When I knew a nurse caring for the 1st patient of Ebola virus infection had become infected from the same virus in Texas, I wondered why and how it had happened to her. Hasn't she protected herself from the virus whici was believed to be contageous through direct contct to the patient? It was not answered yet.
But a group of Minnesota University has published yesterday that the virus could make airborne infection from pathophysiological as well as epidemiological standpoint. If this view is right, we are getting into a new phase of fight against this virus infection. Airborne infection is quite difficult to deal with. Separation of the patients as well as special set up as positive pressure respirator is mandatory in that situation. The nurse as well as the other who have been proved to be infected by the virus at the same hospital might be infected through airborne virus from the patient.
Then another question comes on. Why haven't much more people been infected arount the patient? In west Africa, there could have been more people suffering from the virus.
There should be certain percentage of the people are undergoing subclinical illness or inapparent infection. There must be some strains of the virus which may not make overt infection and/or there must be certain people who won't develop serious illness thanks to their immune response characteristics. This virus is told to occur mutations frequently. It may be another factor which contribute such mechanisms.
We should not get into a panic. But we should be careful about what goes on with this possible outbreak. We should make support to the people in west Africa suffering from devastating outbreak now. Hopefully, the authority would give financial and technical support to those working at the front of the medical system, who are working at the hazard of the virus.