Ebola-immune individuals key to dealing with the outbreak, says University of Texas study

Based on figures by the WHO, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa stands at roughly 9000 with countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, the United States and Spain being where this disease has made its presence felt.

Apart from this, the death toll on healthcare workers have been substantial too with about 236 dead and 427 of them infected.

Yet interestingly, there are a number of people who have come into contact with Ebola but never succumb to it nor do they spread the infection to others either, and this can be the key to dealing with the outbreak itself.

Speaking how these unaffected individuals can help curtain the outbreak, Dr. Steve Bellan at the University of Texas says, “Recruitment of such individuals might be preferable to enlistment of survivors of symptomatic Ebola disease because survivors might experience psychological trauma or stigmatisation and be fewer in number – in view of the asymptomatic proportions suggested in previous studies and the low survival rate of symptomatic cases.”

Despite reaching such a conclusion, the authors of a study reveal that they’re not sure whether this resistance to Ebola shown by certain people might be due to their being immune to the virus.