The airborne spread of Ebola could spark a worldwide pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains that the deadly virus can only be spread via close contact and exposure to bodily fluids. A Public Health Agency of Canada statement appears to contradict the mode of transmission talking points often uttered by CDC officials – at least briefly.
An Ebola airborne transmission facts box published on the Public Health Agency of Canada's website on August 20. In the Ebola mode of transmission section, the text stated, "airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated."
The possibility that Ebola has gone airborne is a terrifying prospect for all the individuals who came in contact with Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Duncan came into contact with about 80 people after he arrived in the United States from Liberia. Duncan, 42, had come into close contact with a woman who died of Ebola just hours after he helped carry her home from the hospital.
Another man who had also aided the woman died as well. Exactly why Thomas Eric Duncan felt it was a good idea to get onto an airplane and travel after such exposure remains unknown. Even though Duncan reportedly told the medical staff at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that he had just traveled from Liberia, Ebola protocols were not reportedly followed and Duncan was released back into the public for several days. Although Duncan stated that he had just traveled from the Ebola outbreak epicenter, it is not clear if he informed the medical staff that he had carried an Ebola patient that died a short time later.
The Canadian Public Health Agency ultimately amended the Ebola airborne transmission text to a phrase which reads, "Airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates." The text reportedly refers to a 2012 scientific study which indicated that the Ebola virus "could" be transmitted via air between different species. "Researchers from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the country's Public Health Agency have shown that pigs infected with this form of Ebola can pass the disease on to macaques without any direct contact between the species," according to BBC News.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Director Michael T. Osterholm recently stated that virologists are "loathe to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private, the possibility that Ebola has gone airborne."
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