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Vaccine Against Ebola Fever Protects Mice From Deadly Virus

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An experimental vaccine grown in tobacco plants against deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever protected more than 80 percent of mice given a lethal dose of the virus, and may protect humans as well, researchers said.

The vaccine, unlike previous experimental vaccines, is also stable enough to stockpile in case of bioterrorism, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The next step is to test it in nonhuman primates.

Ebola, first identified in 1976 in Sudan and Zaire, which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is among the most lethal diseases known to humans, according to the World Health Organization. Some species of the virus cause deaths in as much as 90 percent of all people who are clinically ill. Once a human is infected, there is no cure.

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