Purdue Expert Says It's Possible For Ebola To Go Airborne

Oct 13, 2014

Credit NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

A Purdue professor says Ebola is ‘primed‘ to go airborne.

In the first case of Ebola transmission in the United States, a Texas nurse who treated an Ebola-stricken Liberian man has tested positive for the deadly virus.

Professor David Sanders has been studying the virus since 2003 – specifically how this particular Zaire strain of Ebola enters human cells.

While the virus has thus far only been shown to be transferred via bodily fluids, Sanders argues that it could become airborne.

Sanders said the longer the virus spread and mutates, the more likely airborne transmission will become.

"It can enter the lung from the airway side," Sanders said. "So this argues that Ebola is primed to have respiratory transmission.

"We need to be taking this into consideration," he continued. "What if? This is not a crazy, 'What if?' This is not a wild, 'What if?'"

It is not known how the Dallas nurse contracted the virus from the patient, who later died.