'Over 250 Mutations' of Ebola Spreading Across West Africa

'Over 250 Mutations' of Ebola Spreading Across West Africa

Researchers in West Africa have discovered “over 250 mutations” of Ebola spreading through West Africa.

NPR reports that “the lead author” of research on the virus is Harvard computational biologist Pardis Sabeti. She says that “the virus is rapidly accumulating new mutations as it spreads through people.” This means “over 250 … mutations are changing in real time.”

The data gathered by Sabeti “also indicate that the outbreak started when just one person caught Ebola from an animal.” Thereafter, the virus spread “through human-to-human transmission–not through humans eating infected bush meat (wild game) as was first thought.”

Columbia University’s Stephen Morse is “not surprised the virus is mutating so rapidly.” Drawing on examples from SARS, HIV, and the flu, he said, “Very often when a new virus is introduced into the human population very suddenly, it will show accelerated rates of evolution.”

On August 8, Breitbart News reported that the families of U.S. diplomats were ordered to leave Liberia because of the Ebola virus. At that time, Reuters reported that “U.S staff would remain on active duty at the embassy and additional staff were being sent” to aid the government of Liberia as it coped with the virus.

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