In a little reported story, scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola — the often fatal “bleeding disease.” Thomas Geisbert of Boston University and a team of researchers have developed an experimental drug that appears to protect monkeys from the most lethal strain of Ebola.
With death rates up to 90 percent, Ebola has long been viewed as a prime candidate for a pandemic disease with the ability to wipe out a significant percentage of mankind. The only “positive” aspect of the disease from a pandemic perspective is that it killed people so quickly, the rapid lethality reduced its spread. However, the feel has long been that Ebola could go airborne and pass from human to human. It currently only passes through exposure to contaminated blood (even slight exposure). One case of apparent mutation of Ebola led to an airborne transfer among monkeys in Reston, Virginia in 1989.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is named after the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was first recorded as a disease in 1976.
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