A geneticist at Pasteur Institute in Paris has warned that the Ebola virus has mutated or in the process of mutating and when it comes back in the next wave of transmission, it could possibly be more deadly. Dr. Anavaj Sakuntabhai said this in an interview with BBC News 4 radio as reported by Telegraph, UK. According to him, there were a few cases of people being infected without showing any symptoms of the disease – implying that they can unknowingly infect others without being conscious of it.
“Viruses had to fight a balance between infecting people and spreading ,” He added. “We have seen several cases that don’t have any symptoms at all when infected. These people may be the ones who could spread the virus better, we do not know yet.
“A virus can change from more deadly into less deadly but more contagious and that is something we are afraid of .”
Immunologists are working on two vaccines, one of which is a modification of the widely-used measles vaccine, which they hope will provide additional protection against Ebola. There were around 8,000 deaths from Ebola and more than 20,000 reported cases in west Africa last year.
The greatest fear among scientists at the moment is that the virus may mutate to become airborne, spreading its infection capacity wider and deadlier with the ability to reach a higher number of victims.