Ebola Unlikely To Become Airborne, CDC, WHO Say

News outlets report on the public’s skepticism over the transmission of Ebola virus. Both the CDC and WHO have issued statements clarifying how the virus does and does not spread, saying the virus is unlikely to become airborne.

Financial Times: Experts reject fears Ebola could become airborne
“Virologists rejected suggestions on Tuesday that Ebola might mutate to become an airborne virus after a Spanish nurse became the [first] person to contract the virus outside of West Africa. The Ebola virus is transmitted between people only through physical contact with infected body fluids, particularly blood, feces, and vomit…” (Cookson, 10/7).

The Hill: CDC: Airborne Ebola possible but unlikely
“The Ebola virus becoming airborne is a possible but unlikely outcome in the current epidemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden said Tuesday. The outbreak involves Ebola Zaire, a strain that is passed through bodily fluids, not the air. But some experts have expressed fear about viral mutations due to the unprecedented — and rising — number of Ebola cases. Frieden sought to allay those fears during a call with reporters…” (Viebeck, 10/7).

Los Angeles Times: Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed
“U.S. officials leading the fight against history’s worst outbreak of Ebola have said they know the ways the virus is spread and how to stop it. They say that unless an air traveler from disease-ravaged West Africa has a fever of at least 101.5 degrees or other symptoms, co-passengers are not at risk. … Yet some scientists who have long studied Ebola say such assurances are premature — and they are concerned about what is not known about the strain now on the loose…” (Willman, 10/7).

USA Today: WHO: Ebola doesn’t spread through the air like a cold
“With some Americans on edge over the news of the country’s first Ebola patient, the World Health Organization issued a statement Monday clarifying how the virus does and doesn’t spread. … Many people are worried that they can catch Ebola because someone coughs on them. While this is a common way to catch the flu, it’s not a major concern for Ebola, the WHO says…” (Szabo, 10/6).

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