Why is Ebola spreading to doctors and nurses who take proper precautions? These are health care professionals who are well-informed about Ebola. They know it is a contagious and deadly disease. They are taking the usual precautions when dealing with a contagious disease: masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection. But they are still getting sick, not only in Africa, but in the U.S. now: Health care worker at Dallas hospital tests positive for Ebola, even though “the worker was in full protective gear”. Why is this happening?
Obviously, Ebola is more contagious than we realized. After repeatedly saying that Ebola is not airborne, the CDC has admitted that Ebola can be spread by coughing or sneezing: “if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.” They still claim that Ebola is not airborne in the same ways as measles or chickenpox (in which the virus hangs in the air without the need for droplets from a cough or sneeze).
The WHO says: “The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, feces and vomit. The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days. Saliva and tears may also carry some risk.” Source
WHO downplays the mode of transmission by coughing or sneezing, as well as the possibility that Ebola may become fully airborne. They also doubt that transmission from contaminated surfaces is a major source of the disease: “The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.”
Can Ebola be spread by an infected person before they show symptoms? We have repeatedly been told “No”. [Source. But the incubation period for Ebola is 2 to 21 days. And the person might not be diagnosed with Ebola as soon as they become ill. So it is not really helpful to say that Ebola cannot be spread before symptoms appear. One of the first symptoms is fever; you cannot tell by looking at someone if they have started to get symptoms.
My concern is that health authorities have a tendency to downplay the danger of the spread of Ebola, so as not to panic the population. They don’t want to admit that Ebola is spread more easily than we had previously thought. But what other conclusion can be draw? Doctors and nurses are getting Ebola despite taking the recommended precautions, which are based on these claims about how Ebola is spread.
If we don’t start admitting that Ebola is spread more easily than we previously thought, Ebola will spread throughout the healthcare system, killing doctors and nurses, making it far more difficult to get the virus under control.