Does Sierra Leone have a mutated strain of Ebola?

Sourced Here from Cornell University

But do remember, they’re all mutated strains. Ebola constantly mutates even without human cases. In this outbreak, it’s been shown to be about twice the natural rate.

Epidemiological and evolutionary analysis of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak

The 2014 epidemic of the Ebola virus is governed by a genetically diverse viral population. In the early Sierra Leone outbreak, a recent study has identified new mutations that generate genetically distinct sequence clades. Here we find evidence that major Sierra Leone clades have systematic differences in growth rate and reproduction number. If this growth heterogeneity remains stable, it will generate major shifts in clade frequencies and influence the overall epidemic dynamics on time scales within the current outbreak. Our method is based on simple summary statistics of clade growth, which can be inferred from genealogical trees with an underlying clade-specific birth-death model of the infection dynamics. This method can be used to perform realtime tracking of an evolving epidemic and identify emerging clades of epidemiological or evolutionary significance.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.