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View Diary: Africa's largest outbreak of Ebola in seven years now suspected of spreading to Liberia (updated) (63 comments)

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  •  It stays active as long as there is viable tissue (15+ / 0-)

    It is completely necrotic so the fact of its host's death does nothing to slow it down (particularly with the Zaire strain).

    It has been confirmed to be spreadable by air and on inanimate objects but this has never been confirmed in the field.

    Naturally we have only seen it spread from direct animal-human contact (though we're still vague on the zoonotic transmission process) and then direct human-to-human contact:  from as little as casual touching up to an including sexual contact.

    This is one of the key traits used to try and discern an early Ebola outbreak from things like Lassa fever or malaria.  Ebola will show a familial clustering pattern, where one person gets sick and then infects those close by that are taking care of/touching them.  Malaria doesn't do this.

    The other issue in Africa is the cultural tradition of laying hands on the dead body of a loved one as part of the funeral process.  A corpse of someone dead from Ebola is still a VERY active vector of infection and then we have people literally lined up waiting to put their hands on this viral host.  ...not good.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:39:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The mortality rate here (0+ / 0-)

      is terrifying. Even 'traditional' ebola has a 90% death rate only in cases where transmission was through dirty needles, usually from clinics.

      Traditional transmission of ebola has or had -- even the 'bad' strains, like "Marburg" -- a typical mortality of ~30%.

      80%? oof.

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