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U.S. government secretly searches for technology to combat aerosolized Ebola

Ebola transmission

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(NaturalNews) Is the federal government seeking a near-term technological solution to combating airborne Ebola virus? A document posted at FedBizOpps.gov would seem to suggest as much.

As reported by WorldNetDaily (WND), the sourcing document, titled "Chemical/Biological Technologies Department Ebola Broad Agency Announcement," seeks "research proposals for Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) requirements for the CBDP Ebola BAA for the FY2015-2016 program." Both the CBDP and the DTRA are part of the Defense Department.

According to a DTRA Broad Agency Announcement [PDF], the government is seeking technology "for rapid disinfection of interior surfaces with viral contamination. The technology must prove effective against viral contamination either deposited as an aerosol or heavy contaminated combined with body fluids (e.g. blood, vomit, feces). Responses must address the entire process, a response that only develops a disinfectant/sterilant is not sufficient." [emphasis added]

The document also notes that the "means by which Ebola virus is maintained in nature remains unclear," and that "it is unknown what other natural reservoirs exist" beyond the known reservoir of fruit bats.

The document and bid for new technology in the "near-term" indicate that federal health officials and the Defense Department believe that the virus can be spread, at some point, through the air, whether by a mutation or through aerosols such as when an infected person sneezes.

In addition, the involvement of the DTRA suggests that the government believes that Ebola could also serve as a biological weapon.

'Rapid disinfection'

The government announcement notes, "Preliminary studies indicate that Ebola is aerostable in an enclosed controlled system in the dark and can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks."

The agency is looking for technologies that will accommodate the "rapid disinfection" of the virus, including an aerosol version of it.

"The technology must prove effective against viral contamination either deposited as an aerosol or heavy contaminated combined with body fluids," the document says.

And it further states that Ebola "can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks."

Is the government and the military simply being prudent? Or do officials suspect or know something that the rest of us do not? The FedBizOpps.gov website states that the bid seeks "medical countermeasures" technology.

'Not airborne'

Publicly, the government continues to pooh-pooh any notion that Ebola can be spread other than by direct contact -- even though American nurses in the same room with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan became infected, and an American doctor wearing protective gear treating victims in West Africa also became infected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- whose reputation has been greatly diminished because of conflicting information that the agency has given regarding the virus -- clearly states on its website, "Ebola is not spread through the air or by water."

And, in a separate online Ebola informational document [PDF], the CDC poses this question: "Is Ebola airborne?" They then answer, "No. Ebola is not spread through the airborne route nor through water or food."

"To get Ebola, you have to directly get body fluids (like pee, poop, spit, sweat, vomit, semen, breast milk) from someone who has Ebola in your mouth, nose, eyes or through a break in your skin or through sexual contact," the CDC explains.

Yet, in another section on its website, the CDC does not plainly state in its information whether or not the deadly virus can be spread through coughing. It says:

Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease.

'Up to three feet'

Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person's eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

As Natural News has reported:

"In a new Ebola-related post that appears to be splitting hairs between 'airborne' and 'droplet' spread, the health agency claimed:

"Airborne spread happens when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Germs may land in the eyes, mouth, or nose of another person.

"If a germ is airborne, direct contact with the infected person is NOT needed for someone else to get sick. Airborne spread diseases include: chickenpox, tuberculosis."

The agency further states that "[d]roplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another. ... Droplet spread diseases include: plague, Ebola."

Could be spread through the air 'in certain conditions'

And, as WND reported earlier, a 2011 U.S. Army manual, published by the Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, clearly states that the virus could be an airborne threat in certain circumstances:

On page 117 of the handbook, in a chapter discussing "Viral Hemorrhagic Fever" (VHF), a category of viruses that includes Ebola, USAMRID says: "In several instances, secondary infections among contacts and medical personnel without direct body fluid exposure have been documented. These instances have prompted concern of a rare phenomenon of aerosol transmission of infection."

And now, the CDC says in a web post, "While Ebola virus can be spread through airborne particles under experimental conditions in animals, this type of spread has not been documented during human EVD outbreaks in settings such as hospitals or households."

The post goes on to to theorize that the virus could be spread, in some form, through the air.

"In outbreak investigations, some EVD patients have not reported contact with another EVD patient, leading to speculation regarding transmission via aerosolized virus particles. In the Kikwit outbreak, 12 (3.8%) of 316 EVD patients did not report high-risk contact with a known EVD patient," the agency says.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com




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