The World Health Organization (funded by members nations of the UN) has issued a bulletin saying that ebola can in fact be spread by aerosolized droplets produced from coughing or sneezing, if you inhale or touch those droplets. It can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces, and those surfaces can be contaminated by sneezes. So people who visit the home of a patient after the patient has left the home, can acquire the infection from surfaces (sneezed or coughed on - and you'd be surprised how far a sneeze travels) in the home.
[NOTE - spread by aerosolized droplets does not fit the medical definition of "airborne". Airborne spread involves dried stuff floating around in the air. Technical difference. Flu is airborne, ebola is not (so far).]
That's how that latest patient in Texas got it (I haven't heard the results of his test yet)(Update - he tested negative.). He went into the other guy's home with the cleaners without protective gear. It's interesting that he bragged that he didn't need the gear. Oh dear.
So asking if folks have been in contact with an infected person is not a good question. You have to ask if they had touched anything a symptomatic person had touched - or sneezed or coughed on, or near, or in the same room as, or in the next room, at any time in the past. And how can you know that? What do you know about the last dollar bill you handled?
Something that really bothers me is that in the involved areas of Africa, space in the treatment clinics is severely limited. They just don't have the beds, space, or workers to handle the load. So people show up at the door with symptoms, and they are turned away!. The treatment centers and quarantine centers can't take anyone in until someone else dies.
Where do those people go? Back home. Back to their neighborhoods.
How the hell can you slow down, let alone stop, an epidemic with a response like that? Nope, no room at the inn. Go spread it some more.
This whole thing is a mess.
I made an online contribution this evening to Doctors Without Borders for $1,000. I don't know how much they are involved in the ebola thing - mostly World Health Org. is mentioned, but I don't think WHO takes contributions - but I guess it couldn't hurt.
Another thing - I had mostly read that victims were being cremated. Now I find out from several sources that they are being buried.
Hey, this is a virus! Are we infecting the ground water? If you want to know how nasty stuff does in the ground, ask any farmer about anthrax. Anthrax is a bacteria. Viruses encapsulate, which gives them an advantage over bacteria.
Workers for a company that cleans airliners went on strike earlier today at LaGuardia. I don't blame them.