Daily VideoAugust 29, 2014
Ebola vaccine begins human trials
Researchers plan to start testing an Ebola vaccine on humans in the wake of the disease’s worst outbreak ever.
The World Health Organization announced a $490 million, nine-month plan to fight the disease, which has killed 1,550 so far and infected over 3,000.
The current Ebola outbreak began in the West African nation of Guinea and soon spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization has predicted that the total number of infections could reach 20,000 before it subsides.
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever that has no effective treatment or cure. It is transmitted through bodily fluids. Many infections have spread through funeral rites, but the largest majority of cases are women who took care of infected relatives.
Fear of the disease has broken health care systems in infected areas, according to Lindis Hurum, who works with from Doctors Without Borders.
“Hospitals have closed, clinics are closed. Some of them have reopened, but the staff is afraid to go back because they are afraid to get the disease,” she said.
Many of the affected West African countries lack the right infrastructure to control infections by quarantine and protect health workers.
GlaxoSmithKline, a large drug company that is partnered with the National Institute of Health, will make the vaccine. Pharmaceutical companies had previously taken little interest in Ebola drugs or vaccines, because it is hard to make money.
The vaccine contains a small amount of genetic material that makes a protein that is part of the virus. However, the vaccine does not contain a virus that can replicate and will not give Ebola to anyone.
Warm up questions
- How does disease spread?
- What is a vaccine?
- Do people around the world have the same access to medical care that you do? Explain.
Critical thinking questions
- Up until now, many pharmaceutical companies have not been interested in helping produce an Ebola vaccine. Why are they making it now?
- What are some ethical issues surrounding human trials of new medicines?
- Officials have stated that many people in infected areas are afraid of the disease. How is this fear affecting the way the disease spreads?
- Many health workers are coming to West African countries from European nations. What sorts of cultural differences could they encounter? How would these differences affect the process of eradicating the virus?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
The murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich in July 2016 has led to a conspiracy theory based on unfounded claims linking Rich to WikiLeaks. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
There is a growing movement among young conservatives, including evangelical Christians, who support environmental regulations. They say it’s important to act as faithful stewards of the earth. One group, the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, has grown to 10,000 members in the past five years. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
School districts around the country are debating whether or not to require seat belts on school buses. Requiring seat belts comes at a high cost for school districts already struggling with tight budgets. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Since the firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, the White House has contradicted itself several times as to the reasoning behind President Donald Trump’s decision. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In a surprising move, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday after receiving recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld