This could have gone much much worse, but here’s the scenario: A scientist was doing work with lab mice and the ebola virus. A momentary lapse in safety precautions led to her accidently pricking her finger with the needle. The scientist, an unidentified 45-year-old German woman, had to act fast.
Her colleagues, within hours, started a teleconference with scientists in Canada to map out a plan to save her life. The plan was to use an experimental vaccine that had never been used on humans before, in an attempt to destroy the virus. The scientist had just become the guinea pig.
Within 24 hours, the vaccine was shipped out from Canada to Germany where, nearly 40 hours later, it was administered.
The accident occurred on March 12th, and if she is still healthy as of April 2nd, she can consider herself to be safe. So far, so good. However, we cannot be certain that she had actually infected herself with the Ebola virus. If she doesn’t become infected, scientists won’t know if it was the vaccine or a near-miss.