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Ebola discoverer says he would sit next to infected person on train

Published on Jul 31, 2014 11:17 AM
Professor Peter Piot, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, poses for photographs following an interview at his office in central London, England, on July 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus said the outbreak in west Africa was unlikely to trigger a major epidemic outside the region, adding he would happily sit next to an infected person on a train.

But Professor Peter Piot told AFP that a "really bad" sense of panic and lack of trust in the authorities in west Africa had contributed to the world's largest-ever outbreak.

The Belgian scientist, now based in Britain, urged officials to test experimental vaccines on people with the virus so that when it inevitably returns, the world is prepared.

Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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