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Discovery to air a special on finding a cure for the Ebola virus
MUMBAI: On 6 December 2013, a child in Guinea died of a mysterious fever — the first suspected Ebola case of this outbreak. Experts suspect he ate a fruit bat carrying the virus.
No one knows exactly where the Ebola virus comes from but one thing is certain – it’s one of the most lethal infections known to science. Since 2013, an Ebola epidemic has been spreading across West Africa and efforts to contain the outbreak are failing with death toll claiming more lives than all previous outbreaks combined. The current outbreak is the worst since 1976. As the West African death toll increased, British teams are trying to ready the isolation facilities.
Discovery brings a one-hour show ‘Ebola: The Search For A Cure’ on Monday, 15 December at 9 pm.
The special revolves around how and why the epidemic has spread so widely. Nearly a year into the epidemic, the death toll keeps rising and behind each number lays a human story. This film meets the doctors and interviews the scientists from all around the world working on the frontline looking for the cure for Ebola and hears first-hand accounts of what it’s actually like to catch – and survive – this terrible disease.
The film also features first suspected case in this outbreak – a young boy in Guinea, West Africa, known as Patient Zero and interviews with Britain’s first Ebola patient, Nurse William Pooley. It also meets the British doctors in London who were responsible for his care. And it finds out about the biggest hope so far in the fight against Ebola – the experimental drug Zmapp – and what it will take to test, manufacture and distribute this drug on a large scale. This is an extraordinary story of bravery and determination against a deadly enemy.
In this programme, viewers will learn how the virus reproduces and causes internal bleeding, diarrhea, and vomiting. 50 per cent of patients survive; those with compromised immune systems suffer organ failure. Most patients die within 12 days, but their bodies remain contagious. Learn how they are disinfected and disposed of and how tobacco plant proteins are used to make antibodies used in the Ebola treatment.
As researchers search for a vaccine, the epidemic continues to spread in West Africa.