US scientist: Ebola unlikely to become airborne

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A top U.S. government scientist says it's very unlikely that Ebola would mutate to spread through the air.

In congressional hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, lawmakers asked Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health about that possibility.

He said a mutation that could completely change how a virus is transmitted would be a very rare event. But he said researchers are monitoring for genetic changes as the outbreak in West Africa continues.

Fauci said stopping the epidemic is the best way to make sure to guard against a dangerous change — because a virus that isn't spreading can't mutate.

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