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Ebola virus co-discoverer says 'we have to push through' on vaccine

Dr. Peter Piot, co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, says researchers must "push through" with the full development of drugs and vaccines even after the last patient in the current outbreak been treated and attention has faded.

Canada has been Ebola research 'pioneer' but could do more on the ground, says Dr. Peter Piot

Dr. Peter Piot, Ebola co-discoverer

8 years ago
Duration 2:28
Ebola co-discoverer on the outbreak and the need to ‘push through’ on vaccines

The co-discoverer of the Ebola virus says researchers must "push through" with the full development of drugs and vaccines even after the last patient in the current outbreak "has survived or died" and attention has faded.

Dr. Peter Piot tells CBC’s Jeff Semple he initially thought the current outbreak would remain in a small town or rural area and come under control after a couple of months. He says he knew he was wrong in June, when three countries were affected and the disease was appearing in capital cities.

"You can contain small Ebola outbreaks by isolating the patients, giving them care, quarantining all the contacts," he says. "You can do that in a small town or so. But at the scale of a whole country, that's far more difficult."

Canada has been a "pioneer" on Ebola research and there's a chance Canada could produce a vaccine for the disease, Piot says, but there's more that Canada and other countries could do on the ground to help the West African countries struggling with the deadly virus.

Ebola has likely killed nearly 3,900 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization says.

Click play above to watch the interview with Peter Piot, or find it here (non-mobile only).

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