Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dr. Marc Siegel explains why we shouldn't be losing sleep over Ebola:

Dr. Osterholm must be counting on the fact that the news media have a very short memory when he discusses Ebola in the New York Times in the same way that he once discussed bird flu. He must know that we have all seen enough catastrophe movies such as Contagion and Outbreak to get our collective heart rate and blood pressure up any time we so much as hear the word "mutation." But science fiction is not science, and Ebola Zaire, which was first identified in 1976, has been essentially stable since then, with no sign that it is about to become airborne. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is considered by many to be the top expert in the country on emerging infections, told me during two interviews last month that he thought it was extremely unlikely that the Ebola virus would mutate into an airborne pathogen.


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