Surviving Ebola: Introduction (02:25)
At the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, scientists track and try to stop a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Health care workers and survivors discuss the epidemic and potential solutions on this episode of NOVA.
Ebola Outbreak (02:51)
Will Pooley received an experimental treatment called ZMapp after being flown to London; he remembers his temperature spiked. On December 6th, 2013, "patient zero" died from a mysterious illness—symptoms included fever, black stool, and vomiting. Scientists believe African fruit bats carry the virus, but are not affected by it.
Epidemic Grows (02:18)
The virus started spreading into neighboring villages; locals did not recognize the symptoms. Dr. Inger Damon explains that the delay in diagnosing the outbreak made it harder to contain. Doctors without Borders run a treatment center in Guinea.
Italian Shoemaking (05:01)
Carolina Cuomo is one of the numerous young Italians rediscovering the art of shoemaking. She works directly with clients and designs custom shoes. After struggling to find a stable job as a psychologist, she switched to shoemaking.
Multipurpose Farm (03:43)
Brothers Nicola and Fillippo Laguzzi started a farm with their friends where they grow organic crops. Many young Italians have left college because of the difficulty of finding a job after graduation
Future in Italy (03:51)
Despite the economy's slow rate of growth, many young entrepreneurs are staying in Italy and are dedicated to growing their businesses. Guido connects with an American distributor at a cheese festival.
Credits: The New Italian Job (00:11)
Credits: The New Italian Job
Cure for Ebola (04:00)
In Uganda, half the population who contracted Ebola conquered the disease; listen to their stories. Dr. Leslie Lobel and Dr. Julius Lutwana studies the survivors and procures blood samples.
Extracting the Antibodies (02:48)
The blood samples begin to degrade after 12 hours, so they must be rushed to the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The antibodies will soon be tested in infected animals.
In the United States (04:18)
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, two American volunteers, became infected with Ebola. Dr. Gary Kobinger created an experimental drug named Zmapp that acted as a shuttle to deliver healthy genes into infected cells. The scientist realized that if it stopped the virus' spikes from entering the cell, the epidemic would be eradicated.
Creating a Cure (05:26)
Dr. Kobinger discovered antibodies that attacked the spike of Ebola. Dr. Brantly's organization begged the scientist for Zmapp. Even though it had not passed its clinical tests, doctors gave the first dose to Dr. Brantly, and the second and third doses to Writebol.
Ethical Issues (04:42)
Dr. Aneesh Mehta completed Dr. Brantly and Writebol's treatment. Dr. Kobinger discovered a combination of antibodies to allow the host to create an immunity against Ebola; the monkeys began to recover. Both missionaries recovered after obtaining additional Zmapp.
Producing Enough Zmapp (03:03)
Charles Arntzen developed a method to make Zmapp using tobacco plants. It takes ten to twelve days to purify the protein. Because the drug has little potential to make money, drug companies are hesitant to invest in research and development.
Curing Pooley (03:30)
Dr. Jacobs explained to Pooley he would be the last person to receive the drug therapy. The patient agreed and he began to recover. People in West Africa are not allowed to receive the treatment and the death toll rises.
Ebola Spreading (01:51)
Scientists continue to search for a cure. In September, doctors diagnose the first patient afflicted with Ebola in the United States. On October 8th, 2014, Thomas Eric Duncan passed away in a Dallas hospital.
Credits: Surviving Ebola (01:05)
Credits: Surviving Ebola
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