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Why isn't there a treatment or vaccine for Ebola?

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007, file photo, A 43 year old Congolese patient, center, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) nurse Isabel Grovas, left, and Doctor Hilde Declerck, right, in Kampungu, Kasai Occidental province, Congo. In the four decades since the Ebola virus was first identified in Africa, treatment hasn't changed much. There are no licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease. A number are being developed, but none have been rigorously tested in humans. One experimental treatment, though, was tried this week in an American aid worker sick with Ebola, according to the U.S-based group that she works for in Liberia. Without a specific treatment, doctors and nurses focus on easing the disease's symptoms _ fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea _ and on keeping patients hydrated and comfortable. (AP Photo/WHO, Christopher Black, File)
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LONDON (AP) -- In the four decades since the Ebola virus was first identified in Africa, treatment hasn't changed much. There are no licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease.

Some are being developed, but none have been rigorously tested in humans. One experimental treatment, though, was tried this week in an American aid worker sick with Ebola, according to the U.S-based group that she works for in Liberia.

Without a specific treatment, doctors and nurses focus on easing the disease's symptoms -- fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea -- and on keeping patients hydrated and comfortable.

The outbreak in three West African countries -- Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone -- has sickened more than 1,300 people and more than 700 have died since March.

WHY ISN'T THERE A TREATMENT BY NOW?

For one thing, the Ebola virus is hard to work with. The virus doesn't grow well in petri dishes and experiments can only be done in the relatively few labs with the highest

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