The last several months have led to much confusion about the spread of the Ebola virus. Health officials and governments first denied that a serious threat existed and took no significant action to prevent its spread outside of West Africa. Then, after it had made it’s way to six different countries in the region, officials at the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control started to panic. Apathy gave way to the real fear that we were facing a virus on a whole different scale than ever before.
At its current rate, some mathematical models show that the virus could infect anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 by the end of the year, with over 4,000 people worldwide having been infected thus far. About 2,300 people, over 50% of those who have contracted it, have died.
Although the CDC released a recent report warning travelers that the virus could leave infectious material in the air, they were careful to say that it was not capable of spreading like other airborne viruses such as the common cold or flu.
But, with the way the virus has mutated and spread thus far, to say that the world’s top medical professionals and health officials are worried would be an understatement. Ebola has contacted more humans in the last 9 months than all previous outbreaks over the last 40 years combined. The concern, according to officials, is that it has had an opportunity to mutate and it could eventually go airborne.