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A Long-term Solution for One of the more Lethal Outbreaks in Recent Years

May 14, 2020 by Esteban Kosak

Probably the most notorious and lethal outbreak in the last decade was the Ebola outbreak. With a death rate up to 90% and a death toll of approximately 28,000 people, this infection should not be taken lightly as currently, only palliative treatment is available for the ones who contract this deadly scourge. Thanks to a group of scientists from different continents and cultures, however, there is now a vaccine for the Ebola hemorrhagic fever that will save thousands of lives in the African Sub-Saharan region.

ebola vaccine

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a viral disease caused by a virus from the filoviridae family, which is transmitted initially from wild animals to humans. Then it is spread in communities through human to human transmission. The virus generates damage by entering inside the host's cells and triggering high amounts of inflammatory mediators that promote septic and hemorrhagic state. Some of the most common symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes. All these symptoms lead then to death as the result of hypotension from fluid loss.

The approved vaccine is composed of vesicular stomatitis virus particles that have been genetically engineered to express a membrane glycoprotein from the Zaire Ebola Virus. By exposing this glycoprotein to the human immune system, it provokes the activation of it and the development of a neutralizing response to Ebola. Finally, it prevents the infection by preventing the virus from entering the host cells.

The repercussions of this vaccine are vast, and the lives that will be saved with it are immeasurable. As the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned: "This is great news that will change Ebola prevention in the future and protect the vulnerable" as he celebrated the achievement made by the selfless actions and efforts of an international team of scientists and doctors.

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