New drugs to beat Ebola

Ebola survivor Esperance Masinda cares for a baby who may have caught the disease

Ebola survivor Esperance Masinda cares for a baby who may have caught the disease

He said: "The new treatments are promising, but we're dealing with a terrible disease, one with a mortality rate of almost 90 percent among children and pregnant women".

This may finally change with this groundbreaking trial now that Ebola is preventable and treatable.

A vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2013 to 2016 became the world's largest ever when it spread through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and killed more than 11,300 people.

"For patients who are in the later stages of the disease, no treatment is efficient", he warned, adding that widespread "reluctance" to seek treatment in specialised clinics was hampering efforts to contain the virus.

According to the United Nations health agency, two out of the four drugs being tested are more effective in treating Ebola.

These new treatments are two monoclonal antibodies that block the Ebola virus.

The first step towards finding a cure was taken in 2005 by veteran Congolese microbiologist Jean Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, who helped discover Ebola virus in 1976 and is now tasked with bringing the current outbreak under control.

Additionally, this DSMD said 'all future study participants should be randomized to receive either the REGN-EB3 or mAb114 medications'.

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The Regeneron treatment - the one with the best results - was added to the clinical trial at the last minute only after reconsideration by a World Health Organization panel of experts, the company said. The results from 499 of those patients were staggering enough that they met the predetermined criteria to halt the trial-researchers had gotten an answer about what worked best.

In this group, mortality dropped to 29 per cent with REGN-EB3 and with mAb114 it fell to 34 per cent compared to a rate of between 60 and 67 per cent in the general population when the disease is not treated by a drug. Further, REGN-EB3 cured the disease in 94% of such patients, while, in the case of mAb114, it was 89%.

Two other treatments, called ZMapp and Remdesivir, have been dropped from trials as they were found to be less effective.

Patients who were receiving two other drugs that are being discontinued, Zmapp and remdesivir, will now have the option at the discretion of their treating physician to receive the treatments that have been shown to work.

While Ebola has been documented since the 1970s, this is the first Ebola trial to demonstrate an effective treatment. "People also need to quickly share information and alert pertinent institutions as we advised, if they saw a suspected case". Mr. Tamfum transfused blood of Ebola survivors into eight people with disease and though antibodies were not isolated, seven of the eight survived. These treatment centers were overseen by staff from the INRB, and three medical humanitarian organizations: the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), the International Medical Corps (IMC), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

It is hoped that the effectiveness of the drugs, made by US-based pharmaceutical firms, will make patients feel "more comfortable about seeking care early", said Dr Fauci. Just last month, the W.H.O.

"These advances will help save thousands of lives", he told reporters.

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