HOW EBOLA ADAPTED TO US
The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha has practiced Ebola treatment after two patients were from flown in from the affected country in West Africa
During the recent record-breaking outbreak, the virus picked up a mutation that made it better at infecting human cells
In December 2013, in a small village in Guinea, the Ebola virus left its traditional host—probably a bat—and infected a young boy. That leap triggered what became the largest Ebola outbreak in history. At first, the virus stayed within Guinea’s borders and, as in every previous epidemic, affected just a few hundred people. But in the spring of 2014, that gentle simmer came to a disastrous boil.
Cases skyrocketed as the virus spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and other countries. By the time it was finally brought to heel in 2016, more than 28,000 people had been infected and 11,000 of them were dead.
The unprecedented scale of the outbreak gave the virus ample opportunities to adapt to its new human hosts—and it took advantage of them. Two independent teams of scientists have shown that in early 2014, Ebola virus picked up a mutation call