Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Experimental Studies Show Ebola Virus Disease could be Treated

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Anna Jefferson | 16 August, 2019, 15:39

Two new clinical treatments for the infamous Ebola virus may result in it becoming a "preventable and treatable" disease, the BBC reported on Tuesday, with a study of four drugs finding that two treatments called REGN-EB3 and mAb114 were effective in limiting mortality from the disease.

The drugs REGN-EB3 and mAb114, attack the Ebola virus with antibodies which neutralise its impact on human cells.

Among people who sought treatment early, the mortality rate was 6 percent for REGN-EB3 and the rate for mAb114 was 11 percent.

The research was created to test the effectiveness of the drugs on as many as 725 people infected with the Ebola virus in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

"From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable", Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the director general of the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in DRC, which is overseeing the trial, said during a press conference, The Guardian reports.

"This is great news of course, and this news will save lives and move us closer to finding an effective treatment for Ebola", he said.

A breakthrough anti-Ebola cure has been announced that it can treat Ebola patients up to 90 percent. Whether or not the drugs would halt the Ebola virus that has led to health crisis throughout the African country is unknown although the patients, trusting the experimental drugs, eagerly wait for the medicine and their turns to be treated.

According to the early data of the trial, 49% of the patients who were given ZMapp did not survive, as did 53% of those who received remdesivir. Yes, the researchers have revealed the Ebola virus is now curable.

The results were more striking for patients with a low viral load in their blood: more than 90 percent survived while taking either REGN-EB3 or mAb114, provided they got treatment early.

WHO last month declared the DR Congo Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of global concern, calling for more measures to curb its spread.

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Some 681 patients at four separate treatment centres in Congo have already been enrolled in the Congo treatment clinical trial, Fauci said.

According to the Post report, the two new therapies were tested in a multi-drug, controlled trial since November a year ago.

Health workers dressed in protective suits are seen at the newly constructed MSF (Doctors Without Borders) Ebola treatment center in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 4, 2019.

But the recent study found that less than one-third of patients who were infected died when they took the two new drugs.

The two promising drugs are made from Ebola antibodies - a protein produced by the immune system to defend against infection.

This is the 10th outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the most severe in the country since 1976, when scientists identified the deadly virus near the Ebola River.

The DR Congo's Ebola outbreak is the tenth and was declared in August 2018.

The study was carried out in regions of the DRC that have been experiencing the nation's largest-ever Ebola outbreak, which began a year ago and has claimed almost 1900 lives.

The therapies are just one part of a tool kit to stop Ebola outbreak, Diaz said.

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