Unlike many people, Dr. Leslie Lobel has not been shocked to hear about the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the largest ever recorded since the virus’s discovery in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire). A Ben-Gurion University of the Negev virologist and a leader in the search for a cure for the devastating disease, Lobel had been predicting such an outbreak.
Photo: Dr. Leslie Lobel Dr. Leslie Lobel (second from left) oversees the drawing of blood from an Ebola survivor in Uganda for his study. (Courtesy of Leslie Lobel)
The quick spread this time of the disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria has demonstrated the dire need for the vaccine that Lobel and his team have been working toward for the past 12 years by researching the natural immune system of Ebola survivors in Uganda.
The virus spreads from person to person through direct contact with bodily fluids. Individuals infected with Ebola usually begin to show symptoms of the disease eight to 10 days after exposure to the virus. Initial symptoms are similar to those of the flu, but in about half of cases, the person begins to hemorrhage. Soon, blood vessels deep inside the body begin to leak fluid. This leads to extremely low blood pressure that causes damage to internal organs. In previous outbreaks, between 60 and 90 percent of cases were fatal.
Read Entire Story in The Times of Israel