The virus is known to be one of the most deadly in the world and currently the survival rate is only 10-40%. There is also no cure for the disease.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids and symptoms can start to appear as early as 8 and as late as 21 days after being in contact with the virus.
Currently, there are outbreaks of Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
While the effects of the virus are devastating for these countries, it may be interesting to note that the US Centers for Disease Control has submitted a patent application on a strain of the Ebola virus.
The application patent clearly states that the CDC aims to own invention rights to the Ebola Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) which is a strain of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
The patent states, “EboBun (Ebola Bunidbugyo) was isolated from the patients suffering from hemorrhagic fever in a recent outbreak in Uganda.” And that the CDC wants to own the invention related to “compositions and methods directed to a novel species of human Ebola virus.”
Currently, there is no way to distinguish between the BDBV and EVD as the symptoms and manifestations are almost identical.
While it is believed that the outbreaks in Africa are the EVD and not the CDC’s, BDBV it has created some concern that the infected Americans, which are currently being treated in Atlanta, are going to be used for monetary gains.
Patenting a virus is definitely not unheard of and often the defence behind it is that it helps to protect the creation of vaccines and other treatments. However, it definitely creates some concern and speculation over the decision to bring the infected Americans to the US for treatment.
Dr. Bob Arnot, an infectious disease specialist who has worked in Africa stated that there was absolutely no medical reason to bring the infected patients to the US.
Dr. Arnot continued to state that the treatment facilities in Africa are not only up to date and offer excellent quality of care, but are also more equipped to treating Ebola.
So, why were they bought to the US?
Many skeptics have claimed that the Ebola victims have valuable intellectual property for the CDC who may try to extract the virus to create more patents for various Ebola strains.
Some have gone as far as to state that the patients are being bought to the US for treatment to be exploited for medical experiments and biological warfare.
Another reason why having their hands on these Ebola patients is so lucrative, is to develop a vaccine and it seems that there has been surmounting pressure to create one, especially now that the virus is in the US.
In fact, shares of Tekmira, the pharmaceutical giant who owns an Ebola drug had a surge of 11% by the end of last week.
Owning the patent also means that the CDC can control who can legally cure and treat the virus. On top of this, having the virus in the US gives more reason for Americans to get the vaccine.
You can view the patent application here: Human Ebola Virus Species and Compositions and methods thereof CA 2741523 A1