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Idea for Ebola Vaccine

Paul Wilson wilson at cs.utexas.edu
Wed Aug 2 19:02:09 EST 1995


In article <dsalas-2607951037270001 at gene200-91.ucsd.edu>,
Dan Salas <dsalas at ucsd.edu> wrote:
>In article <3v40i0$o2b at grape.epix.net>, Dave Peters <dpeters> wrote:
>
>Based on the high infectivity rate and fast turnover of Ebola Zaire, I
>wonder if the immune system could mount an adequate defense even if
>antibodies were present from a vaccine.  You'd need a huge titer of
>antibodies to combat the huge number of viral particles.  Plus the window
>between infection and detection is only a few days, and then detection to
>death isn't much faster.  Containment and avoidance have been the best
>defenses so far.

But containment hasn't been tested in the bad cases, namely things like
people crashing out on intercontinental aircraft, and other people
inhaling their air for many hours.

Maybe it's no big threat, but my understanding of the Reston strain
is that it's very scary because it can be spread through the air,
and is very closely related to the Mayinga strain, which is about as bad
a bug as anybody's ever seen.  (Maybe there's a deep reason why the Reston
strain is airborne but *not* virulent in humans, but I haven't heard
one yet---and if it can still kill monkeys, I'd have to guess that some
other variant could be airborne and still kill humans.)

It is creepy that one close relative of the Mayinga strain---or any Ebola
at all---has already provided an existence proof that variants of Ebola
can be very contagious.

Seems to me we ought to be looking at alternatives in case a really
bad strain comes along.  Anybody know what alternatives are being looked
at in case contianment and avoidance fail and there's a major outbreak?

(I'm no virologist.  Corrections welcome.)
-- 
| Paul R. Wilson, Comp. Sci. Dept., U of Texas @ Austin (wilson at cs.utexas.edu)
| Papers on memory allocators, garbage collection, memory hierarchies,
| persistence and  Scheme interpreters and compilers available via ftp from 
| ftp.cs.utexas.edu, in pub/garbage or http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/oops/)      



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