Anthony Fauci: Ebola Virus Not Showing Accelerated Evolution

One of my modern day medical idols is Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead editors of the two-volume Bible of Internal Medicine, “Harrison’s Internal Medicine”, and also the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an NIH News piece he has commented:

“The Ebola virus in the ongoing West African outbreak appears to be stable—that is, it does not appear to be mutating more rapidly than viruses in previous Ebola outbreaks, and that is reassuring,”…. “We look forward to additional information to validate this finding, because understanding and tracking Ebola virus evolution are critical to ensuring that our scientific and public health response keeps pace.”

This news article presents good news in context of the proportions that the Ebola outbreak has assumed in the Western African countries, accounting for 25,000 odd cases and about 10,000 deaths.

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STRIVE to Control Ebola

The Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine Against Ebola (STRIVE) has started recruiting volunteers to test for the effectiveness of the vaccine. About 6,000 healthcare and other frontline workers will be enrolled in STRIVE to receive the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, which uses the vesicular stomatitis virus to carry a non-infectious Zaire ebola virus gene, hopefully inducing an immune response from the recipients.

This trial is being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with the Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Only time shall tell whether this vaccine is the long awaited preventive tool we have been asking for against the killer virus.