Friday, August 1, 2014

Pictured: Man Who Discovered Ebola Says He Can Sit Next To Infected Person

The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus has said he would sit next to an infected patient on the London Underground and that the outbreak in West Africa was unlikely to trigger a major global pandemic.

Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told AFP that a lack of trust in authorities in West Africa had contributed to the world's largest ever outbreak of the pathogen.

The former executive director of the United Nations HIV/AIDS programme UNAIDS said he did not believe the virus would give rise to a major pandemic, even if an infected person flew to Europe or the US.

"Spreading in the population here, I'm not that worried about it," he said.

"I wouldn't be worried to sit next to someone with Ebola virus on the Tube as long as they don't vomit on you or something. This is an infection that requires very close contact."

Piot discovered Ebola in 1976, as a 27-year-old researcher working in Antwerp. He was sent a blood sample from a Catholic nun who had died in what was then Zaire, and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He later visited Yambuku village, approximately 600 miles north of the modern-day capital city of Kinshasa, where an epidemic had gripped the locals. The majority of infections were among women aged between 20 and 30, centred around a pre-natal consultation clinic.

"People were devastated because in some villages, one in 10, one in eight people could die from Ebola," he told AFP. "I was scared, but I was 27, so you think you are invincible."

The virus, they discovered, was being spread through the reuse of infected needles on pregnant women, as well as through the funeral preparation process.

"Someone who dies is washed, the body is laid out but you do this with bare hands. Someone who died from Ebola, that person is covered with virus because of vomitus, diarrhea, blood," explains Piot, adding that the same thing was now happening in the most recent outbreak.

He said the history of Sierra Leone and Liberia, which has seen over 224 and 130 fatalities respectively since February, was hindering efforts to tackle the virus.

"These countries are coming out of decades of civil war," he said. "Liberia and Sierra Leone are now trying to reconstruct themselves so there is a total lack of trust in authorities, and that combined with poverty and very poor health services I think is the explanation why we have this extensive outbreak now."

He added that officials should test experimental vaccines on people with the virus so that the world is prepared when it returns.

"I think that the time is now, at least in capitals, to offer this kind of treatment for compassionate use but also to find out if it works so that for the next epidemic, we are ready.

Source: Yahoo News


  1. Oh God na ur hand I dey ooo. DERA MI

  2. Information is power

  3. The way Nigerians are taking this Ebola thing is not even as serious as it seems

  4. With more information and by the grace of God, we will overcome Ebola

  5. Now that's my school!!!! . Am so proud of the school mehn! .

  6. Don't be too sure

  7. Our government should invest in research nw,nigerian medical practitioners can source out the cure,the government shld bring out money.

    1. Did you say Nigerian Medical Practitioners? Thought the only research they know how to conduct or carry out was strike. I bet some of them will be happy to be out of work now because it saved them the scare of being infected with Ebola

  8. Softly softly

  9. It's the cure that matters since nothing much can be done about preventing it

  10. So this man is trying to say the virus knows him already, and won't do him any harm.

  11. Don't be too sure Mr

  12. Ebola knows no colour or race

  13. Maybe there is something he knows that we don't

  14. How true is it that bitter kola is able to hinder the development of the virus? Can someone please confirm?

  15. Everyday comes with its own threat here in Africa. When are we going to be finally free from disease, war, and corruption?