Cynthia Goldsmith This colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image. Where is Ebola virus found in nature?

The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

An Ebola virus vaccine has been found to be highly effective in preventing the virus, according to results from a trial in Guinea where the vaccine protected from the virus 100% of the people who received it. This is great news, and could help stop the outbreak in West Africa.

The Ebola virus has been devastating, with no cure available for it yet and already taken thousands of lives. The virus only spreads from contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, and the only way to prevent getting infected is by washing your hands very well and constantly, using gloves to prevent contact and such.

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But results have shown that the drug used on the trial had promising results. Margaret Chan, director of World Health Organization said: “If proven effective, this is going to be a game changer, and it will change the management of the current Ebola outbreak and future outbreaks.”

The trial drug was used on 4,000 people who had been close to Ebola patients. They received the vaccine immediately or three weeks after being known to have an Ebola patient in their social circle. No cases were identified among those who got the vaccine immediately, and 16 were found among those who got it three weeks after. Researches say these results show the vaccine is highly effective at preventing the disease.

Further test are being made on the vaccine, and we sure hope they come up with positive results to help prevent this horrible virus.