Segments in this Video

Fighting Pandemics—Introduction (04:09)


As human population expands, deadly viruses emerge from nature. Ebola outbreaks threaten to sweep across the globe; the battle against Ebola is leading to new understanding of all viruses. Scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases work to track, understand, and combat pathogens. John Dye is chief immunologist at USAMRIID.

Viral Threats (03:41)

Dye explains the structure and behavior of a virus. Ebola is a filovirus. Scientists at USAMRIID use monkeys to study viral load in Ebola infections. Dye demonstrates the levels of protective gear that virologists wear.

West African Ebola Outbreak (03:50)

The Ebola outbreak in 2014 offers a look at what happens when a disease starts running out of control. Ian Crozier explains how the outbreak started and spread. Brima Kargbo recalls the fear of the pandemic that helped exacerbate the situation.

Outbreaks Leading to a Pandemic (03:45)

Left unchecked, infections grow at an exponential rate. Alessandro Vespignani uses big data and behavioral analytics to spot disease outbreaks before they start to run out of control. Vespignani used his software to run simulations of the West Africa Outbreak as it unfolded; the predictions were grim.

Studying the Enemy (05:00)

Erica Ollmann Saphire studies antibodies found in the blood of Ebola survivors to better understand how to fight the disease. Zach Bornholdt uses chemistry to crystallize proteins so that Saphire's team can analyze them. Saphire explains crystal imaging and why it is important.

Exponential Spread (03:41)

Daniel Bausch worked in an outbreak center during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Ian Crozier became the lead clinician at the Kenema Hospital during the outbreak. Crozier and Bausch speak about the brutality of the Ebola virus.

Rapid Diagnoses (03:49)

Saphire and her team work on a quick and affordable diagnostic test for Ebola during the 2014 outbreak. Crozier recalls becoming infected with Ebola during the outbreak and being rushed back to America for treatment.

Treatment and Recovery (04:25)

Jill Morgan talks with Crozier about his treatment for Ebola and how sick he was; he recalls the measures used to save him. Saphire founded the Viral Hemorrhagic Immunotherapeutic Consortium. Dye talks about the importance of the findings from the VIC.

Vaccines (03:48)

Maria Croyle speaks about her work on a cutting edge Ebola vaccine. She uses a small portion of the Ebola virus combined with a common cold virus to create a safe vaccine. In clinical tests with apes, the vaccine provided a 100% survival rate for exposure to Ebola.

Ebola Resurgence (03:08)

The 2014-15 Ebola outbreak was the largest Ebola outbreak, but also left the largest amount of survivors. Crozier developed an Ebola infection in his eye, long after he recovered from his original infection.

Treating Survivors (04:51)

Crozier and his team returned to West Africa to treat survivors of the original outbreak who may develop ocular infections. These eye infections could pose a danger of restarting an outbreak. Black and David Barash speak about the need for improved medical response capability to combat viral outbreaks before they spread.

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Fighting Pandemics

Part of the Series : Breakthrough
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Much as technology leaps forward during times of war, the Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 is forcing medical science to evolve as quickly as the virus it's fighting. This horror is provoking a revolution that may give birth to a world virtually free of pathogens… and we are watching this seismic shift as it happens. Scientists and medical practitioners working at the front lines of disease prevention and control are finding breakthrough ways to fight pandemic viruses, from antibiotics and vaccines to computer programs that predict how viruses spread. These life-saving tools, battle-tested in the current crisis, will be used to fight a wide range of killer viruses in the near future.

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: FPT138009

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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