Read This to Get a Better Understanding of How Ebola Spreads

Celine Gounder, Reuters, October 13, 2014

{snip} Many, including CDC Director Tom Frieden, are questioning how the nurse became infected despite wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, which should have shielded her from direct contact with Duncan and his bodily fluids.

Once again, the specter of airborne Ebola is being raised.

No virus that causes disease in humans has ever been known to mutate to change its mode of transmission. This means it is highly unlikely that Ebola has mutated to become airborne. It is, however, droplet-borne–and the distinction between the two is crucial.

Doctors mean something different from the public when they talk about a disease being airborne. To them, it means that the disease-causing germs are so small they can live dry, floating in the air for extended periods, thus capable of traveling from person to person at a distance. When inhaled, airborne germs make their way deep into the lungs.

Chickenpox, measles and tuberculosis are airborne diseases. Droplets of mucus and other secretions from the nose, mouth and respiratory tract transmit other diseases, including influenza and smallpox.

When someone coughs, sneezes or, in the case of Ebola, vomits, he releases a spray of secretions into the air. This makes the infection droplet-borne.  Some hospital procedures, like placing a breathing tube down a patient’s air passage to help him breathe, may do the same thing.

Droplet-borne germs can travel in these secretions to infect someone a few feet away, often through the eyes, nose or mouth. This may not seem like an important difference, but it has a big impact on how easily a germ spreads. Airborne diseases are far more transmittable than droplet-borne ones.


In 1995, more than 300 people became sick with Ebola in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Disease detectives were unable to determine how 12 of the patients were exposed–again raising questions about the possibility of airborne transmission. But if Ebola could be transmitted through the air, at least some family members of Ebola patients should have gotten sick even without direct contact. That didn’t happen.

Ebola struck again in 2000, this time affecting more than 400 people in Gulu, Uganda. Not all had direct contact with another Ebola patient. Bedding and mattresses seemed to be one source of infection. So did sharing a meal with an Ebola patient–which often meant using fingers to eat from the same plate. Each had in common likely exposure to infected bodily fluids.


For Ebola Zaire [the strand of Ebola affecting West Africa] to become airborne in humans, it would need to cause lung disease significant enough to release lots of virus into respiratory secretions. The virus would then need to survive outside the body, dried and in sunlight for a prolonged time. And it would need to be able to infect another person more than a couple feet away.

There’s no evidence from previous epidemics or laboratory experiments that Ebola Zaire behaves in this way. Although the virus is mutating as the Ebola epidemic continues to grow in West Africa, it has multiple hurdles to overcome in order to become airborne.


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  • “Kerchoo”!

    • Bunky

      Love it ;D
      But it’s better if (the POS in POTUS) obola is standing next to you.

    • thegodsofeden

      Stop (cough) it! Next time…oh, my head hurts…cover your (sniff, sniff), mouth please.

  • MekongDelta69

    “How to Get a Better Understanding of How Ebola Spreads”

    1. Don’t go to Africa
    2. Don’t let Africans come here

    I think we’re done here…

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    Look how quickly we recently banned flights to Israel due to a potential threat far less dangerous than Ebola but we continue to let these Africans come here.

    • Cid Campeador

      That was just another way for Obama to show his disdain for Bibi.
      They probably have a ban on flights by Tibetan Lamas.
      Both the Dalai and Netanyahu were ushered out of the White House where the Dumpster are.

  • Question:

    Is there any possibility that there are racial differences in the way Ebola affects a person?

    • SentryattheGate

      While the elites tell us that race is a “social construct”, healthcare researchers know that there are differences in how the races react to diseases and medicines.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Perhaps. It is curious that two nurses got sick and Duncan’s family has not been reported as ill. Health officials are monitoring them daily. He was vomiting and had diarrhea and the sweats for a few days before he was taken to the hospital by EMTs.

      Who knows?
      All of this lying is an impediment to learning the answers to pertinent questions such as yours that could save lives.

      • none of your business

        The condition of his family is kept secret by the media and government. Some could be already dead for all we know.
        All the reports about Ms Pham say she is doing well. There was a picture of her on the internet. Actually, a picture of the container she is in . It is an adult size plastic container. It has holes with flexible plastic tubes for workers to care for her. They have at least double if not triple looking gloves and are further protected by the plastic tubes. This means her body fluids are leaking. And if she is doing so well why has she been transferred to a special hospital in Atlanta?

    • The All Seeing Bry

      I’m certainly no doctor but my theory is that many of the negros in Africa contract Ebola easier because their immune system is weakened and under attack from the AIDS virus. It would be interesting to do a study of whom with Ebola also has AIDS in Africa. Just a thought.

      • Tuberculosis is also very common in Africa. It seems possible that people with damaged lungs would be more vulnerable to catching Ebola by inhaling fine droplets from coughs or sneezes nearby.

  • “Read This to Get a Better Understanding of How Ebola Spreads”

    Well, for a start, two out of our first three cases were negroes who deliberately got onto planes when they knew or had reason to know they’d been exposed and might well be sick.

    • none of your business

      Actually, Amber Vinson was cleared by the CDC for both flights. She was not even on the original list of 70 workers who were exposed to Duncan. A wedding is not as important as not spreading ebola, but she is getting married soon back home in Ohio. She and her Mother are planning the wedding long distance, but there are things the bride just has to be there.
      It’s not her fault. She did ask the CDC and was cleared both times. For the return flight she called CDC three times and was okayed all three times. Can’t trust what her friends and relatives said, but the clerk at the bridal shop said she showed no signs of sickness. Of course ebola worsens very fast.

      • A Freespeechzone

        I disagree, Amber Vinson is a nurse and should have known that being exposed to Duncan could have put her at risk.

        She should have used common sense, to hell with the CDC; she had a fever!

        When we have a CDC that is clueless and healthcare workers equally as clueless, we are in deep trouble..

  • SentryattheGate

    Yet another reason to oppose Agenda 21 and it’s goal of forcing most people to use public transportation! The elites (while preaching global warming) will continue to have their private cars, limos, private jets, etc. while we get exposed to all kinds of diseases that die-versity brings us!

    • Public transportation also exposes us to unprovoked attacks by “yoofs”. I don’t mind using the city bus here, but I always carry pepper spray and a box-cutter with me. One aspect to Colorado Springs bus service I very much like is that it ends at 7:00 PM. This means that while shopping in the evening, the Wal Mart and the Chapel Hills Mall are rather devoid of “yoofs”.

      The major disease worry I have about public transportation is multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.

  • dd121

    I know the left doesn’t want Ebola to be about blacks, but it IS about blacks. The black president who won’t quarantine Africa; the black Africans who eat tainted bush meat; the black patients who lie to come to this country from Africa to seek treatment; the black nurse who wouldn’t protect her fellow Americans by not getting on an airplane when she knew she could be sick.

    It’s started off being ALL about blacks, hence race.

    • Truthseeker

      Once it’s about Blacks, all reason goes out the window. It becomes a rush not to offend them in any way, shape or form, and to avoid at all costs the thought that they might be different from us.

    • none of your business

      CDC cleared her for both flights. She called them 3 times before the flight back to Texas and was cleared each time.

      • dd121

        I’ll take your word that’s what happened. It’s so hard to get the truth out of the media when it doesn’t fit their agenda that I’m suspicious of everything that’s reported..

      • Assuming that is true, she only called because she knew something was wrong. I don’t call the CDC before my flights, but I also have not been around Ebola-infected Africans. She selfishly made the choice to risk other people for her own agenda.

      • Ella

        Has this so-called trained nurse thought about visiting a live Dr. rather than calling CDC for permission to possibly expose other passengers in flight with Ebola? When did medical officials now examine and diagnose over the phone????? She was stupid and irresponsible if the story was true.

  • me

    So, there’s a difference between ‘air borne’ and ‘droplet borne’, that sails through the air? Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining! Oh, this just gives me more reason to trust our ‘government’ and their ‘expert’ lackeys. No need to close the border, kiddies! This ebola threat is ‘droplet borne’. This kind of lying stupidity and slimy propaganda should cause their heads to explode whenever it gets regurgitated out of their filthy gobs.

    • none of your business

      Breath and water vapor are basically the same thing.

      • me

        Hey, you’re smarter than 99.9% of our ‘experts’ and ‘government officials’. Don’t get a big head, now. Most chimps are as well–including me. Do you ever get the feeling that our ‘government’ is lying to us?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    But…. according to the CDC, Ebola is not contagious until after the Nov 4 elections…

    Back on Planet Earth..…Ebola Days have arrived!!

    “Ohio Schools, business closings announced over Ebola concerns”

    AKRON, Ohio — Akron school officials announced that Resnik CLC was closed Thursday as a precaution after a student’s mother had contact with Ebola patient Amber Vinson.

    BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — The PNC Bank processing center in Brecksville will be closed today as a precaution after learning an employee traveled on one of the same planes as the latest Ebola patient the morning after the patient’s flight.

    SOLON, Ohio — Two Solon schools were closed Thursday as a precaution, after the district learned a Solon Middle School staff member traveled home from Dallas on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but possibly the same aircraft,

    WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio- Warrensville Heights City Hall, except for the police and fire departments, will be closed until Friday, Oct. 17, as a precaution.

    Also, LeBron James has asked to be traded back to Miami.

    • me

      This has to be on purpose. Not even that half-breed could be that stupid.

      • dd121

        I certainly give him the benefit of the doubt. I think everything he does is deliberate, thought out, and cognizant of the probable outcome.

        • me

          Evil, stupid, or both. I don’t like him. I didn’t vote for him. And a curse on those people who did. We’ll be lucky if we don’t all get ebola because of this racist bigot.

        • While Preident Oogabooga is smarter than the average bear (literally), he is also extremely narcissistic. This neatly explains his appointment as an “Ebola Czar” Ron Klain. Klain is by training a lawyer and not any sort of epidemiologist.

          Does this Klain clown anticipate filing a lawsuit against the Ebola filovirus?

          • thegodsofeden

            Klain was ‘Chief of Staff’ to Biden and the one who signed off on Prez Ooga’s support for the loan that went to the now defunct Solyndra. Crony-Capitalistic-Communism at it’s finest.

  • none of your business

    Technically, even breath is water vapor. I don’t know if the black death was germs or virus. It began as blood infected by fleas but within months changed to air borne infections which of course infected many,many more.
    Eyes water continuously and that is bodily fluids. Allergy season is ending and cold and flue season is beginning. Plenty of water droplets.

  • Anon

    It’s difficult to address articles like this due to a lack of information among most people and active disinformation by the writers of the article and even primary sources.

    For example. TB is neither airborn or viral. And its primary manifestation isn’t as a lung infection. It is related to ebola (and ONLY mentioned because of this) in a way not stated in the article. It’s primarily a sexually transmitted disease. No…not the only way it is transmitted but that is the primary way…the most common way.

    At least TB is a legitimate pathogen. Ebola is not. Like HIV, it is not caused by a living organism. Essentially, it is a poison which interferes with and manifests through genetic expression. This is a vital point that takes many years of studying viruses to appreciate. The difference between this and an outright invasive pathogen is subtle yet profound.

    A bacteria that infects a person is doing what it is supposed to. The result is disease but that’s normal. A virus is not supposed to cause disease. It’s not supposed to transmit from person to person at all. That it does is not normal. The disease function is caused by and exactly limited to abnormal behavior that should not exist.

    Legitimate diseases are limited in scope. AIDS and ebola are not. Everyone can get a legitimate disease. Not so with AIDS and ebola. These diseases are, for the most part, limited to cannibals (whole cities in liberia have been wiped out), junkies and sodomites. Unfortunately, ebola seems ALOT easier to catch from a junky or sodomite than AIDS.

    One can clearly see that ebola is on the cusp of running rampant in the following populations….blacks, addicts, sodomites and in the prisons.

    When this happens, much is going to change in our society. Ebola kills people fast. None of this, 20 years later, after everyone has forgotten them, the victim quietly passes in hospital somewhere. About half survive but the other half die. And risk infecting anyone around them.

    Which begs the question. How many specialized containment units are there in the US to handle to problem? The answer is 63. In the entire US, only 63 beds are set aside in an appropriate environment to contain such an infection. Already, at least one texas hospital has closed its emergency room in fear that contaminated third worlders will kill their doctors while no one knows they are infected.

    Already the first liberals are catching ebola as they attempt to “save” these people from themselves. After they start to die, that attitude is going to vanish to be replaced with a leper colony mentality.

  • dd121

    Reply to Glenn: (who’s post isn’t active)

    Thanks for researching and reporting this. There’s more information contained in this post than EVERYTHING the msm has reported about Ebola. I know the press is trying to play down the danger, but come on people, in the end this isn’t about political correctness, it’s about our lives.

  • Alexandra1973

    The flu may be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency: http://articles(dot)mercola(dot)com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/25/vitamin-d-deficiency-is-why-you-get-flu.aspx

    That would explain why you’re more likely to get it in the winter months. Less exposure to sun.

    I don’t trust any of these talking heads to know what they’re talking about when it comes to infectious diseases. Bottom line is, all you can do is make sure you’re not deficient in any vitamin or mineral.

    • Juggernaut3000

      Interestingly, I just read where Obama takes Vitamin D as prescribed by his doctor for a Vitamin D deficiency.

      • Dark-skinned people don’t produce enough Vitamin D themselves in cloudy climates. This is why people in northern latitudes have light skin.

  • meanqueen

    While I appreciate the explanation of the difference between airborne and droplet transmission, this author is contradicting a number of virologists and infectious disease specialists who have said that Ebola can and has mutated to change it’s mode of transmission.

    • meanqueen

      “its” grrrrr

  • Any white or Asian over the age of 12 (and probably much younger in most cases) who has ever had a cold knows that coughing and sneezing spreads germs.

    A fine aerosol of body fluids projected into the air seems ideal for spreading Ebola. The two Americans first evacuated to the US had apparently caught the disease by eating dinner with one of their local African counterparts who was showing no obvious symptoms of Ebola. He may have not even known he was sick at the time; when I am feeling a bit under the weather, the last thing I want to do is go out for a nice restaurant dinner.

  • thegodsofeden

    Just heard this comment on the radio and had to share it. What does Ebola stand for?


    Love it!