Why Is There Not Yet A Cure For Ebola?

A New York Daily News article noted: “In the age of modern medicine, scientists are feverishly working to find a cure for the deadly Ebola virus, which can kill up to 90% of those it infects. But the disease is a tricky one, able to outsmart its host and entrench itself quickly.”

“When you’re infected with a virus, your cells sense the presence of an infection and respond by making a variety of proteins designed to stop the virus from replicating,” said Dr. Christopher Basler, a microbiology professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Ebola has mechanisms that disable these innate immune responses.”

“Because Ebola spreads very rapidly, he added, once someone has come down with symptoms, treatment is likely too late. Treating or curing the illness, he said, might have to do with developing a drug or vaccine that works faster than the virus.”

“If you can slow the virus down enough, then the immune system can take over and control the infection,” Basler said.

Experimental therapies are showing promise, but questions about safety and supply hinder their use in Ebola’s attack mechanisms can outpower our body’s defenses, but researchers have ideas on how to combat the virus.

Click here to read the full NYDNs article “Why is there not yet a cure for Ebola?” by Meredith Engel.

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Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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