Ebola Is Airborne, University Of Minnesota CIDRAP Researchers

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Inquisitr, October 15, 2014

Ebola is airborne, according to a new report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at the university just advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “scientific and epidemiologic evidence” now exists that proves Ebola has the potential to be transmitted via exhaled breath and “infectious aerosol particles.”

University of Minnesota CIDRAP scientists are now warning both health care providers and the general public that surgical facemasks will not prevent the transmission of Ebola. According to the airborne Ebola report, medical workers must immediately be given full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators.

CIDRAP has reportedly been a worldwide leader in addressing public health and safety concerns and preparedness since 2001.

An excerpt from the CIDRAP report reads, “Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures.”

The University of Minnesota report goes on to note that any action which can be taken to “reduce risk” of Ebola exposure should not wait until a “scientific certainty” develops. “The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering facepiece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run,” the CIDRAP report also adds.
The working theory about Ebola transmission currently being uttered by the CDC and the agency’s director Thomas Frieden, is incorrect and “outmoded” according to the University of Minnesota CIDRAP report. “Virus-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,” University researchers concluded. Background information detailing why CIDRAP believes the CDC and WHO are function under an outdated mode of thought when it comes to how infectious diseases are transmitted via aerosols is also included in the new report.

“Medical and infection control professionals have relied for years on a paradigm for aerosol transmission of infectious diseases based on very outmoded research and an overly simplistic interpretation of the data. In the 1940s and 50s, William F. Wells and other ‘aerobiologists’ employed now significantly out-of-date sampling methods (eg, settling plates) and very blunt analytic approaches (eg, cell culturing) to understand the movement of bacterial aerosols in healthcare and other settings. Their work, though groundbreaking at the time, provides a very incomplete picture,” the report said.

According to CIDRAP researchers, early aerobiologists were unable to measure small particles near an infected person and therefore made an assumption that such particles existed on far from the source and airborne transmission could of happened around 3-feet or so from the source.

Do you think about airborne Ebola? Should flight restrictions and mandatory quarantines be enacted in order to prevent an Ebola pandemic in America?

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