Winnipeg is half a world away from the countries in Africa where Ebola, and its viral cousin, Marburg, occasionally slip out of their animal reservoir to start infecting and killing people, as Ebola is now doing in West Africa. The current outbreak has infected at least 5,335 people and killed at least 2,622. To date, there has never been a case of either viral hemorrhagic fever infections within Canadian borders.
So why then is Canada's national lab an Ebola research powerhouse? Why is a facility on the edge of the Prairies, near North America's longitudinal centre, the site from whence some of the most promising Ebola research emanates?