Chinese scientists have made a major breakthrough against the deadly Ebola virus by discovering how the virus enters cells and infects humans, as reported by the Chinese Xinhua state news agency. Gao Fu, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that Ebola has similarities with the influenza and human immunodeficiency (HIV) viruses, which use host cells to initiate their life. "Previous research has revealed four manners of viruses entering cells. But we've found the fusion between Ebola and host cells does not follow the known ways. It's a fifth type," Fu told the news agency. Last year in May, NPC1, an endosomal protein, was identified as a necessary entry receptor for Ebola entering cells, but the trigger of the fusion process remained a mystery for scientists. "Based on the new discoveries, researchers will be able to develop small-molecule or polypeptide inhibitors targeting the fusion trigger, preventing Ebola entry," said Fu. The research was published in scientific journal "Cell." Based on World Health Organization data, 11,000 people have lost their lives due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.