If I understand correctly, there have been several human cases of Ebola Reston,
which apparently produces a symptomless, nonlethal, infection in humans but is
lethal in monkeys. Furthermore, it seems that Ebola Reston is _far_ more
contagious by air than the other filoviruses, Marburg, and Ebola Zaire/Sudan.
This would be quite a nightmare if it had a lethality in humans comparable to the
My questions are these:
(1) Have any experiments been done to discover if humans infected with Ebola
Reston exhibit any heightened resistance to other filoviruses? (I am
considering here if, as cowpox was effective in vaccinating against smallpox,
Ebola Reston could be developed into a vaccination againt the lethal
(2) Have any experiments been done on spontaneous mutation of Ebola? (ie- how
likely is it that Ebola Zaire would spontaneously mutate into an agent as
readily airborne as Ebola Reston, while preserving its lethality?) I am
aware that such research may very well be illegal, as it could be construed
as development of a biological weapon, but nevertheless, I believe the answer
(3) How easy would it be to mutate _deliberately_ the Ebola Zaire virus into a
highly contagious, airborne strain? (If it can be done, rest assured
somebody eventually will try.)
(4) If an outbreak of a highly contagious, airborne, lethal Ebola strain
occurred, have any simulations been done to predict the global impact?
Would a global epidemic be likely, or would we be reasonably able to contain
I imagine these questions are not original; I am curious if any information about
them is available.