The first ever outbreak occurred beside the river Ebola, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1976. A doctor in Antwerp, Belgium secured some samples of Ebola infected blood samples on ice from the DRC by post, in 1976, prompting him to visit a clinic in the DRC run by Belgian nuns where there were no doctors. The realisation that Ebola could be an effective biological weapon ensured health officials from the US, Canada and Russia engaged in harvesting antibodies from Ebola survivors ensuring an effective vaccine against this global threat could be created and stored.
Ebola uses protein spikes to attach to red blood corpuscles. Ebola then enters and kills the cells - producing a heamorrhagic flow from all organs. This flow of blood is highly contagious to another person touching it. Antibodies, when introduced into a person infected with Ebola, retracts these proteins so that the Ebola virus cannot attach to the cells.
Favipiariavir (T-705) represents the first effective therapeutic agent for advanced Zaire EBOV (Ebola virus) infection in an animal model. It reduces viraemia (reduces the number of viruses), ameliorates clinical and biochemical signs of disease, and prevents lethal outcomes in 100% of the animals if treatment is commenced 6 days after infection that is 2 - 4 days before the time of death in control animals. Human clinical trials in Switzerland are ongoing.
Ebola doubling times are of concern: The number of Ebola victims if unknown does not allow simple doubling i.e. 2,4,8...512, 1024 toapply. The 7, 14 and 21 weekly incubating times could find a large amount of Ebola victims coalescing so that no treatment centre could cope. The world woke up to Ebola 2013 - 2016, and due to significant nations' help the outbreak in West Africa was contained. The current outbreak in the DRC war zone required 6 months to reach 1,000 patients, then 90 days to reach 2,000 patients is it 3,000 patients within 45 days?
Ebola outbreak, DRC and Uganda
The current Ebola outbreak began in August 2018 in eastern Congo and has infected 2,062 people killing 1,390 of them representing 60% case fatalities. The West African epidemic infected 28,000 people and killed 11,300 in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone which had never experienced Ebola before. A mutation of one of the five types of Ebola virus in 2005 led to the 2013-16 West African outbreak.The epicentre of the outbreak has been difficult to control due to health workers repeatedly attacked in Africa's World War. At least 2 Ebola victims recorded in Uganda confirms the disease has spread beyond Uganda. Many victims of Ebola sought treatment from traditional healers believing the disease is a ruse to rig elections. 'This Ebola outbreak is in a truly frightening phase and shows no sign of stopping' a Director of the Wellcome Trust involved in fighting Ebola stated.
Marburg virus - a cause for concern
Marburg virus was identified in 1967 when 37 laboratory personnel working on the Polio vaccine were infected when in close contact with African Green Monkeys imported from Uganda these two outbreaks occurred in Marburg Germany and Belgrade, now Serbia. Sporadic infections of westerners travelling widely in west Kenya and eastern Uganda in 1976 and 1987 with this virulent haemorrhagic fever readily identified compounded by little information on the origin of this African virus which is related to Ebola is a quite frightening prospect. 25% case fatalities is ominous.