UN warns Ebola virus could become airborne in nightmare scenario

The chief of United Nations' Ebola mission has warned that the Ebola virus may mutate to become airborne in nightmare scenario if the current outbreak is not brought under control fast enough.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2014, 14:16 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

London: The chief of United Nations' Ebola mission has warned that the Ebola virus may mutate to become airborne in nightmare scenario if the current outbreak is not brought under control fast enough.

Anthony Banbury, the Secretary General's Special Representative, said that the situation may be a nightmare but it cannot be ruled out, adding that the longer the virus has to mutate, the greater the chance it may become airborne.

Admitting that the international community had been late to respond to the epidemic and that aid workers are facing the difficult task of curbing the disease now, he also said that it was not too late to wake up and fight Ebola virus.

His warning comes after a patient in a Dallas hospital was confirmed Tuesday to have the deadly Ebola virus.

According to WHO, the current epidemic has infected more than 7,100 people and killed more than 3,300.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention had earlier said that there could be as many as 1.4 million cases by January.

Further, a charity on Thursday warned that five people are being infected with Ebola every hour in Sierra Leone. And if the terrifying rate of infection continues, the numbers could go up to 10 by the end of October in the Weste African country, added the London-based organisation.