Purdue News - Purdue expert showed Ebola can enter cells that line the trachea and lungs; says airborne transmission is not an impossibility
The idea of the Ebola virus becoming airborne is not far-fetched and its ability to enter cells that line the trachea and lungs has been shown under controlled laboratory conditions, a Purdue University virus expert says.
David Sanders, an associate professor of biological sciences who has studied the Zaire strain of Ebola virus that is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa, says the possibility of the virus becoming airborne should not be discounted.
"It is not unprecedented for a virus to change its mode of transmission," he says. "Ebola does share some of the characteristics of airborne viruses like influenza, and we should not disregard the possibility of it evolving into something that could be transmitted in this way."