OT: Ebola - Global Pandemic?

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Submitted by paramount on July 31, 2014 - 11:51am

Time to run down to home depot to pick up some masks/respirators?

Time to close the borders?

A repeat of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1917-1918 only deadlier?

Or pure hysteria?

http://youtu.be/JnQVUf775VE

Ebola 2014

Submitted by njtosd on January 21, 2015 - 9:59am.

zk wrote:
Aecetia wrote:
"The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/opinion/what-were-afraid-to-say-about-ebola.html?_r=0

A lame and disappointing article. Just another fear monger with incomplete and incorrect information. He's afraid that ebola could go airborne. But no human virus has ever changed its mode of transmission:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/scientist...

And the Canadian researchers did not prove that ebola "could be transmitted by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys."

http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/a...

Nevermind the sensational title of the above link. Read the article.

I agree with you in large part, however, we do not have perfect information with respect to viruses in terms of their history of changing or not changing modes of infection. Since all viruses presumably evolved from a single virus, we should probably assume that such a change has taken place - but over millenia, not in a few years.

Submitted by zk on January 21, 2015 - 4:55pm.

njtosd wrote:

I agree with you in large part, however, we do not have perfect information with respect to viruses in terms of their history of changing or not changing modes of infection. Since all viruses presumably evolved from a single virus, we should probably assume that such a change has taken place - but over millenia, not in a few years.

We don't have perfect information on the history of viruses, no. But even if all viruses evolved from a single virus, that doesn't necessarily mean that any virus has ever changed its mode of transmission among mammals. Mammals have been around for a couple hundred million years; viruses have been around a lot longer. Maybe they have changed method of transmission at some point over those two hundred million years. Maybe not. Humans have only been around a couple hundred thousand or a couple million years, depending on how you define them. There's a good chance no virus has ever changed its method of transmission among humans.

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