You don’t hear about this when they tell you how hard Ebola is to get.
Check it out:
A mutated Ebola virus likely spread through the ventilation system of a Virginia medical lab in 1989 and infected dozens of monkeys in separate research rooms, highlighting the current potential of an airborne Ebola strain killing millions of people.
In late 1989, cynomolgus monkeys from the Philippines delivered to Hazleton Research Products’ Primate Quarantine Unit in Reston, Va., began dying at an alarming rate, prompting HRP to euthanize all the monkeys in that shipment, but during the 10 days after the euthanization, other monkeys in separate rooms connected only by air ducts began dying as well, which was attributed to an Ebola strain that went airborne.
“Due to the spread of infection to animals in all parts of the quarantine facility, it is likely that Ebola Reston may have been spread by airborne transmission,” wrote Lisa A. Beltz in the book Emerging Infectious Diseases. “On several subsequent occasions during 1989, 1990 and 1996, Ebola Reston killed monkeys in colonies in the United States.”
“Some of the people at the colony in Texas and several of the workers at the facility in the Philippines also produced antibodies to the virus but did not become ill.”
The 1989 incident validates concerns that a new, airborne strain of Ebola could infect humans, and if such a mutated strain already exists, it would easily explain why Ebola is currently spreading so rapidly in Africa.