A Purdue University professor says that while Ebola has so far only been been proven to be transmitted through bodily fluids, it could become airborne at virtually any time.
Dr. David Sanders has studied how the Ebola virus enters human cells since 2003. He told WRTV that the virus is “primed” to become airborne, making it even more likely that anyone with Ebola travelling by plane could infect fellow passengers (H/T Young Conservatives).
“It can enter the lung from the airway side,” Sanders told WRTV. “So this argues that Ebola is primed to have respiratory transmission.”
He said that, while certainly unproven, the idea of airborne transmission is hardly far-fetched. “We need to be taking this into consideration,” Sanders said. “What if? This is not a crazy, ‘What if?’ This is not a wild, ‘What if?’”
Sanders said it’s not possible to predict when the virus could go airborne or even know for sure that it will. But the longer the virus is allowed to spread and mutate, the more likely it is to develop an airborne strain.
The professor argued that suppressing the current outbreak in West Africa is therefore critical to prevent a worldwide pandemic of Ebola virus, but he also said it’s unlikely that most Americans are in danger from the virus — at least for now.
In case anyone needed one, Dr. Sanders has provided yet another great reason both to impose a temporary ban on flights from West Africa to the United States and to secure the nation’s southern border against possible Ebola-infected individuals crossing illegally into the country in search of effective treatment.
Good luck getting that message through to this president, however.