Ebola Outbreak: The Vaccine and 'Secret Serum' Explained - TheGuardian


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As Nigeria becomes the fourth west African country fighting to contain Ebola, Professor Eleanor Riley from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains the latest medical science for preventing and treating the disease.

Why hasn't an Ebola vaccine been developed so far?

Ebola, which has occasional small, often easily contained, outbreaks, is never going to be a high priority for the World Health Organisation(WHO) or donors. They aren't going to vaccinate everybody at birth against the disease because of the amount of effort and resource you would have to put in to save a small number of lives.

Is that still true after this outbreak?

Yes and no. This is the biggest outbreak by far. We've known about Ebola since the 1970s and most outbreaks have been very well controlled. This one is unusual. Somebody took their eye off the ball and maybe that won't happen again, we don't know. But I think this has been a real learning point for public health.

It takes two or three weeks after vaccination for your immune response to get to a protective level. So it's not as if you can go into a village where there's been an outbreak, vaccinate everyone and they're protected. Once you've got an outbreak, vaccination isn't necessarily much help.

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Source: #TheGuardian


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