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The Ebola Outbreak is Airborne

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The official party line, offered by the World Health Organization, is that the Ebola virus spreading across Africa (and likely other parts of the world), is that it is spread by "direct contact" with infected body fluids.

"Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles."

I don't believe this, and neither should you. Ebola is behaving like an airborne disease, apparently infecting those who have taken reasonable precautions based on the old information still offered by the WHO. 

The number of people being monitored, and the number people under suspicion of infection as a result of a single person traveling to Port Harcourt, Nigeria tells of an airborne disease. In a period of less than a month, over 200 people are suspected to have been exposed, with 60 of them considered to be high risk. It is unlikely that the "patient zero" to Port Harcourt and his contacts had quite so many other contacts with broken skin and blood involved. The disease is wildly contagious.

The number of physicians who have known they were treating an Ebola patient, but have become infected nonetheless, tells us that the WHO is off the mark. It is relatively trivial for a properly trained physician to avoid getting infected body fluids in his or her open wounds and mucous membranes, as surgeons routinely perform surgery on AIDS patients without getting infected themselves. That basic care has resulted in hundreds of dead health workers suggests that Ebola is spreading by as-yet unidentified routes, most likely by airborne droplets.

The sheer number of people becoming infected at a time when most are well aware of the epidemic tells a different story than the WHO. In previous epidemics, quarantine of infected people and standard protective equipment were enough to contain fatalities to a few hundred. These measures appear to be ineffective, and the disease is behaving more like the flu than other Ebola epidemics.

The WHO, and other organizations, will continue to claim that Ebola is caused by direct contact until it becomes obvious that other routes of infection are also in action. Until this time comes, the epidemic will continue to worsen as people act with a false sense of security amidst serious risk of infection. 

Because the WHO doesn't know what is going on, or won't admit that its information may be wrong, people living in the affected zones should take proactive measures, like wearing face masks to avoid inhaling infectious aerosols being coughed or sneezed out by infected persons. Depending on a central authority for information is risky, because the WHO has a reputation to consider before raising the level of alarm. People in affected zones, however, have their own lives to consider before accepting the WHO party line as fact. 

Ebola, in the ongoing epidemic, appears to be acting airborne. How little it would cost everyone to behave as if this were the case.

Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.