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Second group of Russian scientists starts work in Ebola-hit Guinea

October 14, 2014, 14:35 UTC+3 NOVOSIBIRSK
Members of the first group are well and are returning back to Russia
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© EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

NOVOSIBIRSK, October 14. /TASS/. The second group of Russian scientists has started diagnosing the disease caused by the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, the director of the Vector research center for virology and biotechnology said on Tuesday.

“We have sent a second brigade of virologists to continue work in Guinea,” head of the Vector biological research center Valery Mikheyev said Tuesday.

In late August, a team of eight Russian experts, including those from the Vector Institute and the Microbe anti-plague institute, arrived in the capital Conakry following Guinea's official request to Russia. The scientists were involved in diagnosing Ebola.

“They have worked there for more than a month. Tomorrow they are coming back: they are healthy," Mikheyev told reporters.

Ebola detection systems

The second group of scientists, like the first one, is stationed in a mobile laboratory on the basis of a hospital. The experts are using testing systems developed in 2010 by the Vector Institute to detect six viruses causing deadly fever.

Besides Ebola, the testing systems can detect the Marburg virus, the Lassa fever, the Machupo virus, the Dengue fever and the Yellow fever within 24 hours. The systems were used in the work of anti-epidemic teams in the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Russian testing system for Ebola is the world’s only system of such king registered on a national level, Mikheyev said. Other countries use military testing systems to detect the virus, he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the death toll from the Ebola virus has exceeded 4,000, with the majority of lethal cases falling on three countries, notably Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 8,000 people have been infected with the deadly virus.

The Vector center of virology and biotechnologies, founded in 1974 and based in research center Koltsovo in south-western Siberia’s Novosibirsk region, is one of the largest institutions in this sphere in the world which initially sought to examine causative agents of lethally dangerous diseases such as anthrax and rabbit disease to create biological weapons on their basis. Vector is developing methods of diagnosing and treatment of infectious diseases.

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