Articles on Ebola

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Bottled and ready to go. NIAID/SGK Handout

Why we need volunteers for the first human Ebola trials

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has emerged rapidly and evolved with alarming ease. An unprecedented number of lives have been lost and WHO predictions are that the virus will infect in excess…
A Liberian nurse disinfects a looted mattress taken from an elementary school that was used as an Ebola isolation unit in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Epidemic ethics: four lessons from the current Ebola outbreak

The extent of the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has belatedly focused the attention of non-governmental organisations, local and Western governments, and international media. What we haven’t…
Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for illnesses such as Ebola virus disease. AAP Image/David Crosling

How Western national interest drives Ebola drug development

Ebola virus disease typically only occurs in rural and remote areas among resource-poor populations. Until the large, recent outbreak in West Africa, cases of the illness were a rarity. So the fact that…
Entry screening aims to identify and deal with travellers coming back from Ebola-affected countries with a fever. EPA/Legnan Koula

Containing the international spread of Ebola

The West African Ebola virus outbreak is already the largest of its kind, both in terms of numbers and geography. And with the most distant parts of the world less than a day’s flight away, it isn’t too…
Second-hand news. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

WHO Ebola ethics panel excluded those most affected

The World Health Organisation has been in a rush to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Last week it declared it an international health emergency, and after two infected US doctors were given…
Most agree that if an individual is likely to die and an experimental therapy has a reasonable chance to prevent death, then it should be given. EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Fast-tracking access to experimental Ebola drugs

The current outbreak of Zaire Ebola virus in Western Africa is the largest ever recorded. More than 1800 people have been infected and nearly 1000 people have died. But while drug therapies are close to…
Liberia’s lack of infrastructure. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

Tackling Ebola: isolate, hydrate and educate

Our understanding of Ebola has increased considerably since outbreaks of a mysterious haemorrhagic fever caused by an unknown virus first occurred in Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo…
Border screening for Ebola is unlikely to be effective because the virus has a 21-day incubation period and early symptoms are similar to common infections such as malaria. EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

Ebola outbreak is cause for concern but there’s hope yet

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now the largest recorded since the virus was first described in 1976. That this outbreak is not under control after more than four months is cause for great…
Ebola travels by bat, on the wing. yotut

Fruit bats could help predict Ebola outbreaks

Pictures of masked and gowned healthcare workers have become recurrent images as the Ebola virus continues to spread in West Africa. It is the largest Ebola virus outbreak ever recorded, and the death…
Authorities are rapidly trying to stop the spread of Ebola. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

How Ebola could head out of Africa – a tale of two travellers

It is 6am on a warm West African morning. Two men, Ahmed and Milton, are up early, getting ready for long journeys. Apart from that they have little in common. Ahmed is a high-ranking official in the Ministry…
Not malaria - guess again. James Gathany/CDC

Why are emerging viruses here – and why now?

The US is on the brink of a new virus epidemic; a virus that wasn’t there ten years ago but which is now worrying officials. Chikungunya, which causes an incapacitating fever, is spread via Aedes mosquitoes…

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