Recent Bioinformatics grad, Emily Speranza from the Connor Lab, was featured in BU Today for their w
Diagnosing Ebola before Symptoms Arrive BU researchers, colleagues: early immune response may lead to diagnosis sooner.
In 2014, an Ebola epidemic began to ravage West Africa. It became the largest Ebola outbreak in history, lasting two years and infecting an estimated 28,000 people—most in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Ultimately, the disease took more than 11,000 lives. Many of those lives might have been saved if healthcare workers could have treated and quarantined infected people during the early stages of the disease. Currently, however, there is no way to diagnose Ebola until symptoms arrive—and the fever, severe headache, and muscle pain that mark Ebola can strike victims anytime between 2 and 21 days after exposure. “Right now, we wait for diagnosis until the virus spills out of primary infection sites into the blood,” says Emily Speranza (GRS’18). “At that point, it’s already tremendously far along.” Read full article here.