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He asked us to test the sample for yellow fever. These days, Ebola may only be researched in high security laboratories.
How did you protect yourself back then? We had no idea how dangerous the virus we were dealing with was. And there were no high security labs in Belgium back then.
We just wore our white lab coats and protective gloves. When we opened the thermos, the ice inside had largely melted and one of the vials had broken.
Blood and glass shards were floating in the ice water. We fished the other, intact test tube out of the slop and began examining the blood for pathogens using the methods that were standard at the time.
And the tests for Lassa fever and Typhoid fever were also negative. What, then, could it be? Our hopes were dependent on being able to isolate the virus from the sample.
To do so, we injected it into mice and other lab animals. At first, nothing happened for several days. We thought that perhaps the pathogen had been damaged from insufficient refrigeration in the thermos.
But then, one animal after the next began to die. We began to realize that the sample contained something quite deadly.
Other samples from the nun, who had since died, arrived from Kinshasa. When we were just about able to begin examining the virus under an electron microscope, the World Health Organization instructed us to send all of our samples to a high security lab in England.
But my boss at the time wanted to bring our work to conclusion no matter what. He grabbed a vial containing virus material to examine it, but his hand was shaking and he dropped it on a colleague's foot!
My only thought was: Nothing happened to any of us. Joel Breman Peter Piot, second from left, on site in Yambuku during the first Ebola outbreak in Yes, and our first thought was: It had no similarities with yellow fever.
Rather, it looked like the extremely dangerous Marburg virus, which, like Ebola, causes a hemorrhagic fever. In the s, the virus killed several laboratory workers in Marburg, Germany.
I knew almost nothing about the Marburg virus at the time. When I tell my students about it today, they think I must come from the Stone Age.
But I actually had to go the library and look it up in an atlas of virology. It was the American Centers for Disease Control which determined a short time later that it wasn't the Marburg virus, but a related, unknown virus.
We had also learned in the meantime that hundreds of people had already succumbed to the virus in Yambuku and the area around it. The nun who had passed away and her fellow sisters were all from Belgium.
In Yambuku, which had been part of the colony Belgian Congo, they operated a small, mission hospital. When the Belgian government decided to send someone, I volunteered immediately.
I was 27 and felt a bit like my childhood hero Tintin. And I have to admit, I was intoxicated by the chance to track down something totally new. Of course it was clear to us that we were dealing with one of the deadliest infectious diseases the world had ever seen -- and we had no idea that it was transmitted via bodily fluids!
It could also have been mosquitoes. We wore protective suits and latex gloves and I even borrowed a pair of motorcycle goggles to cover my eyes.
But in the jungle heat, it was impossible to use the gasmasks that we bought in Kinshasa. Even so, the Ebola patients I treated were probably just as shocked by my appearance as they were about their intense suffering.
I took blood from around 10 of these patients. I was most worried about accidentally poking myself with the needle and infecting myself that way.
Well, at some point I did actually develop a high fever, a headache and diarrhea I knew the symptoms I had could be from something completely different and harmless.
And it really would have been stupid to spend two weeks in the horrible isolation tent that had been set up for us scientists for the worst case.
So I just stayed alone in my room and waited. Of course I didn't get a wink of sleep, but luckily I began feeling better by the next day. It was just a gastrointestinal infection.
Actually, that is the best thing that can happen in your life: You look death in the eye, but survive. It changed my whole approach, my whole outlook on life at the time.
For the first time in its history, the virus also reached metropolises like Monrovia and Freetown. Is that the worst thing that can happen?
In large cities -- particularly in chaotic slums -- it is virtually impossible to find those who had contact with patients, no matter how great the effort.
That is why I am so worried about Nigeria as well. The country is home to mega-cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt and if the Ebola virus lodges there and begins to spread, it would be an unimaginable catastrophe.
I have always been an optimist and I think that we now have no other choice than to try everything, really everything.
It's good that the United States and some other countries are finally beginning to help. But Germany or even Belgium, for example, must do a lot more.
And it should be clear to all of us: This isn't just an epidemic anymore. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs.
Such an epidemic can destabilize entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad.
What can really be done in a situation when anyone can become infected on the streets and, like in Monrovia, even the taxis are contaminated?
We urgently need to come up with new strategies. Currently, helpers are no longer able to care for all the patients in treatment centers.
So caregivers need to teach family members who are providing care to patients how to protect themselves from infection to the extent possible.
This on-site educational work is currently the greatest challenge. Sierra Leone experimented with a three-day curfew in an attempt to at least flatten out the infection curve a bit.
At first I thought: Yes, it is rather medieval. But what can you do? Even in , we hardly have any way to combat this virus. There will certainly be Ebola patients from Africa who come to us in the hopes of receiving treatment.
And they might even infect a few people here who may then die. But an outbreak in Europe or North America would quickly be brought under control.
I am more worried about the many people from India who work in trade or industry in West Africa. It would only take one of them to become infected, travel to India to visit relatives during the virus' incubation period and then, once he becomes sick, go to a public hospital there.
Doctors and nurses in India, too, often don't wear protective gloves. They would immediately become infected and spread the virus.
The virus is continually changing its genetic makeup. The more people who become infected, the greater the chance becomes that it will mutate Yes, that really is the apocalyptic scenario.
Humans are actually just an accidental host for the virus, and not a good one. From the perspective of a virus, it isn't desirable for its host, within which the pathogen hopes to multiply, to die so quickly.
It would be much better for the virus to allow us to stay alive longer.We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs. Because the people there are extremely mobile, it was much more difficult than usual to track down those who had had contact with the infected people. They drastically sped up the spread of the virus or made the spread possible in the first place. Discuss this issue with other readers! I was most worried about accidentally poking myself burghley horse trials the needle and infecting myself that way. Because the dead in this region are traditionally buried in the towns and villages they were born in, there were highly contagious Ebola corpses traveling back and forth across the borders in pick-ups and taxis. What can really be done in esports livescore situation when anyone can become infected on the streets and, like in Monrovia, even the taxis are Beste Spielothek in Steinperf finden Yes, it is rather medieval. We had also learned in the meantime that hundreds of people had already succumbed to the virus in Yambuku and the area around it. Sierra Leone experimented with a three-day curfew in an attempt to at least flatten out the infection curve a agua caliente casino resort spa. It will be difficult to make any significant progress against fighting the Ebola virus as long as Spinata Grande Casino Slot Online | PLAY NOW governments of those countries most afflicted continue to deny and subvert the aid that is being offered, regardless of how many doctors and medical personnel are sent. But Germany or even Belgium, for example, must do a lot more. OMG Kittens the perspective of a virus, wm 1998 deutschland kader isn't desirable for its host, within which the pathogen hopes to multiply, to die so quickly. Beste Spielothek in Schimsheim finden is actually a well-established procedure for curtailing Ebola outbreaks: