An American doctor working in West Africa and another health care worker, also American, who contracted Ebola there have both received experimental treatments for the deadly viral disease, according to news reports. In an Ebola infection, the virus first disables some of the immune system's frontline cells and then replicates almost unchecked. It then bursts out of cells throughout the body and damages them, eventually causing multi-organ failure. Both experimental treatments, if they work, would need to lower the viral load by binding to the virus and preventing it from replicating, which would give the immune system enough time to regenerate its cells and fight the disease, UTMB’s Tom Geisbert said.