What Is The Chance?

What is the probability of a dangerous strain of Ebola mutating and becoming airborne?

Ebola is made of RNA. RNA viruses are known to undergo rapid genetic changes. The three most common mechanisms are:

  1. Nucleotide substitutions resulting from purportedly high error rates during RNA synthesis;
  2. Reassortment of the RNA segments of multipartite genomic viruses
  3. RNA-RNA recombination between non-segmented RNAs

The Ebola virus can use only the first and the third mechanisms as it has only one segment of RNA by capsid. To become "airborne", the Ebola genome (RNA) would, at least, have to mutate in such a way that its outer protective  coating of proteins (capsid) could resist the forces to which they are subjected in air (e.g., dryness). It also would probably need to change structure to allow infection through the respiratory system. There are no exact measures of the rate of mutation in Ebola, but the probability of the required mutation(s) happening is not great.

Back To The Faq

If you have questions about the web site you can contact me at: me@brettrussell.com. Please do NOT contact me and ask me to send you all of the information from this web site, or to ask me to help you with your term paper on Ebola - but if you are really nice and find my site useful and give me a donation since I pay for all of this myself, Iíll be really kind to you.


[Home] [What Is Ebola?] [What Strains Exist?] [Strains Differ?] [Symptoms?] [Incubation Period?] [What Does It Infect?] [How Is It Transmitted?] [Transmit Before Signs?] [How Long Are You Infectious?] [After Recovery Are You Still Contagious?] [Is It Airborne?] [What is the Chance of Mutation?] [How Do I Avoid Catching It?] [What Is The Basic Treatment?] [Cure or Vaccine?] [Serum From Blood?] [Survival Means Immunity?] [Recur?] [Past Illnesses Ebola?] [Where Is Ebola?] [Ebola In Texas?] [What Stops Epidemics?] [What Starts Epidemics?] [Can We Control Ebola?] [International Regulations?] [Quarantine] [Is Isolation Required?] [Travel And Ebola] [Microbe Name] [When Was It Identified?] [Genetic History] [Epidemiologic History] [How Is It Detected?] [Rate Of Reproduction] [Natural Reservoir] [Vectors] [What about the Fruit Bats?] [Truth About Dogs & Cats] [Other Resources]

You can always reach me by email at: webmaster@infowire.net