Rocky Mountain Laboratories

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A Montana man who discovered the underlying cause of Lyme disease died Monday in Hamilton.

Dr. Wilhelm "Willy" Burgdorfer was born in Switzerland where he earned his undergraduate and PhD degrees in Zoology, Parasitology and Bacteriology.

Burgdorfer moved to Montana's Bitterroot Valley in 1951 to work as a research fellow at Hamilton's Rocky Mountain Laboratory. He became a U.S. citizen in 1957 and then joined the staff at R.M.L as a medical entomologist.

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Soon after patients with Ebola began receiving treatment in the United States, Missoula’s Providence St. Patrick hospital was identified as one of four hospitals nationwide that’s especially prepared to care for someone with Ebola. That’s because the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton is nearby, and researchers there work with Ebola. St Patrick's says it has long been prepared to treat anyone who might get infected with Ebola or other dangerous pathogens there.

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Today Providence Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula said that it is ready to admit a patient with Ebola if the need arises. A hospital press release says there are no immediate plans for an Ebola patient to be sent there, but that it has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to treat such patients.

The release says its special Care and Isolation Unit is separate from other patient areas and has equipment that “provides an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation compared to standard hospital rooms.”



Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

There are 5 different strains of Ebola and the one responsible for the current outbreak has a 70 to 90-percent fatality rate. 

The World Health Organization is launching a new joint $100-million-dollar response plan to the outbreak that's killed at least 729 people in four countries.


Hantavirus season is here and health officials are warning people to take precautions to guard against the virus that can lead to fatigue, aches and eventually progress to coughing,   shortness of breath and in some cases - death.

National Institutes of Health researchers have developed an important animal model of human hantavirus pulmonary syndrome that may - one day - lead to treatments, vaccines and improve diagnosis methods.


U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists say a drug combination may prove useful in treating an emerging respiratory virus that's proven fatal outside the United States.