Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Scientist who discovered Ebola: ‘This is unprecedented’

July 2nd, 2014
02:51 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The scientist who discovered the Ebola virus said that a current outbreak of the deadly bug in West Africa, in which 467 people have died, is “unprecedented.”

“One, [this is] the first time in West Africa that we have such an outbreak,” Dr. Peter Piot told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Secondly, it is the first time that three countries are involved. And thirdly it’s the first time that we have outbreaks in capitals, in capital cities.”

Doctors Without Borders warns that the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is now “out of control.” The number of cases is still spiking since it was first observed around the beginning of this year.

“With this strain of Ebola, you’ve got like a ninety percent chance of dying. That’s spectacular by any standard – one of the most lethal viruses that exist.”

And the way victims die is far from pleasant.

“Ebola virus infection starts with something that looks like the flu – headache, fever, maybe diarrhoea. But then you can develop very fast bleeding that’s uncontrollable, and that’s how people die.”

Easy to fight

There is no cure for Ebola, but in theory the disease should be easy to fight, Piot said.

“You need really close contact to become infected. So just being on the bus with someone with Ebola, that’s not a problem.”

Simple hygienic measures like washing with soap and water, not re-using syringes, and avoiding contact with infected corpses are sufficient to stop spread of the disease, Piot said.

“This is an epidemic of dysfunctional health systems.”

“Fear of the virus, and the lack of trust in government, in the health system, is as bad as the actual virus.”

What happens “is that a person is infected, is hospitalized, infects other patients and particularly health care workers.”

“They’re buried somewhere; around that funeral, people are infected when they touch the body, and so on. And then they get ill, and then they go somewhere else, and then they go to relatives in town, maybe because they hope to have better health care. That’s how it spreads.”

A ‘very big virus’

Piot was a young researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp in the 1970s when they got a blood sample from a Belgian nun who had died in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).

“The clinical diagnosis was yellow fever – and we were equipped to isolate the yellow fever virus. But then something completely different came out of it, and under the microscope it looked like – kind of a more like a wormlike structure.”

It was, he said, a “very big virus.” At the time, there was only one other virus “known to be of that shape,” Marburg Virus.

They shipped the sample off to the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., who confirmed that it was indeed something completely new.

But forty years later, much is still unknown about Ebola.

“We are not one hundred percent sure where this virus comes from. Probably from some bat.”

“A lot of research has been done, but not enough. And as long as we don’t know where exactly this virus hides outside epidemics, then we can’t map where the risks are.”

The response

The current outbreak is “already a mega-crisis,” Piot said.

“For me, this is a reason for a state of emergency, you know, in these countries.”

“You need a combination of nearly military type of control measures – isolation, quarantine of those who are the diseased – but also their relatives, to make sure that they’re not spreading the infection.”

“And, secondly, community mobilization. Information can save lives here.”

That was brought into sharp focus on Wednesday, when the Red Cross said that it would suspend operations in Guinea after some of its workers were threatened by men with knives.

“The fear of the virus and running away from health services, that contributes to perpetuate the spread of Ebola virus.”

Resistant viruses, ‘one of the biggest challenges’

Ebola, Piot said, does not appear to be morphing or evolving.

But many bacteria are, becoming immune to antibiotics, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new initiative Wednesday to try to tackle the problem.

“This is one of the biggest challenges of the future, and that is the possibility that some of the very banal bacterial infections will be untreatable,” Piot said.

“And then major surgery will become untreatable, people admitted to hospital will die from these infections. We already have some strains like that for tuberculosis.”

The solution is “more disciplined” prescription of antibiotics, curtailing the amount of antibiotics given to animals (which ends up in our food), and the development on new antibiotics.

“I think, now, because of the greater awareness, there is hope. But we’re running out of time.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Science
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. xauen

    Antibiotics are effective against bacteria, not viruses.

    July 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Andy W

      Mr. Cameron should stick to politics.

      July 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Reply
      • Ktoto

        Mr. Cameron was talking about bacteria, not ebola virus, it's journalist who suddenly switched the topic at the end of article.

        July 4, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • Keith

      That is true. I only wish the truth were more widely known. Even in this country doctors commonly use antibiotics to treat the common cold and the flu. I believe they do so because their patients think it is going to cure their ailment. What actually happens is that they recover naturally so they think the antbiotics worked. Doctors should know better. All they are doing is increasing the chances of disease causing organisms mutating into antibiotic resistant strains.

      July 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Reply
      • BigBankTheory

        Many times the bacterial infection creates an environment in the body that makes viral infections also possible. By killing off the virus that's superimposed on the bacterial infection speeds up the process of getting better. At least that's the reasoning behind using antibiotics when a bacterial infection is present.

        July 3, 2014 at 1:02 am |
      • John

        You should see how Hong Kong treats their patients. Its pretty standard for doctors to supply antibiotics like they're vitamins

        July 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Lui

        indipvp.I just bought a brand new Maserati after having made $8072 this past 4 weeks and just over 10k last month. This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few months ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum $81 p/h. I use details from this webpage ..... PayCog.c*om

        July 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
      • kodjo

        bigbangtheory got it twisted. viral infections make it easy for bacterial infections to set in. some doctors on assesement of the patient may decide to give prophylactic antibiotics, to prevent a bacterial infection from setting in while the viral condition runs its natural course.

        August 7, 2014 at 3:02 am |
    • leon

      EBOLA WAS CREATED BY God with a reason

      July 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Sure. And I will bet that you and others who believe that will know just what that reason is, and it will conveniently align with your biases, prejudices, political motives, and hate

        July 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • frankybev

        Apparently, so was the blackdeath , God doesn't seem to be batting very well these days.

        July 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Slinky the Wonder Ferret

      Cameron wasn't talking about Ebola, he was talking about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Read before posting.

      July 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Yes, but it was a strange transition to something irrelevant to the story when he started writing about antibiotics

        July 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
    • Troubled days

      I blame Jim Carey's anti-immuno wife for this nonsense.

      July 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Reply
      • Kim

        Ok so let me attempt to understand your ignorant stance! A person who is against vaccination is blamed for the Ebola virus? A virus that never had a vaccination that was developed and administered to the masses? Wake the hell up and do your research! That was an asinine statement!

        July 3, 2014 at 6:59 am |
    • Anno

      Not sure if stupid or just plain ignorant?

      July 3, 2014 at 9:22 am | Reply
  2. Sean Sean

    Mr. Krever, please note that Mr. Cameron's comment on the misuse of antibiotics have NOTHING TO DO WITH viruses; antibiotics only work on BACTERIA, not viruses.

    July 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  3. Joe

    "In the beginning God created……" Ebola?

    July 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • H. B .

      While I don't "relate" to your use of God, many researchers are convinced that Ebola virus – and some other viruses, too – are very likely the oldest organisms on the planet. They're just strings of RNA, without the DNA. This could mean they were preceding organisms which have both. As strings of RNA, the virus depends utterly on a host for its survival and means of reproducing. Until then, it cycles in some organism. In some viruses, they can crystallize. Which gave rise to doubts whether a virus was a living thing or not. I think it IS, since when it has its favored conditions, it acts entirely like a living thing.

      Maybe Ebola wasn't one of those, but it would still mean Ebola is incredibly ancient. How it came to reside in a particular creature without harming it, just waiting for some "meat" to come close enough, is something the researchers are dying to learn. It appears to be tropical, and originated somewhere in tropical rain forest environments, where it settled into a particular organism so it could just keep "cycling" until it encountered a victim. Those victims were often primates – monkeys, apes, etc. Humans are so closely related to other primates that it is only natural that we, too, could be desirable food. Not always, though. Ebola Reston only affected monkeys, not humans. But most of these hemorrhagic fever viruses affect both.

      What really scares me is that Reston evolved and became airborne. Like colds or flu. Which made us humans profoundly LUCKY that it didn't kill us. If it had, it's possible most of humanity could have been killed by it.

      We in the free world have the best medical knowledge and facilities. But that doesn't mean we're safe from something like an airborne Ebola. If it spread like a cold or flu, our facilities would quickly become overwhelmed.

      When researchers first called Ebola Zaire a "slate wiper," they weren't kidding. Back in the '70's, the death rate was about 98%. If it's less now, it is entirely due to our better ability to deal with it. But if our facilities become overwhelmed, it'll be all over for most of us.

      Nor were they kidding to call it gruesome. Ebola and other hemorrhagic viruses, regard US as meat. They reproduce like crazy, and try to turn the host's entire BODY into virus particles. They can't do that with bone, but the soft tissues of someone who died by "crashing and bleeding out" from Ebola have been turned into bloody mush. Even the word "gruesome" isn't quite strong enough.

      Even the researchers at the CDC, who have profound protections, are mortally terrified when they have to work with Ebola, particularly Ebola Zaire, the one with the highest death toll.

      The more people who contract Ebola, the greater the chance of it evolving into an airborne virus. That would truly be bad. The people working to stem this outbreak know this QUITE thoroughly, though. Every one of them is a true hero. Every one of them risks his own life just to treat patients and do research. We should all give them as much support as we possibly can. There should be no expense spared to stop this outbreak. Failure would mean nobody on the planet would be safe.

      July 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • Nasdaq7

        Ok so how do you stop it? Can you burn everything? Villages, fields, bodies?

        July 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
      • jessica

        ebola is a biological weapon by the west to reduce the population in africa, and also for pharmaceutical product testing.

        July 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
      • Diana Horton

        Great reading your comment!!! Thanks for taking the time to share--Peace

        July 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
      • Alex

        refreshingly informative.

        July 3, 2014 at 8:47 am |
      • Name*

        I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT AND FOR EDUCATING MOST OF US OVER HERE

        July 27, 2014 at 5:38 am |
      • Abduljelili

        The first case of the virus has now been confirmed in Africas largest population . disastrous

        July 27, 2014 at 6:31 am |
  4. Juan

    This message needs more trumpeteers. Doctors aware of this issue need to convince those in the public eye, from all sectors, politicians, entertainers, atheletes, educators, to deliver this message to the masses. For some insane reason, people will listen and not scientists.

    July 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  5. JohnathanA

    Absolutely horrible!

    July 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  6. Miss Desiree

    Please correct this! NO VIRUSES ARE AFFECTED BY ANTIBIOTICS. ANTIBIOTICS are for BACTERIAL illnesses. There are enough comments here to send you to an authoritative source to verify it–how about NOT the PM, since he's not a scientist in the first place. Why would you even quote him on that, it is so far outside his expertise as to be laughable. COME ON!

    July 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • H. B .

      I don't think anyone was saying that antibiotics kill viruses. He was asked about other profound health problems, and mentioned antibiotic resistance as one of the biggies.

      Listen to him again. He is not saying antibiotics are thought to have any effect on a virus.

      There is no treatment or cure, and no vaccine for Ebola viruses. The only treatment is palliative care – making the patient comfortable, keeping him hydrated, giving medicines to relieve suffering. But the disease will either kill or spare the patient. Most die. The very FEW who do survive it, however, can give us reason for a glimmer of hope: ANTIBODIES.

      The blood of a survivor has antibodies. It can be drawn, and the red cells removed to yield blood plasma. That plasma has the antibodies. It can be put into an Ebola patient with an IV. I know of one case where a young nurse got Ebola, and serum from a survivor was administered, and she survived. The doctors who gave her the serum knew they were not following approved medical procedure. There was always the chance that she didn't have Ebola, and the serum might actually give it to her. But she did survive.

      I think, in time, serum (plasma) will be used more often. Survivors will be called upon often to provide it. So the more who DO survive, the more sources of the serum there would be.

      I think that is the only real hope humanity has at this point. Sooner or later, there WILL be major metropolitan breakouts, even if this one gets controlled. And such a breakout could proceed to a point where the medical facilities were overwhelmed. Especially if it develops airborne ability. If we can stock up on enough serum, it could help avoid overwhelming the medical facilities.

      July 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Cee

        "But many viruses are, becoming immune to antibiotics"

        -direct quote from the article. it's completely wrong, [as many have stated antibiotics are by nature ineffective against viruses] and it needs to be addressed immediately.

        July 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
      • Dan

        I think I like your idea about using antibodies from survivors of Ebola, but the golden question is why has this not been done yet???

        The truth is that the big Pharmaceuticals are just not interested. In the 80's Africa was told of HIV and Aids which has no rational or medical evidence. You can't even see the so called HIV on the most expensive electron microscopes. HIV and Aids is largely a political subject. Anyways back to my point. In the 80's Africa was told that 1/3 of its population had Aids and they would be all dead in 10 years. In the 90's populations grew from 500 million to 750 million and now Africa's population is at 1 billion. So where are all the dead people. Your population can't explode upwards in the midst of a huge Aids epidemic. So either my math is wrong of those pharmaceuticals selling DNA destroyers (AZT) a drug designed to treat cancer that was shelved for years due to its toxicity are making a killing selling people in Africa the drug. And next time you take a HIV test, know the facts about how useless and inaccurate the testing process is Your better off going to see a fortune teller about your HIV status. This whole thing is a big joke. I know its too much to grasp. So watch the video. http://youtu.be/wBmwiV6prE4

        And back to the Ebola question??

        July 3, 2014 at 2:57 am |
    • Jeff

      "But many bacteria are, becoming immune to antibiotics, and UK Prime Minister"

      Well they fixed it, but I guess asking for sensible grammar at the same time is too much. They're only journalists after all. What is going on with those commas?

      July 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • ann paquette

      It is not entirely correct to say that viruses are not affected by antibiotics. Germs are known to keep each other in check.

      July 2, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  7. Phil

    The difference between bacteria and viruses is very important when you talk about antimicrobial resistance. Bacteria are living cells, and many antibiotics work by interfering with the way the cell works. Our bodies too are made up of cells , so the trick of antibiotics is to find something that kills bacterial cells and not our own cells.

    Viruses by most definitions are not alive, they can’t do anything without a host cell to replicate in. There are no chemical reactions going on inside a virus. They don't breathe, excrete, move – all they do is wait. This absence of life makes antibiotics irrelevant to them. Antibiotics are a targeted poison for living things, but you can't kill something that's not alive.

    Once a virus is inside a host cell it takes over the cell's machinery and re-purposes it to make more viruses. The process usually stops when the cell explodes releasing the new viruses, these new viruses go on to infect more cells.

    July 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • H. B .

      You make a good argument about viruses not being alive. I don't want to refute you, because all that you said was true. But in MY view, viruses are alive, because once in a host, they reproduce. Only living things reproduce. Viruses lack the wherewithal to reproduce on their own. Or to eat, either. But in the host, they DO eat, and DO reproduce.

      Maybe the real truth is that, in some fashion alien to us, they are both alive and not alive. After all, no living thing can crystallize and wait eons for a new food source to pop up. But reproduction is an attribute only living things have. That does tend to support a dual nature for viruses.

      It's kinda scary, huh?

      July 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • Nasdaq7

        So lets say this thing spreads and we are all affected, can we at least get those suits and avoid it?

        July 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
      • Phil

        Imagine a world full of automated cookie factories – they spend all day making yummy cookies. All these factories get their instructions from an instruction book – which for some reason is placed on the roof of the factory. So in the morning a little robot goes to the roof of the factory, reads the instruction book, and the factory follows these instructions and yummy cookies come out the end of the factory.

        One night a bad person sneaks on to the roof of the factory and changes the instruction book. The instruction book is replaced with a bad instruction book which doesn't describe how to make yummy cookies – it describes how to make bad instruction books!
        So in the morning the little robot goes to the top of the factory roof, and reads the bad instruction book. The output of the factory changes, and bad instruction books come out the end of the factory – and as per the instructions in the book, they are fired high into the air in random directions.

        Unfortunately some of these bad instruction books land on other cookie factories. In the same way as the first factory – the bad instruction book is read and the factory changes what it produces – new bad instruction books are produced and fired into the air. This continues affecting many cookie factories...

        Now many people wouldn't say the book was alive – it is after all, just an instruction book. It doesn't eat anything, it doesn't move, it doesn't breath, it's just read by the little robot :)

        July 3, 2014 at 12:03 am |
  8. jtfarrell

    Um- antibiotics are only good for bacteria, not a VIRUS- do you seriously not have someone on your CNN staff with enough basic biology to write a simple article about an outbreak? This is embarrassing.

    July 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • AA

      antiretroviral and antiviral medications exists but are different than antibiotics.

      July 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • ann paquette

      Corrolations exist between the immune system, all germs, and antibiotics.

      July 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  9. ashok

    The book Hot Zone about an early outbreak of Ebola makes for horrifying reading.

    July 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • H. B .

      Yeah, I've read it. And that was about an Ebola outbreak that turned out NOT to be infectious for humans; only for monkeys. And it happened in Reston, Virginia. The virus went airborne, too.

      We got lucky on that one. Next time, we may not be so lucky.

      Look at how we cope with cold and flu season. Most everyone gets sick. Now imagine an "Ebola-flu" spread the same way. It would solve overpopulation in a matter of weeks. There'd be maybe 2% of humanity who would survive it, and they'd be scattered all over the world. Sort of like in Stephen King's book, "The Stand." Horrible.

      July 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • withheld

        Tom Clancy's Executive Orders gives a pretty bad albeit optimistic view of ebola as bioweapon. But reading through I kept thinking bout another news article i'd read where Australian doctors saved a patient from venom by putting alcohol in iv. The story probably made the wires because the hospital for some reason was low on usual alcohol, so the drs bought vodka, purest they could, which worked.

        My question reading the book, which listed all the vulnerabilities of ebola, was, has anyone tried iv alcohol? Apparently its a standard treatment for venom, and that ebola attacks the liver, which would remov the alcohol, should cut both ways, i'd think.

        July 24, 2014 at 5:51 am |
  10. Dima.

    CNN, you really should correct this. Antibiotics don't work against viruses. In fact, taking antibiotics in case of a virus will help it spread more in your body, since antibiotics also weaken cell membranes, and generally have negative effects on all body functions, which increases chances of complications.

    July 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • ann paquette

      This is one of the corollations I am talking about.

      July 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  11. Haplo

    I for one am amazed that this is the first GOOD discussion I've seen here on this page without God Bashing, Dem/Rep Bashing, or even blaing the US for the outbreaks. (Though GREED itself could be a good scapegoat for the fact that in a world with as much promise.. we STILL have areas where healthcare is so primative)

    Good on you all 8)

    July 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  12. Nasdaq7

    What are we doing? We need to stop this as early as possible.

    July 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  13. Langat Leonard

    Please make this correction -antibiotics are antibacterial and not antiviral drugs .

    July 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  14. Nasdaq7

    Ok so a few African countries are meeting. And not every country.

    July 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  15. fumes

    Cannabis Cures Ebola.

    OK, maybe it doesn't. But stoned is the only way to bleed to death. ;-}-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    July 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  16. ak badjie jr

    i dont believe in the story of the belgian nun who was then living in conga,

    July 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • Nasdaq7

      Congo was their colony. Belgium Congo.

      July 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  17. mohamed bah

    This is very terrible for africa and the world, i deduce that, is only God could help us from this horrible virus, may the unique mercy allah help us from this cataclysm virus. and protect around the universe. amennnnnnnnnnn!

    July 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Ariel

      Perhaps Allah is p*ssed off with us.

      July 2, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  18. fumes

    Potheads are famous for not getting the flu. Or pneumonia. But only the ones who smoke the stuff. Prophylactic against viruses maybe? Hmmm... I think I'll go roll another one. Just like the other one!

    July 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • ann paquette

      But you will get lung disease eventually. Stop fooling yourself.

      July 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  19. ak badjie jr

    but why is africa pointed for ever disease?

    July 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  20. Jim

    Thank you for everyone's informed comments. It has been very interesting and informative.

    What I find ironic is the worlds focus on wars or global warming and a whole heap of maybes when something like a pandemic is well overdue and they way the world fundamentally ignores the probability that in the next 20 years something like Ebola or something as bad becoming airborn is very high.

    Looking at how easy it is to get around now consideration the death toll of the spanish flu 100 years ago, people should be more concerned about these breakouts and things like MERS.

    July 2, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  21. jessica

    to cut the story short, ebola virus was created by a pharmaceutical company. in less than no time, this company will sell preventive medications on a large scale. dump the rubbish in african, claim to help and make money.

    July 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Lol! Be careful not to use your computer in the shower, you might get electrocuted.

      Seriously is that a real comment? A company in 1976 was able to genetically create a virus free of DNA implant it in one of the POOREST countries in the world in 1976 then let it become almost dormant then let it come out again, then dormant them come our again etc. Then nearly 40 years later they are going to release a cure? Keeping in mind that fiscally they would have released it into a western country, they would have known that scientific advancements in 40 years could have undone their work and formed a cure on its own.

      July 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • ann paquette

        Jim don't be so quick to discount the possibility that the pharmaceutical companies are involved, though I do not believe it is intuitional, but sloppiness...it is strongly suspected that sloppy workers cutting up monkeys in the 1940s while looking for a polio cure may have led to the HIV virus.

        July 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
    • withheld

      Gee, did you read Clancy's Rainbow Six too?

      All the way through?

      July 24, 2014 at 5:54 am | Reply
  22. Ariel

    This is a terrible tragedy in the making. Eventually it could become a devastating new "black death" plague. Perhaps "red death" would be a more descriptive name.

    July 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • John

      Highly unlikely. The disease has it's most optimal breeding ground with the local population its affecting. In the western world, this wouldn't happen.

      July 2, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  23. ak badjie jr

    jessica you are absolutely correct. and i greately love your comment

    July 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  24. AndyR

    “You need really close contact to become infected. So just being on the bus with someone with Ebola, that’s not a problem.”
    Sure... so why all those biological hazard protection suits???

    July 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • John

      People coughing and vomiting blood tend to project it out in sprays. Blood products being cleaned up remain infectious for quite some time. Even the tiniest of lacerations can provide the opening for viral entry into a new host. Suits are common sense for any health care worker.

      July 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  25. John

    The infections will eventually wind down. Relatively speaking, this is a very small blip on the scales of diseases which afflict humanity. In the time it took you to read this article, thousands of people have died of various diseases, and it's very unlikely Ebola was one of them.

    July 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  26. Alons_y

    "Spectacular" as an adjective to describe this outbreak? How about horrific, abominable, terrible, horrendous or any one of the huge list of words English has to describe such a catastrophic and life-threatening event for the people involved. A spectacular is a fireworks display.

    July 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  27. ak badjie jr

    jessica you re absolutely correct. and i really love you and your comments. i adore you. keep up the wisdom

    July 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  28. wowsers

    we need this widespread over here. we really need to thin out the herd. starting with you people

    July 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  29. arn

    Spectacular! Delightful! A Breathtaking Romp Through The Valley of Death! 5 Stars!

    July 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  30. arn

    Is there any way we can export some of this to Syria/Israel/Iraq? That would change priorities regionally.

    July 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Reply
    • Ariel

      If it were not for Mighty Sahara the disease would be there already. In Israel too, btw.

      July 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • ann paquette

      Is there any way you could grow a soul?

      July 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  31. Lory

    Why aren't the body burned off?? Instead of having people infected from saying goodbye to a loved one, give them a photo to look at?

    July 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  32. Ogmioski

    The virus is lucky it is using blacks as a vector. The virus has won an aotomatic right to immigrate inot Europe via Lampedusa 'in search of better lives'.

    July 3, 2014 at 1:32 am | Reply
  33. Terence Hale

    Hi,
    “Scientist who discovered Ebola: ‘This is unprecedented’”. Two things are happening, firstly AID officials have failed in introducing basic hygienic standards in the vulnerable population and secondly the virus is changing, its getting more violent, the vector being the bat based on it loss of the ability to synthesize vitamin C which facilitates mutations.

    July 3, 2014 at 3:58 am | Reply
  34. Roland Giesler

    Well, there's research that shows that silver (yes, the colloidal silver demonised by malicious dimwits!) will make anti-biotics effective again by weakening the bacteria. (http://wyss.harvard.edu/viewpressrelease/115/)

    But there little money to be made out of silver, especially since it can be made into colloidal silver very easily...

    July 3, 2014 at 5:25 am | Reply
    • Terence Hale

      Copper does it better.

      July 4, 2014 at 5:37 am | Reply
    • withheld

      Colloidal silver turns your skin blue, in excess. Had a coworker swore by the stuff, said our medieval ancestors were forever eating silver off their genuine silverware. One medieval nobility didn't live all that long. Two, sure has done wonders for Windsors, queen mum over 100, queen heading there. But probably genetic, not silver. Who knows? Maybe they still eat off real silverware...

      July 26, 2014 at 3:18 am | Reply
  35. Fred

    Just a little population control going on in Africa, is all this is. Nothing to see, folks. Move along!

    July 3, 2014 at 5:34 am | Reply
  36. BigBankTheory

    Frankly, I don't want to be on the bus with someone with Ebola!

    July 3, 2014 at 5:40 am | Reply
  37. kpvr

    Is it an experimental virus created in the laboratory somewhere in this world to be used as bioweapon in the war?

    July 3, 2014 at 5:40 am | Reply
  38. Gene Leboy

    Hi All,
    My first time in this forum. I know I'm off topic - but ashamed for all of us here, in the U.S. Even you Brits who are prejudiced and filled with hatred; use the English language properly and elegantly.
    The poor quality of education, here, in this country, is a spectacular (no pun intended) example of our poor educational system!

    July 3, 2014 at 6:39 am | Reply
  39. Mer

    Gahhhhh this is driving me nuts. Don't talk about resistant bacteria under a sub-heading called "Resistant Viruses" without making a clear differentiation and/or transition. Bacteria and viruses are too different types of infectious agents. I'm so annoyed. I'm embarrassed for you. Just, stop.

    July 3, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • Mer

      two***

      July 3, 2014 at 8:10 am | Reply
  40. ebowman2010

    Yesterday I emailed CNN about an error in this story after the author mistakenly said that viruses are morphing and becoming immune to antibiotics. While I commend CNN for quickly fixing the factual error, I believe that the story is still misleading readers to believe that viruses can be treated with antibiotics.

    Many people do not understand the distinction between viral and bacterial infections, which facilitates the public’s demand for antibiotics to be prescribed even when there is no medical benefit. This overuse of antibiotics is what causes antibiotics to become less effective and sparks the creation of drug-resistant bacteria.

    As a well-respected news outlet, I implore CNN to change this story to inform the public of the differences between viruses and bacteria. If they do not, they are contributing to the misinformation that is causing, as the author quoted “one of the biggest challenges of the future.”

    For more information about antibiotic resistance and the difference between bacteria and viruses, see the CDC’s website here: http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/antibiotic-resistance-faqs.html

    July 3, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  41. Ironsun

    This story is rather disappointing. It is SO riddled with misinformation and disinformation that it insults the readers intelligence. Do your research .

    July 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  42. Paul Agbemashior

    We Pray To God To Help Us Out Of This Predicament.

    July 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  43. Fredrick Murrah

    I discovered Ebola, FYI

    July 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  44. Svinc

    Ebola was not discovered
    It was developed in a lab in the West

    July 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  45. Mansur Shehu

    Thank a lot for the information. but why every bad thing is from Africa? while the good things are left in published? Here in Africa we have a lot of potentials but are left unnoticed. Any way, the most effective way of preventing its spreads is b y isolating the infected individuals as well as good sanitation it may enhance its eradication completely.

    July 4, 2014 at 2:45 am | Reply
  46. Desquiciada

    what a dumb way for the author to end the article. Just what we need, more reason to confuse people about the indications and use of antibiotics.

    July 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  47. Gever Geoffrey Terwase

    What a tremedous tereble situation in Africa! God, we need Your interferance, please shower us with the remedy.

    July 7, 2014 at 8:56 am | Reply
  48. cappuxpress

    Reblogged this on CAPPUCCINOXPRESS and commented:
    This is a disaster waiting to happen and the sad part is that African governments are too lax in their approach to tackling the virus. Everyone including the media is in denial especially those without reported cases, saying "it hasn't reached here".

    July 7, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
  49. Gene Leboy

    Mer...wrote
    Gahhhhh this is driving me nuts. Don't talk about resistant bacteria under a sub-heading called "Resistant Viruses" without making a clear differentiation and/or transition. Bacteria and viruses are too different types of infectious agents. I'm so annoyed. I'm embarrassed for you. Just, stop.
    July 3, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply

    A somewhat nitpicking addition...
    ie...Antiviral drugs…are for treating…viral infections. Antivirals…are used for…specific viruses. Unlike most... antibiotics…antiviral drugs do not destroy…their target, instead…they inhibit…development.
    From WiKipedia via Google → Advanced Search [ antiviral medication].

    July 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  50. Me

    Even if there was a vaccine, the stupid anti-vaccine idiots would still spread their diseases among us!

    July 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  51. mrvinze

    What are the symptoms of ebola? Are there any rashes like in the roseola infantum ?

    July 21, 2014 at 5:42 am | Reply
  52. Afrika

    The west Afrikans need to stop eating Gorila, and Chimasy.

    July 27, 2014 at 5:18 am | Reply
  53. Gozykris

    Everybody irrespective of your race, should strive to apply the preventive measures that had been suggested by the medical experts. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Also, it is better than argument.

    July 29, 2014 at 6:43 am | Reply
  54. kelvin kayee

    I don't still understand how you CAN got infected with that virus. when some one have it in the family definely the hole community will be infected. because that person communicate with so many people. ex= eating together, playing with children, children playing with their friends

    August 6, 2014 at 9:40 am | Reply
  55. Baterepsycho

    Ebola virus according to my understanding,is a biological weapon created to fight the enemies of the west. Moreover the least scientifically secured environment to experiment is Africa: therefore some persons must have been injected with the virus consciously or unconsciously to go distribute it in Africa. My point is why would the U S government have to fly their own to America to cure,when they can as well send the doctors to Liberia n Sierra Leon to treat the Americans. My second point is,the moment the infected Americans arrive the hospital we were all told the experimental drug work miraculously . My argument here is that,if the west claim they are innocent of this my accusation what was the experimental drug prepared for? The rationale behind this biology weapon could be commercially ignited or for superiority contest.

    August 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  56. Justme

    I am not worried about Ebola affecting me! I'm hoping enough medical people go over and help these people. All your comments (this is that and that is this) do nothing. Find out what you can do to help!!!!!! Pick up the phone any little bit will help!

    August 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  57. wondering

    I don't understand why they're saying that you could be on a bus w/someone who is infected w/Ebola and not worry about it. If that person were to cough/sneeze and saliva or blood went onto another passenger...wouldn't that person then be at risk of becoming infected? I wouldn't want to be on a bus w/an infected person.

    August 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  58. tunji okekunle

    dr.piot discovered this virus in congo many years back while he was a reseacher there but nothing happened to him then and now the virus erupted again in west africa.mrs sawyer faraway in the us was correctly lashing a point on the liberian president saying : if she had fixed a better health system in her country it cld had been easier to handle such cases not only for pat.. sawyer but majority of liberians and her nigerian counterpart was sacking 16,000 residence doctors .man made viruses were often spread in africa for a test (hiv virus now ebola virus) no single african doctor of piot age joined piot in such a discovery till now, what a wonderfull researh? the rich of the people, by the rich people &for the rich people is the ruling sytle of african leaders . most african oppresssed are still waiting for devine intervention from god when god will tell the fake leaders .. let my people go... why is it that one white doctor from europe came to a populations of 800m or more africans to discovered a virus. does most african doctors were coconuts? my final submit is that hiv&ebola virus existed but not natural otherwise why is it only in africa? asians has all sorts like africans animals too e.g gorilas, monkeys,big bats e.t.c why africans always.

    August 16, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.