• Question: what antibiotics are used to treat ebola?

    Asked by imkittymurtha to Ceri, Marikka, Matt, Rob, Sally on 15 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Sally Cutler

      Sally Cutler answered on 15 Nov 2014:

      Hi Kitty, you need antivirals to treat a virus infection such as Ebola and specific treatments for Ebola are still not available. Some vaccine candidates to prevent infection are under development but not fully tested yet. Best treatment for Ebola is clinical supportive management such as fluid replacement.

    • Photo: Ceri Dare

      Ceri Dare answered on 15 Nov 2014:

      Ebola is a virus, not a bacteria. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses. But sometimes people with Ebola can get bacterial infections as well, and then various antibiotics may be useful.

    • Photo: Robert Hampson

      Robert Hampson answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      Ebola is a virus. Antibiotics will make no difference to it. Sometimes people may also get bacterial infections in their weakened state at which point antibiotics may be useful.

      We often struggle to treat viruses, think colds and flu. Antivirals are less effective against viruses than antibiotics are against bacteria for various reasons.