After the recovery and discharge of Nigeria’s first Ebola survivor from the quarantine centre at the Mainland Hospital in Lagos, Scientists have started revealing how some patients survive and 60% – 90% don’t and why it’s so.
Experts who spoke to Vanguard said: “Doctors don’t know for certain who will survive Ebola, and there is no specific treatment or cure for the disease. But studies suggest there are some biological markers linked with a higher chance of surviving Ebola.”
One Bioinformatics researcher at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, Derek Gatherer who majored in viral genetics and evolution said: “when a person becomes infected with Ebola, the virus depletes the body’s immune cells, which defend against infection.
“In particular, the Ebola virus depletes immune cells called CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes, which are crucial to the function of the immune system”, Gatherer noted, arguing that “if a person’s immune system can stand up to this initial attack — meaning their immune cells are not as depleted in the first stages of infection — then they are more likely to survive the disease.
“The patients that survive it best are the ones who don’t get such a bad immune deficiency. But if the body is not able to fend off this attack, then the immune system becomes less able to regulate itself”, Gatherer said.
Another indication of a person chance of surviving the deadly curse Ebola is said to be a gene called the human leukocyte antigen-B, this is responsible for the creation of protein in the immune system.
One study done in 2007 says revealed that this gene named B*07 and B*14, were more likely to survive Ebola, while people with other versions, called B*67 and B*15, were more likely to die.
The study also said that if one has a mutation in a gene called NPC1, they could be resistant to the virus. Studies proved that, when researchers take cells from people with the NPC1 mutation and try to infect them with Ebola in a laboratory dish, these cells are resistant to the virus.
In a recent survey the World Health Organization has said that the recent ebola outbreak has claimed the lives of 1,145 globally and is now the worst ever outbreak.
WHO confirmed that in the last two day, 152 new cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever were reported in the two day period in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, bringing the total number of infected to 2,127.