Updated 06:28 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014 News Update: What Scientists are Doing To Stop It

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There's no cure for the Ebola virus, although the threat of a breakout is very real, especially in light of recent cases popping up around the globe. The most recent outbreak has claimed over 650 lives and is spreading like wildfire throughout West Africa. So what can be done about it?

The World Health Organization says there's no licensed vaccine available, but "several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids," the organization's website says. 

An experimental drug cocktail has proven to cure the deadly fever in monkeys. The monoclonal antibody cocktail, known as MB-003, was given to infected monkeys over three days. More than half of the infected animals survived, according to a report on NPR.

The virus can be passed on from sick animals, including infected fruit bats, as well as coming into contact with the body fluids of infected people, or people who have died from the disease.

The death rate in the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is 60 percent, according to the World Health Organization. This outbreak has so far claimed more than 650 lives, and has spread at an alarming rate all over West Africa.

One treatment doctors have been using in the recent fight against the virus is saline, which is used to replace the fluids that a patient loses through the vomiting and diarrhea that accompanies the illness, according to NBCNews. There's also the use of fever reduction medicine to control body temperature that  jumps. Doctors are finding that early treatment is key, and has raised the survival rate to 75 percent.

Patrick Sawyer, who is from the United States and works as a consultant with the Liberian government, is the first known American to die from Ebola. 

Two charity workers from the U.S. caught the virus while in Monrovia, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are both in a hospital in serious condition, according to reports

Fighting the disease has also proven fatal for workers in Africa. Sierre Leone's chief doctor died from Ebola while working on the recent outbreak and a Liberian health official succumbed to the disease recently also. 

On Wednesday, the Peace Corps. announced 300 of its volunteers were being pulled from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea due to the virus outbreak. 

Health officials in the U.S. said while it's possible, it's also unlikely Ebola will come to the U.S. and spread like it has in West Africa. 

At a meeting Wednesday in the UK where Ebola was discussed, Dr. Ben Neuman, a Reading University virologist, said the chances of the virus spreading in the UK was slim and "said anyone showing signs of fever from an outbreak area would be quarantined and treated in containment facilities if the infection were confirmed," according to the BBC

"He said the virus itself is 'delicate and inefficient - you have to pick it up from bodily fluids'. But he said it was sensible to be prepared, given the situation in West Africa."

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