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Contrary to earlier concerns, scientists assure that the Ebola virus is not mutating

1st April 2015 The world at large should be happy about the discovery by scientists that the dreaded Ebola virus which recently affected parts of West Africa and the world, is not mutating as quickly as was previously feared. This is good news for treating the disease and preventing its spread. Earlier research which was conducted based on limited data had hinted that the virus was mutating twice as quickly as in the past, but scientists who sequenced four Ebola samples taken in Mali between October and November last year found no significant genetic changes when they compared with samples taken at the beginning of the epidemic in March 2014.

According to Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “The Ebola virus in the ongoing West African outbreak appears to be stable, that is, it does not appear to be mutating more rapidly than viruses in previous Ebola outbreaks, and that is reassuring,”

The diagnostic tests, antibodies and experimental vaccines of Ebola center on the genetic make-up of the virus at a particular moment. If too much variation occurs, diagnosis of new, mutated forms might not be possible and vaccines and antibodies could become ineffective.

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