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www.wmfd.com - A desperate effort is under way right now in West Africa to contain what's being called the most challenging outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in history. }}" />

   
 
 
Doctors In Guinea Testing For Deadly Ebola Virus

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 4/15/2014

A desperate effort is under way right now in West Africa to contain what's being called the most challenging outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in history. More than 100 people have died, the overwhelming majority in the nation of Guinea. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a frontline look at the battle to save lives. A simple blue box, potentially carrying one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world. On its way to be tested. In less than four weeks, we'll find out whether it contains the Ebola virus. The fate of three patients depends on what's inside. Simply getting the blood sample from the sick patients is a life-threatening job. One of these workers told us he has a nine-month-old baby at home. They'll do everything they can to protect themselves. Three pairs of gloves, booties, and layer after layer of gowns, They go in to see the patients, every single inch of their body covered. Impermeable suits. Nothing in or out. You see, even a drop of the Ebola virus that gets through a break in your skin can infect you, and we all have breaks in our skin. ""This is the pain staking detail and process you have to go through to be able to interact with patients with Ebola. This is as close as we can get. They've decontaminated themselves but they've taken the blood samples and put them in this blue ice chest right here that contains Ebola," says Dr. Sanja Gupta. World Health Organization lab technicians suit up next. They've just been hand-delivered the blue boxes. Now, it's their job to test the samples for the deadly virus. They'll have the results just two hours from now, but a few years ago, being able to test for Ebola on its own turf was impossible. Precious blood samples had to be taken out of remote forested areas in Central Africa and flown to the CDC in Atlanta or the WHO in Geneva. Pilots would sometimes refuse to fly the dangerous pathogens and even if they did, it could take days or weeks to get results. Eight p.m., we get the call. "So two of the three patients now have confirmed Ebola" says Dr. Gupta. Ebola is a swift killer that starts by disarming your immune system. The mortality rate is higher than 50 percent, and in some outbreaks reaches 90 percent.

   
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