Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.
“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.
Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through “droplets.”
“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person,” the poster states.
Nass slammed the contradiction.
“The CDC said it doesn’t spread at all by air, then Friday they came out with this poster,” she said. “They admit that these particles or droplets may land on objects such as doorknobs and that Ebola can be transmitted that way.”
Dr. Rossi Hassad, a professor of epidemiology at Mercy College, said droplets could remain active for up to a day.
“A shorter duration for dry surfaces like a table or doorknob, and longer durations in a moist, damp environment,” Hassad said.
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.
In other developments:
- The de Blasio administration said the cost to New York of preparing for and treating Ebola patients and suspected victims will be “in the millions.” The city intends to ask the feds for help in paying the bill.
- Dr. Craig Spencer remained at Bellevue Hospital in serious but stable condition.
- The 5-year-old Bronx boy hospitalized at Bellevue was taken out of isolation after doctors determined he had only a respiratory infection.
- Texas nurse Amber Vinson, who caught Ebola while treating a Liberian man who later died, was declared disease-free and released from an Atlanta hospital — and was elated to be able to go home with the all-clear. “It has been God’s love that has truly carried my family and me through this difficult time and has played such an important role in giving me hope and strength to fight,” she said.
- Doctors Without Borders nurse Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined against her will at a New Jersey hospital after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, is staying at an undisclosed location in Maine. Tuesday night, her lawyer told ABC News, “Going forward, she does not intend to abide by the quarantine imposed by Maine officials because she is not a risk to others.”
- President Obama delivered a veiled jab at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s treatment of Hickox, saying officials should not react to the crisis based on “fears.”