Comparison of the Aerosol Stability of 2 Strains of Zaire ebolavirus From the 1976 and 2013 Outbreaks

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The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease began in Guéckédou, Guinea, West Africa, in December 2013 and rapidly spread to major population centers in 3 West African countries. Early reports in some scientific and public media speculated that the virus had evolved to more effectively transmit between humans. One route of transmission postulated was aerosol transmission, although there was little epidemiological evidence to support this claim. This study investigates the viability of 2 Zaire ebolavirus strains within aerosols at 22°C and 80% relative humidity over time. The results presented here indicate that there is no difference in virus stability between the 2 strains and that viable virus can be recovered from an aerosol 180 minutes after it is generated.

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