More than 600 people have died in a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus raging through Africa— that even includes doctors caring for patients with the disease.
Still, there is no known cure for Ebola, and no preventative vaccine that can protect people from contracting the virus. So what will it take to get rid of this devastating disease?
Three renowned doctors joined HuffPost Live on Monday to weigh in on all the facts about the Ebola outbreak, from how the disease spreads to how it might be stopped.
"We do have several vaccines that have been extremely successful in protecting laboratory animals, including non-human primates, against the Ebola virus," Dr. Thomas W. Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas, told host Josh Zepps. But what about developing a vaccine for humans? "It’s a very long regulatory process. From the time to develop a vaccine for animals in a lab to protecting humans… it’s really just a lot of regulatory hurdles and red tape."
That’s not all. Dr. Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, opened up about how economic factors come into play too.
"The vaccine companies of course have to be driven by the economic considerations," he said. "It’s a terrible thing to say, but they have to be convinced that it’s economically… worthwhile to provide the vaccine."
It’s not about saving lives, it’s about making money.