Study finds West African burial rituals to be ‘super-spreaders’ of Ebola, risk full-blown pandemic

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by Howard Portnoy

A health warning quietly added this week to the CDC website advising that the Ebola virus could be spread by “droplets” of moisture was just as clandestinely removed after it touched off a firestorm in what has become a politically charged debate over how the deadly virus is and isn’t transmitted.

The health agency’s official position on whether Ebola can be spread by coughing or sneezing is still anything but reassuring, according to a Q&A on its website:

There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing. Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola; the virus is not transmitted through the air (like measles virus). However, droplets (e.g., splashes or sprays) of respiratory or other secretions from a person who is sick with Ebola could be infectious, and therefore certain precautions (called standard, contact, and droplet precautions) are recommended for use in healthcare settings to prevent the transmission of Ebola virus from patients sick with Ebola to healthcare personnel and other patients or family members. [Emphasis added]

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