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New outbreak of ebola fever in Africa

23 Jun 2014 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | International

According to WHO, between 29 May and 1 June 2014, 37 new cases of Ebola fever and 21 deaths were recorded in Guinea, and 13 new cases (no deaths) were recorded in Liberia.

The Jean Mérieux BSL-4 Laboratory is a high-level containment laboratory dedicated to the study of class 4 pathogens. The biological safety level applied is 4, the highest possible level. The researchers working there wear a full body, air-supplied, positive pressure suit to protect them from all contamination. The laboratory is itself maintained under negative pressure in order to protect the environment. Moreover, all wastes produced are completely inactivated, and the exhaust air is purified by a double absolute filtration system. This laboratory today remains the structure offering the largest experimental capacity in Europe for this containment level.

Highly pathogenic agents:
Class 4 pathogens (or risk group 4) are highly pathogenic microorganisms characterised by a very high mortality rate, a lack of prophylactic or therapeutic measures to provide protection, and ready transmissibility. All class 4 pathogens currently known are viruses, and include viruses that cause haemorrhagic fevers or encephalitis. They include the Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Junin, Machupo, Guanarito, Sabia, Crimean-Congo, Nipah and  Hendra viruses.

Further information:

On Ebola Filovirus:
Delphine Pannetier
Inserm Research Engineer
+33 (0)4 72 76 82 91