By MOLLY WRIGHT/Montana State News
Ebola came. It left. So what?
According to David Quammen, it – or something like it – could happen again, and on a much larger scale.
Speaking to a full crowd in the Montana State University Strand Union Building Ballroom recently, the renowned Bozeman-based science writer spoke not only about the Ebola epidemic that struck West Africa, but the deadly potential of any emerging disease.
“Humans are an outbreak population,” said Quammen. With 7 billion people on our planet and counting, we have all the potential to see a viral infection that would kill off much of the population.
The Ebola virus, with 24,000 reported cases and 10,000 deaths, is only one in a long string of deadly diseases. It is known as a zoonotic disease, Quammen said, or an animal infection transmissible to humans. When it crosses from animals to humans, it is known as “spillover.” Continue reading “Next big one may dwarf Ebola outbreak”