- November 4, 2016
A recent research suggests that Ebola had dramatically adapted to infect human tissues with ease in the first few months of the 2014-15 outbreak. Two studies found a mutation increased the virus’ ability to infect human cells fourfold. Scientists have reasoned that the mutation may have been ‘pivotal’ in the outbreak becoming the largest in recorded history. Prof Jeremy Luban of University of Massachusetts Medical School commented, “The mutation makes the virus more infectious.”
There were 28,616 Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. And 11,310 people died during the outbreak.
Prof Jonathan Ball, from the University of Nottingham, said, “When a virus is introduced into a new environment, a new niche, it will try to adapt to that new environment. That just happened to coincide with wide scale spread of the virus – this was a mutation that appeared when the virus took off.”
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was not just the largest and deadliest of all time, but it was bigger than all other outbreaks combined. It has been reasoned that one cause for Ebola’s explosive spread was that the virus managed to get into densely populated urban cities such as Monrovia in Liberia.
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