Scientists are conducting many research studies in the hopes of answering important questions about Ebola. This includes new diagnostic tools to help identify the illness sooner and ecological studies focused on the search for the natural reservoir of the virus. An experimental Ebola vaccine that has shown promise in previous studies with monkeys is also being researched.
Doctors and scientists all over the country are conducting Ebola research. These studies are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether or not new approaches are safe and effective. This research already has led to many advances, and scientists continue to search for more effective methods for dealing with Ebola.
Ebola research scientists are currently studying additional tools to assist in early diagnosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. They are also conducting ecological investigations of Ebola virus and its possible reservoir. More extensive knowledge of the natural reservoir (habitat) of the virus and how it is spread must be acquired to prevent future outbreaks effectively.
Other scientists are monitoring suspected areas to determine how common Ebola outbreaks are.
Finally, research scientists are actively studying an experimental Ebola vaccine that has shown promise in previous monkey studies. In 2003, an Ebola research study began that is evaluating the safety of this experimental vaccine in humans. This trial vaccine -- called a DNA vaccine -- is similar to other investigational vaccines that hold promise for controlling such diseases as AIDS, influenza, malaria, and hepatitis.