The two drugs that have been found to be most effective in the study include antibodies that attack the Ebola virus. These antibodies come from patients who have previously survived Ebola infection. The new drugs are not yet officially approved, but according to the WHO, they are already being used to treat new Ebola patients in Congo.
"Easier to administer"
Médecins Sans Frontières participated in the study in January and February by donating patient funds to special centers in Katwa and Butemb.
"This result is incredibly good news for patients," says Esther Sterk, a health consultant and expert in the field of tropical diseases. "It is good that these two drugs are recommended because we not only expect them to increase their chances of survival, but also because they are easier to administer to our medical staff."
Doctors Without Borders stresses that the medical breakthrough does not immediately end with the outbreak of Ebola in Congo. According to the organization, it is crucial to find a way to limit the spread of the disease.
Two drugs lost
The drug study began in November. Since then, the drugs have been tested on nearly 700 patients. Of the people who received the two most effective medicines, 29 percent or 34 percent died. The dead were mostly people who had already done more damage to the virus.
The death rates among patients receiving the other two drugs were higher, 49 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Then the researchers decided not to test the less effective agents anymore.