Scientists can now say that Ebola is curable after successful clinical tests that showed a 90% survival rate for the infected test subjects in DR Congo. It was led by Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who is the director general of DR Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research. The trial was also co-sponsored by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The trial which started in November has now been stopped after it was found out that two of the four drugs being tested had significantly reduced the death rate in Ebola patients. The two monoclonal antibody drugs, REGN-EBR and mAb114, were found to be quite effective in blocking the virus and will be used from now on in all Ebola treatment centers.
This comes as a huge sigh of relief for DR Congo as more than 1,800 people have died of Ebola in the past year. The World Health Organisation declared that the Ebola crisis in DR Congo was a public health emergency of international concern in July this year. Access to these drugs for persons infected with Ebola will help save thousands of lives.
Efforts to manage Ebola outbreaks in DR Congo have in the past been hampered by a general mistrust of health professionals by the public, the spreading of misinformation about the disease and conflict between armed militia. As more tests continue to be done to improve on Ebola prevention and control, it is hopeful that the use of this new drug cocktail will change public perception and stop Ebola outbreaks from happening.
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