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, 7 (2), 511-21

Understanding Ebola Virus Transmission


Understanding Ebola Virus Transmission

Seth Judson et al. Viruses.


An unprecedented number of Ebola virus infections among healthcare workers and patients have raised questions about our understanding of Ebola virus transmission. Here, we explore different routes of Ebola virus transmission between people, summarizing the known epidemiological and experimental data. From this data, we expose important gaps in Ebola virus research pertinent to outbreak situations. We further propose experiments and methods of data collection that will enable scientists to fill these voids in our knowledge about the transmission of Ebola virus.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Potential routes of Ebola virus transmission and infection between people. Ebola virus (EBOV) has been isolated from bodily fluids including blood, stool, semen, saliva, and breast milk [6]; contact with these fluids from infected individuals creates a high risk of transmission. These infectious fluids can also be formed into droplets which travel in the air (range unknown, possibly 1 meter) and potentially infect others. EBOV has been detected in dried blood and persists on surfaces, so the possibility of fomite transmission exists. Airborne transmission via small aerosol droplets is unlikely from current EBOV epidemiology.

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