Home » General Knowledge » Ebola virus has mutated, say scientists. Current Affairs & General Knowledge January 2015.

Ebola virus has mutated, say scientists. Current Affairs & General Knowledge January 2015.

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak have said that the deadly virus has mutated. The team is yet to confirm whether the virus has become more virulent or contagious. Viruses are notorious for changing form making it difficult to create vaccines against them.
Ebola is an RNA virus -like HIV and influenza -which have a high rate of mutation. “We know the virus is changing quite a lot,“ said human geneticist Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai from the Institut Pasteur in France. The lab was the first to identify the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea last March. “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,“ he said.

To better understand and characterize the transmission of the virus and improve control strategies, researchers at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar led by Amadou Sall and Institut Pasteur in Paris team with Simon Cauchemez reconstructed the chains of transmission of Ebola in Conakry from February to August 2014.

Interviews of patients and their families and neighbours made it possible to measure Ebola transmission in different settings and at different times. In March, funeral transmission constituted 15% of all transmissions and hospital transmission constituted 35%. These proportions dropped respectively to 4% and 9% in April after safe burials were implemented and an Ebola treatment centre was opened. Patients that were admitted to the hospital infected on average twice less people in the community than those that were not.

India beats China in growth of garment exports

Amid concerns over several larger overseas buyers seeking reduction in prices in the wake of a drop in cotton prices, here’s some silver lining for garment exporters. Export of readymade garments from India has grown faster than those shipped from China for a bulk of 2014, although the rise is on a much smaller base.
According to UN Comtrade data, during JanuaryOctober 2014, India’s garment exports rose 14.6% to $14 billion. In contrast, exports from China were 6.5% higher at $145 billion, which in value terms is 10 times higher.

The news will come as some sort of a relief to Indian exporters, many of whom have been asked to reduce costs by 6-8% by their overseas buyers, who want a share of the higher margins due to a steep fall in cotton prices, which account for a major chunk of the overall costs.

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