Airborne Ebola Virus Unlikely But Possibility Exists, Experts Say

News outlets report on the possibility that Ebola could mutate into an airborne virus.

Reuters: Scientists see risk of mutant airborne Ebola as remote
“The Ebola virus raging through West Africa is mutating rapidly as it tears a deadly path through cities, towns, and villages, but the genetic changes are for now not giving it the ability to spread more easily. Concern that the virus could gain capability to transmit through the air … was fueled by a top infectious disease expert in the United States. … Yet many other virus and infectious disease specialists say that while the prospect of an airborne Ebola virus is not impossible, it is extremely remote…” (Kelland, 9/19).

Washington Post: What can we say about Ebola? (without starting a panic or making everyone mad)
“…[I]t’s hard to control the way [Michael] Osterholm’s message [warning about the possibility of airborne Ebola virus] is interpreted. His op-ed was discussed in Scientific American, Time magazine, the BBC, and this blog. What Osterholm wrote troubled some scientists, who feared that shifting the Ebola dialogue toward airborne transmission might distract people from the bigger picture — and might lead to distrust of the scientific community, too. But for Osterholm, risk management means talking about all sorts of situations, even the ones that seem unlikely now…” (Larimar, 9/17).

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