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Ebola Virus explained

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The virus detective who discovered Ebola in 1976

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Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.

In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.

Working in the lab that day was Peter Piot, a 27-year-old scientist and medical school graduate training as a clinical microbiologist.

"It was just a normal flask like any other you would use to keep coffee warm," recalls Piot, now Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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