Friday, October 03, 2014

the most dangerous path of transmission is health officials lying in an attempt to prevent panic

americanthinker |   The public has been misinformed regarding human-to-human transmission of Ebola. Assurances that Ebola can be transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids need to be seriously scrutinized in the wake of the West Africa outbreak.

The Canadian Health Department states that airborne transmission of Ebola is strongly suspected and the CDC admits that Ebola can be transmitted in situations where there is no physical contact between people, i.e.: via direct airborne inhalation into the lungs or into the eyes, or via contact with airborne fomites which adhere to nearby surfaces. That helps explain why 81 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have died in West Africa to date. These courageous healthcare providers use careful CDC-level barrier precautions such as gowns, gloves, and head cover, but it appears they have inadequate respiratory and eye protection. Dr. Michael V. Callahan, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who has worked in Africa during Ebola outbreaks said that minimum CDC level precautions
“led to the infection of my nurses and physician co-workers who came in contact with body fluids.”
Currently the CDC advises healthcare workers to use goggles and simple face masks for respiratory and eye protection, and a fitted N-95 mask during aerosol-generating medical procedures. Since so many doctors and nurses are dying in West Africa, it is clear that this level of protection is inadequate. Full face respirators with P-100 (HEPA) replacement filters would provide greater airway and eye protection, and I believe this would save the lives of many doctors, nurses, and others who come into close contact with, or in proximity to, Ebola victims.

The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases conducted a monkey to monkey Ebola study in December 1995, published in The Lancet, Vol. 346. (Here is a link to the abstract, but the entire article must be purchased.) Several Rhesus monkeys were infected with Zaire Ebola by intramuscular injection while three control Rhesus monkeys were kept in cages separated 10 feet from the infected monkeys. All of the injected monkeys died of Ebola by day 13 and 2 out of 3 control monkeys died of Ebola by 8 days after that. The authors of this study concluded that:
"The exact mode of transmission to the control monkeys cannot be absolutely determined, although the pattern of pulmonary antigen staining in one of the control monkeys was virtually identical to that reported in experimental Ebola virus aerosol infection in rhesus monkeys, suggesting airborne transmission of the disease via infectious droplets... Fomite or contact droplet transmission of the virus between cages was considered unlikely. Standard procedures in our BL4 containment laboratories have always been successful in the prevention of transmission of Ebola or Marburg virus to uninflected animals. Thus, pulmonary, nasopharyngeal, oral, or conjunctival exposure to airborne droplets of the virus had to be considered as the most likely mode of infection... Our present findings emphasize the advisability of at-risk personnel employing precautions to safeguard against ocular, oral, and nasopharyngeal exposure to the virus."
Another NHP to NHP (monkey-to-monkey) study was published in July of this year. Rhesus monkeys were infected with Ebola via intramuscular injection and they were terminated on day 6 after becoming unresponsive, but without developing vomiting, diarrhea, or apparent respiratory illness. Ebola virus was detected in their blood, and genetic fragments of Ebola were found in their nose, mouth, and rectum, but no intact infectious Ebola virus was found. 

Control Cynomolgus monkeys were caged 1 foot away from the infected Rhesus monkeys but did not become infected with Ebola. This experiment is not a helpful comparison in human to human Ebola infections which are characterized by GI (vomiting & diarrhea) and respiratory (cough and expectoration of sputum) shedding of the intact infectious virus. The monkeys in this year’s study simply died too fast, not allowing time for them to shed infectious Ebola particles. It goes without saying that monkeys which do not shed infectious Ebola particles cannot transmit Ebola to other monkeys. Had this year’s rhesus monkeys been infected by the nasal route, as was the case in a pig-to-monkey experiment in 2012, or if they had lived up to 13 days as in the 1995 study, allowing time for intact infectious Ebola virus to appear, and thus more closely matching human Ebola disease, then we may well have seen monkey-to-monkey airborne transmission of Ebola. The authors of this study concluded that:
“NHPs [non-human primates such as monkeys] are known to be susceptible to lethal EBOV infection through the respiratory tract [just like humans] putting the onus of the transmission on the ability of the source to shed infectious particles.”
We know that airborne transmission of Ebola occurs from pigs to monkeys in experimental settings. We also know that healthcare workers like Dr. Kent Brantly are contracting Ebola in West Africa despite CDC-level barrier protection measures against physical contact with the bodies and body fluids of Ebola victims, so it only makes sense to conclude that some -- possibly many -- of these doctors, nurses, and ancillary healthcare workers are being infected via airborne transmission. It makes perfect sense that sick humans, as they vomit, have diarrhea, cough, and expectorate sputum, and as medical procedures are performed on them, have the ability to shed infectious Ebola particles into the air at a similar or higher level compared to Sus scrofa (wild boar) in the pig-to-monkey study.