.

The National Institute of Health reported on the potential airborne transmission of the disease.
ebola transmission medline

Abstract
The potential of aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head-only exposure aerosol system. Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 microns were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days. The illness was clinically identical to that reported for parenteral virus inoculation, except for the occurrence of subcutaneous and venipuncture site bleeding and serosanguineous nasal discharge. Immunocytochemistry revealed cell-associated Ebola virus antigens present in airway epithelium, alveolar pneumocytes, and macrophages in the lung and pulmonary lymph nodes; extracellular antigen was present on mucosal surfaces of the nose, oropharynx and airways. Aggregates of characteristic filamentous virus were present within type I pneumocytes, macrophages, and air spaces of the lung by electron microscopy. Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.

Lancet also reported on the airborne transmission of Ebola:
ebola transmission lancet

Abstract:
Secondary transmission of Ebola virus infection in humans is known to be caused by direct contact with infected patients or body fluids. We report transmission of Ebola virus (Zaire strain) to two of three control rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that did not have direct contact with experimentally inoculated monkeys held in the same room. The two control monkeys died from Ebola virus infections at 10 and 11 days after the last experimentally inoculated monkey had died. The most likely route of infection of the control monkeys was aerosol, oral or conjunctival exposure to virus-laden droplets secreted or excreted from the experimentally inoculated monkeys. These observations suggest approaches to the study of routes of transmission to and among humans.

Even OSHA reported on the possible transmission of Ebola through aerosol droplets.
osha ebola

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: In an outbreak, it is hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected as a result of contact with an infected animal (15). Person-to-person transmission occurs via close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection or after death (1, 2, 15, 27). Nosocomial infections can occur through contact with infected body fluids due to the reuse of unsterilized syringes, needles, or other medical equipment contaminated with these fluids (1, 2). Humans may be infected by handling sick or dead non-human primates and are also at risk when handling the bodies of deceased humans in preparation for funerals, suggesting possible transmission through aerosol droplets (2, 6, 28). In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1, 6, 13). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear. Poor hygienic conditions can aid the spread of the virus (6).

INCUBATION PERIOD: Two to 21 days, more often 4 – 9 days (1, 13, 14).

We may just be seeing the start of a colossal outbreak.

Hat Tip Warren

UPDATE: I spoke with my cousin Dr. Dan Hoft M.D. Ph.D. an expert in infectious disease at St. Louis University Hospital. Dan is the Director of the new Division of Immunobiology. Dan helped save my life last year during my battle with a Strep infection that caused several strokes, put out an eye and damaged my heart. So, obviously, I trust him with my life.

Dr. Dan told me there has never been a documented case of airborne transmission of Ebola. However, he is concerned with the spread of this strain in West Africa. He will keep me updated if he hears more on this epidemic.

 

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