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Ebola Virus Stability on Surfaces and in Fluids in Simulated Outbreak Environments - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Ebola Virus Stability on Surfaces and in Fluids in Simulated Outbreak Environments - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015


Ebola Virus Stability on Surfaces and in Fluids in Simulated Outbreak Environments

Robert Fischer1, Seth Judson1, Kerri Miazgowicz, Trenton Bushmaker, Joseph Prescott, and Vincent J. MunsterComments to Author 
Author affiliations: National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, USA


We evaluated the stability of Ebola virus on surfaces and in fluids under simulated environmental conditions for the climate of West Africa and for climate-controlled hospitals. This virus remains viable for a longer duration on surfaces in hospital conditions than in African conditions and in liquid than in dried blood.
Since March 2014, >22,000 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and ≈ 9,000 deaths have been reported in West Africa (1). Thousands of health care professionals have been mobilized to West Africa to assist with the ongoing outbreak of EVD (2). More than 800 Ebola virus (EBOV) infections have been reported in health care professionals (1).
Determining the persistence of EBOV on surfaces and under environmental conditions specific to outbreak settings and disease-endemic areas is critical to improving safety practices for these health care workers (3), as well as answering questions about EBOV transmission among the public (4). Researchers have experimentally assessed the stability of other EBOV strains on plastic, glass, and steel within dried media or guinea pig serum (5); in the dark on glass (6); and during exposure to UV light (7). However, the environmental conditions of these studies do not reflect the higher temperatures and relative humidities (RHs) in outbreak regions, or the current outbreak strain. No infectious EBOV could be found during environmental sampling in a ward with EVD patients; however, this result could be more indicative of cleaning measures than actual virus stability (8).
We report stability of EBOV with a current outbreak strain from Guinea (Makona-WPGC07) (9) on 3 clinically relevant surfaces: stainless steel, plastic, and Tyvek (Dupont, Wilmington, DE, USA). We also determined the stability of EBOV in water, spiked human blood, and blood from infected nonhuman primates (NHPs). These experiments were conducted in 2 environmental conditions, 21°C, 40% RH, and 27°C, 80% RH, to simulate a climate-controlled hospital and the environment in West Africa, respectively.
Dr. Fischer and Mr. Judson are researchers in the Virus Ecology Unit at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. Their research interests are the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases and relationships between human and environmental health.


This study was supported by the Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.


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Suggested citation for this article: Fischer R, Judson S, Miazgowicz K, Bushmaker T, Prescott J, Munster VJ. Ebola virus stability on surfaces and in fluids in simulated outbreak environments. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2107.150253
DOI: 10.3201/eid2107.150253
1These authors contributed equally to this article.

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