Peter Piot on the 1976 Identification of What is Now Known as Ebola Virus

Here is a remarkable interview with Peter Piot, reflecting on his role in the 1976 identification of the Ebola Virus. He tells an epidemiological story about the origins of the Yambuku Virus (Ebola Virus's working name until a group of researchers decide association with one place would be too harmful to Yambuku, then changing the working name to Ebola Virus in the mistaken belief the Ebola River was the closest river to Yambuku).

The catalyst for the virus's spread?  The Belgian-nun staffed Yambuku Maternity Clinic's consistent use of unsterilized syringes for vitamin infections given to expectant mothers appears to have provided the catalyst.  

Those in West Africa today who are distrustful of health care workers — often depicted as unsophisticated, uneducated people — may have tapped into this history.








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