Hope for Ebola victims as drugs show 90% survival rate

Hope for Ebola victims as drugs show 90% survival rate

Hope for Ebola victims as drugs show 90% survival rate

Scientists are a step closer to finding the first effective treatments for the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever after two potential drugs showed a survival rate of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the USA health authority co-funding the research said Monday.

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August past year and is the biggest of the 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

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

He observed that the simulation is a practical test for health workers who have participated in capacity building and training activities, adding that the drills are in accordance with the global health regulations.

The results from the two life-saving drugs are "very good news" Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press.

The first is REGN-EB3, a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies against Ebola made by USA firm Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.in New York State.

Response efforts have been repeatedly hampered by attacks on health workers and continuing mistrust among the affected communities; many people in the region don't believe the virus is real and choose to stay at home when they fall ill, infecting those who care for them.

World Health Organization specialists explain that the drugs attach anti-bodies to the outside of the EBOLA virus, destroying it.

The Pamoja Tulinde Maisha study's investigational agents were ZMapp, remdesivir, mAb114, and REGN-EB3.

Scientists however are hopeful that Ebola may soon be a preventable and treatable disease after promising clinical trials of two drugs which, according to expert Dr Sabue Mulangu, saw 60% of the 681 patients survive. Both options had been used to treat some patients in the 2014 outbreak, and ZMapp, which is a mixture of three antibodies developed using genetically-modified tobacco plants, had been administered to 72 people and had seemed "beneficial" from the scant data they'd obtained.

In comparison, two-thirds of the patients who got Remdesivir and almost three-quarters on ZMapp survived.

"We still see too many people not being found in time for benefiting from these therapies, people residing away from treatment centers", said Mike Ryan, Assistant Director General for Emergencies at WHO.

"Today's news has put us another step to saving more number of lives".

The first-ever multi-drug randomised trial for Ebola has proven extremely successful.

"We won't ever get rid of Ebola but we should be able to stop these outbreaks from turning into major national and regional epidemics".

He said: 'Thanks to this trial, we are starting to understand which treatments to offer to patients in this and future outbreaks'.

While research shows there is an effective albeit experimental vaccine against Ebola - one now being used in Congo - no studies have signaled which of several potential treatments were best to try once people became sick.

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