Ebola outbreak: Five co-authors of latest study killed by virus before their research was published
Study found funeral in Guinea may have caused outbreak in Sierra Leone
Five co-authors of the latest study on Ebola were killed by the virus before their research was published, highlighting the huge risks undertaken by those working to combat its spread.
The study, published on Thursday, discovered the virus has mutated many times during the outbreak in West Africa, making establishing a treatment more difficult.
Mbalu Fonnie, Alex Moigboi, Alice Kovoma, Mohamed Fullah and Sheik Umar Khan worked with lead researchers at Harvard University to examine the current outbreak.
Science Mag said all five were experienced members of the Kenema Government Hospital’s (KGH) Lassa fever team. Lassa fever infections have similar symptoms to Ebola.
Their work sequenced the virus genomes from 78 patients and traced the outbreak in Sierra Leone to a funeral of a healer, which a pregnant Kenema Government Hospital Ebola patient and other women who were also infected had attended.
Two months before his death, Mr Khan had described the dangers of treating people with the disease, telling Reuters he feared for his life.
A doctor examines blood samples of Ebola He said: “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life. Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”
More than half of the 3,069 people infected by Ebola have died from the disease, which has spread across Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and now Senegal.
The World Health Organisation has warned the current outbreak could infect up to 20,000 people before it ends.
The study, 'Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak', is published online in Science Magazine.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...