Apparently, as far back as September 17, two experts on the transmission of infectious diseases published a commentary at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota that flies in the face of what the CDC has communicated to the public about the transmission of the Ebola virus.
Although the focus of the commentary is on the proper type of personal protective equipment for health care workers, the authors – both professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago – had these observations to share:
We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks….
[V]irus-laden bodily fluids may be aerosolized and inhaled while a person is in proximity to an infectious person and that a wide range of particle sizes can be inhaled and deposited throughout the respiratory tract….
For Ebola and other filoviruses, however, there is much less information and research on disease transmission and survival, especially in healthcare settings [as compared to MERS and SARS].
Being at first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, we are now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings.
How prescient their research in light of the nurse in Texas. If I were Drs. Frieden and Fauci, I’d be worried that these two gals might snatch my job away. Their research appears to be serious, pure in its motives, and non-political, whereas Frieden and Fauci seem to have an “Ebola Shmebola” attitude. It makes one wonder how much of a role politics is playing in their handling of the virus, or if it could just be that their blind faith in protocols that are clearly out of line with the latest research is misplaced and a failure.
It’s time we had some competence at the helm of the Ebola scandal. Maybe then we could have some confidence in what public health officials are telling us about the communicability of Ebola. I vote for Lisa M. Brosseau, Sc.D. and Rachael Jones, Ph.D.