As deadly Ebola continues to claim lives in West Africa, the government is not being entirely honest about the massive threat that the highly-contagious virus poses.
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.
There are two very scary scenarios which are keeping health officials awake at night. The first is the fact that given the rate Ebola has spread thus far, the chance that it could reach megacities in the near future is cause for concern. The second possibility is even more frightening.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are collectively bracing themselves for the possibility that the Ebola virus could mutate and subsequently become airborne. The death toll we have seen so far would be miniscule in comparison to that which would occur if Ebola could be transmitted through the air.
At this time, the virus can only be contracted through contact of bodily fluids. But the fact that health workers have been unable to contain the virus has given it ample time to mutate into something exponentially more dangerous. The video above shows how the Ebola virus would quickly spread, killing millions, if it were to go airborne.
While the American public largely remains oblivious to the very serious threat that Ebola poses, the government is quietly ramping up it’s preparations to deal with the event of widespread infection in the United States. Hospitals are preparing intake areas, the National Guard in all fifty states has been stocked with materials to respond to an infection, and for his part, Obama has signed into law an executive order which would allow for the detainment of Americans on the mere speculation that they might be infected with the virus.
Despite their best efforts, U.S. health officials are sorely unequipped to deal with an airborne Ebola outbreak. If the virus mutates, there will be no way to prevent millions of Americans from meeting a horrific, early death.