Hemorrhagic fever inspires almost mythic terror, but whether it can be beaten depends more on people than on medical advances.

The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is only the second-largest in history, but undoubtedly the most frustrating.

Scientists are fairly certain they have the medical tools needed for victory: one vaccine that appears to work about 98 per cent of the time, another that has worked well in monkeys, and four therapies that may block the virus if they are given early enough.

Instead, scientists are being thwarted by the nightmarish conflicts and politics of eastern

Advertisement

The Mbandaka outbreak

Advertisement

The West African outbreak

The outbreak named 'Ebola'