A U.S. government agency has warned preliminary data shows Ebola is aerostable, meaning it can survive in the air and potentially be transmitted via airborne means.
The document was released in a federal government announcement seeking research proposals from private firms for Ebola treatment and diagnosis tools, including for the rapid disinfection of an “aerosol” version of the virus.
Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Defense’s Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.
The agency report states “preliminary studies indicate that Ebola is aerostable in an enclosed controlled system in the dark and can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks.”
Scientists from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases found that Ebola can be transmitted by aerosol.
A study by a British government defense lab found:
All three filoviruses under investigation [Ebola is a type of filovirus; the study involved two strains of Ebola and one strain of Marburg] could be detected after 90 min in a dynamic aerosol ….