It's a Good Thing

Longtime readers of this site (both of you) will note my, er, obsession with hemorrhagic fevers. Why so obsessed? Well, I did read The Hot Zone in high school and it scared the poop out of me; mostly though, I just consider hemorrhagic fevers to be a really, really awful way to die, and most/all of humanity dying that way would be very, very suboptimal.

So, it's a pretty damn great day when I can read this:
Scientists trying to develop vaccines against Africa's deadly Marburg and Ebola viruses are reporting an important milestone, a new type of vaccine that prevents the diseases in monkeys. Successfully immunizing monkeys is an essential step toward the goal of producing vaccines for people.

Two new vaccines, one for Marburg and one for Ebola, were 100 percent effective in a study of 12 macaques being published today in the journal Nature Medicine. Monkeys given just one shot of vaccine and later injected with a high dose of virus did not even get sick. Normally, all the animals would be expected to die.

Now, I'm pretty creeped out by vaccines generally, esp. for the real nasties, as the idea of injecting that which I'm trying to prevent seems...odd. And esp. since there's usually a certain failure rate where, indeed, the live virus functions not as a vaccine but just as the disease that's s'posed to be prevented.

But. 100% effective? Granted, it's only 12 macaques, but 100% is a good number.

This, however, is not as good:
Angola, where a Marburg epidemic was first detected in March, is still struggling to contain the disease, which has killed 340 of 408 victims.

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