TWiV 306: This Week in Ebolavirus

October 12, 2014

Ebola in the USHosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, and Kathy Spindler

The Grand Masters of the TWiV discuss Ebola virus transmission, air travel from West Africa, Ebola virus infectivity on surfaces, the Dallas Ebola virus patient, and Ebola virus in dogs.

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This episode of TWiV is brought to you by the Department of Microbiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Composed of over 20 virology labs, all centralized in one building in the heart of New York City, this department is a perfect fit for anyone with an interest in pursuing virus research. The Department is presently looking to recruit any prospective graduate students to apply to our program by the December 1st deadline. Interested postdocs are also encouraged to contact faculty of interest. For more information about the Department, please visit

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2014 Scientific American Science in Action Award winner

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13 comments on “TWiV 306: This Week in Ebolavirus

  1. Martin Lindh Oct 13, 2014

    Two intesesting links:

    Peter Jahrling:
    “I want to know if this virus is intrinsically different from the one we have seen before, if it is a more virulent strain. We are using tests now that weren’t using in the past, but there seems to be a belief that the virus load is higher in these patients [today] than what we have seen before. If true, that’s a very different bug. ”

    Professor Les Roberts, Columbia University, in Sierra Leone working with the WHO response to Ebola.

    “Today we likely do not have ½ the beds in country that we need for the existing cases. I expect that we can triple the treatment beds in the next two months while I am here….and all modeling, even best case scenarios suggest, we will be even further behind the patient bed demand than we are now.”

    “Thus, the numbers that you hear about new cases today reflect the transmission dynamics from over 2 weeks ago…..and we thought the doubling time of the outbreak was 30 days, it seems to be less than that here. We knew the ~350 confirmed cases last week were an undercount….we now think there are 7-900 in reality. The need for hospital beds is climbing more than the ability to get them up and running. There might be 200ish ebola treatment beds now countrywide. There are perhaps 600 more in “holding areas.” We have schemes to get 500 or 600 ebola treatment beds up and running over the next 8 weeks. As Foreign Medical Team Coordinator, helping to get these beds up and supported is one of my primary tasks. If there are really 3000 cases this month, and 6000 next month…with all going perfectly on the treatment bed establishment side, we will have 30% of the beds we need next month, slightly worse than the situation now.”

    • Jahrling: “There seems to be a belief”. Last time I heard, beliefs are not what drive science; it’s data. It really bothers me when scientists speak like this, because the press does not know how to deal with it.

  2. Martin Lindh Oct 14, 2014

    Regarding sexual transmission from survivors. Alleged case:

  3. Kevin Worldsavior Oct 14, 2014

    Even if Ebola is airborne and regardless of strain, the virus can be eradicated in a matter of a few days – I got the all viruses, bio-weapons and cancers devastating destroyer to cure and prevent everyone, if I am paid 50 billion EURO for the whole world – Doing a simple exercise (the greatest discovery in more than 2 million years of humankind on the planet) for a minute a day, everybody will stay absolutely healthy all the time (Just like me), all life long – never getting sick of any diseases even for a second, as any viruses, any bio-weapons, any cancers, diabetes and strokes are killed the moment they touch us and by that made absolutely none-existent for everyone of us.

    • Alan Dove Oct 15, 2014

      This is a parody, right?

      • Kevin Worldsavior Oct 16, 2014

        I guess the greatest discovery since man appeared on Earth might seem a parody (2 million years is quite a time span) – But in fact my Virus/Cancer Destroyer is the only way to avoid the imminent Ebola apocalypse on the planet. By the way – doing the exercise for a minute a day, I am the healthiest person on Earth – I cannot get sick of any infections, any cancers, diabetes and strokes – While you, wise guy, are fully vulnerable to all of them.

  4. Fred Trout Oct 15, 2014

    You probably should remove that “You can’t get Ebola through air” “Facts” box/icon above (top left) since droplet transmission is possible through air…it’s a stretch when conversational English can incorrectly be force-parsed into epidemiological English. Just lose it. And it may be wrong in any case since there is some possibility of aerosol transmission of Ebola in confined places with freshly aerosolized particles being generated. These apparently can potentially remain infective for about 100+ minutes.

    Thanks for the topics on arthropods and domestic animals. We may need to deal with pig infections both domestic and wild if a widespread outbreaks including countryside eventuate. We do not need a permanent new disease-animal reservoir. Love the podcast.

    • Alan Dove Oct 15, 2014

      It’s not an airborne pathogen. We’ve beaten that issue to death already.

    • We did discuss the definitions of ‘airborne’ on previous TWiVs, also on Transmission of Ebola virus. Droplet transmission is not defined as airborne, it is a form of contact.

  5. Martin Lindh Oct 17, 2014

    It would be interesting for you to comment Michael Osterholm, (Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) talk about Ebola.

  6. Mike B Oct 17, 2014

    What was the Twitter feed mentioned in this episode? I believe it had the word ‘diversity’ in the name, and was described as a research group.

  7. Kevin Worldsavior Jan 25, 2015

    Prevention of Ebola is by far more powerful than its spread – I got the mightiest way on Earth to stay absolutely healthy all the time and that is the fastest solution to the Ebola crisis – I got the power (and everybody can possess it) to wipe out Ebola, AIDS, Colds, Flues, Measles, Chicken and Small Pox, EV-D68, Polio, Malaria, TB, etc. in just a few days – I got my WVD – The Weapon of Virus Destruction – Just an exercise for a minute a day – The cure and prevention of any diseases, known on Earth for more than 2 million years – Infections, Cancers, Diabetes, MS and Strokes – Even Tibetans don’t know how to stay absolutely healthy all the time – The price of the WVD for the whole world is 5 billion EURO/BUCKS/BP.