EBOLA: 64% Support Using Monkeys in Vaccine Research
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa which was first reported in March 2014, has now killed five times more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined. More than 17 months from the first confirmed case, at least 11,284 people have been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali with the total number of reported cases equaling more than 27,741.
But even in the midst of a global outbreak, animal rights groups still don’t want scientists to use research lab monkeys to find cures. Really? Non-human primates are the most accurate model systems to tell us if candidate vaccines work, says Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire at the Scripps Research Institute in California. New drugs are first screened in test tubes, then in mice and rats to weed out drugs that don’t work. Then the last – usually the best – test is on monkeys. If a vaccine can prevent a monkey from being infected with Ebola, then there’s a better chance that people can be protected too.
In spite of pressure from animal rights groups, the American public isn’t buying it. Paul McKellips, President of One Health Research through a national online poll showed more than 64% of American adults support the use of research monkeys in Ebola vaccine research.
Feel sad for the monkeys? You shouldn’t. Animal research helps animals, too. There are plenty of endangered species like the lowland gorilla and chimpanzees who can also benefit from this research. Infectious diseases don’t just attack people. Animals, especially apes and monkeys, are vulnerable to these viruses as well.
To read the full article: Overwhelming Public Support for Use of Monkeys in Ebola Vaccine Research