Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ebola Virus Low on List of Threats, Expert Reports

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ebola Virus Low on List of Threats, Expert Reports

Article excerpt

Ebola is a nightmare virus, spreading fast, killing horribly and defying efforts to find a cure. But 20 years since it was first discovered, leading virologists say it's still low on the list of threats to human health.

"There are much more important priorities than Ebola," said Dr. Guido van der Groen, one of the organizers of an international conference Friday on Ebola research.

About 800 people have died of Ebola since his Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine identified the virus in October 1976. Far more deadly are HIV which causes AIDS, or resurgent infections of tuberculosis, yellow fever and malaria that are increasingly resistant to drugs. "There's a feeling we've dealt with them, that the plagues have gone, (but) the bugs have outsmarted us," said Dr. Rima Khabbaz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Experts from around the world attending the four-day meeting said more funding is needed to help tackle the diseases. …

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