New study shows Ebola virus no more deadly now than in 1970s

A new study from the University of Manchester shows that despite mutations, the Ebola virus hasn't become deadlier since the initial outbreak in the 1970s. The Manchester team used a computational approach developed to analyze changes in HIV-1. The approach allowed the team to look at data from every outbreak since 1976 and "highlight what changes there had been in the RNA of the virus and then using specially developed tools predict the consequences of those changes," said Simon Lovell, a professor of life sciences, in the study announcement. Lovell explained that while the virus has mutated, it hasn't adapted to become more or less virulent. Professor David Robertson said this is good news, with treatments and vaccines developed during the 2014 epidemic are likely to work in the future, "so hopefully in the future an outbreak can be stopped from spreading at a much earlier stage." Study abstract

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