Friday, February 13, 2015

Blog #2: Ebola Victims Still Infectious a Week after Death, Scientists Find

Ebola Victims Still Infectious a Week after Death, Scientists Find.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, conducted an experimental study that supported many people’s hypotheses- people who die of Ebola probably remain infectious from Ebola for at least a week after death.

Scientists studied five macaque monkeys that had been infected with Ebola in other experiments. After the monkeys developed human-like symptoms on the verge of death from Ebola, the scientists put the monkeys to death. Next, the deceased monkeys were put into plastic tubs in a chamber. One of the lead authors of the study, Vincent J. Munster, described these chambers as a “big deli fridge where you can manipulate the temperature and humidity.” These chambers were set to mimic a hot August Day in Liberia, and the monkeys decomposed for ten weeks. After continuously swabbing and taken samples from the monkeys daily, an infectious virus was found in the surface swabs for seven days after death and in internal organs for three days.

All in all, this study was done to see how long human bodies remained infectious, and how long it was possible to identify if an ape decaying in a forest died of Ebola or something else. The findings of this study also showed how important it is to safely handle and bury human-beings corpses infected by the disease.

This study was rather interesting. I believe it is imperative that everyone should be careful when being in the presence of someone who is infected by this deadly disease. Knowing and employing safety precautions is vital for all beings, including family members of the victims. I never knew that those who die of Ebola will probably remain infectious for at least a week post death. Thanks to the study that was administered, I am now aware.

Shane’ Lennon

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