5 Scientists Die of Ebola While Researching the Virus



Five scientists studying the #Ebola virus have been killed by the disease before their research was published, highlighting the huge risks undertaken by those working to combat its spread.

Mbalu Fonnie, Alex Moigboi, Alice Kovoma, Mohamed Fullah and Sheik Umar Khan worked with lead researchers at #Harvard University to examine the current outbreak.

Two months before his death, Khan had described the dangers of treating people with the disease, telling Reuters he feared for his life.

As he examined blood samples of Ebola, he said, “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life. Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Science Mag said all five were experienced members of the Kenema Government Hospital’s Lassa fever team. Lassa fever infections have similar symptoms to Ebola.

The study, published on Thursday, discovered the virus has mutated many times during the outbreak in West Africa, making establishing a treatment more difficult.


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