How contagious is ebola? Not very, experts say
Several days ago, Thomas Eric Duncan died from ebola after arriving in Dallas from Liberia. He didn’t appear to be ill during his journey or soon after he arrived. “Various news outlets are reporting that travelers arriving in the United States from West Africa would have their temperatures taken and be asked to answer questionnaires ascertaining any possible exposure,” Kris Hickman writes for the Association of Health Care Journalists.
While it is well-documented and understood how e-bola is spread, Peter Jahrling, chief scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is concerned that the disease has mutated to become more contagious, Julia Belluz reports for Vox.
Jahrling is worried that the “mutations of the virus that are circulating now look to be more contagious than the ones that have turned up in the past, ” Belluz writes. His Liberian team has found that the patients in Liberia have a much higher “viral load,” which means that they have more virus in their blood – and that could make them more contagious. He told Bulluz that they were continuing to run test on their patients in Liberia, and they continued to show high “viral loads.” When asked what this means, he said, “Right now, we just don’t know.”
The state Department for Public Health has prepared materials to” help hospitals, public-health agencies, health-care
organizations and other coalitions in their preparedness for Ebola, Jack Brammer reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. The materials are online at www.Kyha.com/kha-ebola-updates.