Research in a War Zone

Ebola researchers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have adapted to working in a war zone, Amy Maxmen reports in Nature.

A massive vaccination campaign pivoted to deter attacks, researchers are rushing to complete genomic sequencing of virus samples, and an unprecedented experimental drugs trial is nearing completion.

Congolese researchers are particularly motivated to ensure the fruits of their labor are felt at home, a global hotbed of the disease. One of the drugs being tested is based on antibodies from survivors of a 1995 DRC outbreak. And results are promising—the mortality rate among the study cohort is 35-40% compared to 67% overall.

But why hasn’t this outbreak garnered more attention? Could it be that—after the dreaded spread of the West Africa Ebola outbreak didn’t materialize in the West—people are no longer afraid? Helen Branswell ponders in STAT.

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