Lake Geneva, known for its peace and tranquility, coffee shops and scenic views of the beautiful lake. This seemingly peaceful area has been interrupted according to residents of the Lake region. On October 31, 2014, several volunteers were willingly injected with a small portion of the Ebola virus. The reason is for medical purposes, in hope to find a vaccination for the virus and hopefully halt the spread of the virus to other areas of the world.
These vaccinations are deemed safe by the World Health Organization who believes without a cure in the near future, the Ebola Virus can start affecting up to 10,000 people a week. The vaccine will be flown in from the United States and be tested on volunteers who are doctors and medical students for the most part.
Many of the locals who are in the area where volunteers will be located seem very uncomfortable to the idea of having the Ebola virus so close to home. These residents include; doctors, pharmacists and taxi drivers who believe even though this is a controlled experiment, it is unnecessary to bring a foreign virus into Geneva, Switzerland. One citizen claims, “You could offer me a thousand times that amount being paid and I’d still say no.” As for the money he is speaking about is the compensation ($845) the volunteers would receive for their time and travel commitment to and from Geneva. Even though the likelihood of coming in contact with these controlled volunteers will be unlikely, the thought of having a known virus that has taken so many lives in the area is alarming.
Although, this experiment might make many people of Geneva wary, the upside to the experiment could change the world and the Ebola virus drastically. According to Marie-Paule Kieny, The World Health Organizations assistant director for health systems and innovation, stands strongly behind the experiment when she stated, ” If shown to be safe and effective, either of the vaccines could be scaled up for production during the first quarter of next year, with millions of doses produced for wide distribution in high-risk countries.” Only time can tell now how successful this experiment will be. To read more on this, check out the article on BusinessWeek.