Ebola Virus

Although the virus is found primarily in central Africa, U.S. health officials feel it's just a matter of time before it enters this country.

The virus attacks the circulatory system, causing internal bleeding. Ninety-percent of its victims bleed to death. In order to fight the virus, scientists at the National Institute of Health have begun trail studies on a vaccine that would protect against infection.

So often, we see terrible scenes of diseases in some other country, and you don't know what to do. Well trial participants can take a small step to help.

The NIH is testing a new Ebola vaccine on humans. Trial participants could help to protect millions from the deadly virus.

Last November, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases began a yearlong human test of an Ebola vaccine. It uses a modified, inactive gene from the virus that causes the body's immune system to build up against Ebola. There is no living Ebola virus in the vaccine, so people who take it are perfectly safe.

Researchers hope to enroll 27 new volunteers in the next few weeks to test different dosage levels.

The vaccine has already gone through successful animal trials. Researchers hope the vaccine will someday protect populations in Africa who've already had deadly Ebola outbreaks and people here, too.