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“Ebola: More Things They Have Not Told Us”

Not everything is black and white when it comes to Ebola infection and transmission. There are shades of gray. There is still much that we don’t know.  Scientists were told at a  workshop at the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine that many questions crucial to preventing an outbreak in the United States remain unanswered.  They said virtually all the unknowns have practical consequences, making it foolish and perhaps dangerous to base policy on weak science.  Experts believe Ebola is spread when people come in contact with the virus-laden bodily fluids of those who are already sick but penetration through intact skin has not been definitively ruled out.  Also, we do not know if bleach or hand sanitizers may make the skin more susceptible to viral penetration.  Although health officials have insisted Ebola can not be transmitted by people who do not show symptoms, that is not a certainty or a proven fact.  Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah, said the possibility of “subclinical transmission” remains very much an open question.

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