Tourist's Blood Leads to Potential Treatment for Deadly Ebola Cousin - NBC 7 San Diego
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Tourist's Blood Leads to Potential Treatment for Deadly Ebola Cousin

The hope is to have supplies ready in case of outbreaks of viruses like Marburg and Ebola, which killed more than 11,000 people and sickened 28,000 in a 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa

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    Tourist's Blood Leads to Potential Treatment for Deadly Ebola Cousin
    AP Photo/Ben Curtis
    In this Oct. 8, 2014 file photo, a medical worker from the Infection Prevention and Control unit wearing full protective equipment carries a meal to an isolation tent housing a man being quarantined after coming into contact in Uganda with a carrier of the Marburg Virus.

    A woman came back from a trip to the Uganda jungle with Marburg virus, a cousin of Ebola that's even deadlier, NBC News reported.

    Now, Michelle Barnes' blood has a provided a potential cure for the infection.

    Researchers at Vanderbilt University and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. isolated an especially potent immune system protein called a monoclonal antibody from Barnes and have used it to cure monkeys infected not only with Marburg virus, but with a related virus called Ravn.

    They are working to find ways to mass-produce the antibody and test it in people.

    The hope is to have supplies ready in case of outbreaks of viruses like Marburg and Ebola, which killed more than 11,000 people and sickened 28,000 in a 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa.

    "If somebody needed to get Marburg virus so you could donate your cells for research, I am glad it was me," Barnes said. "I happen to have really good immunity."