MSF treatment for ebola
28 September 2000
There is no specific treatment against the Ebola virus. Patients are given intravenous infusions of fluid and electrolytes, but the purpose of these is merely to keep the patient hydrated while his or her immune system attempts to deal with the virus. If it is possible the patients may also be given blood transfusions, however this depends upon there being family members able to donate blood. Their blood must of course first be screened for other viruses such as hepatitis B and HIV. Because the Ebola virus is so virulent these attempts at treatment are not often successful. It follows that all efforts must be made to limit contagion, and this indeed is the major priority of MSF teams working with a disease such as Ebola.