After more than 40 years of the discovery of the deadly Ebola virus, a team of scientists announced on Monday finding a treatment that proved 90% effective if applied at an early stage of the disease.
So far, there has been no cure with such a high success rate against this virus.
So much so that the doctor in charge of this study defined this finding as "the achievement of his life" and as "the greatest news of the year."
Since it was first discovered in 1976, this evil has caused the death of about 13,000 people, most of them in the last five years.
In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it "international public health" for the Ebola outbreak that has plagued the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since mid-2018 and has already killed about 1,800 people.
- Which means that Ebola has been re-declared as an international health crisis
The last time the WHO used the same level of global health crisis was during the Ebola outbreak that devastated parts of West Africa between 2014 and 2016, killing more than 11,000 people and infecting nearly 29,000.
In fact, there was only early treatment for specific symptoms and the possibility of oral rehydration therapy and intravenous fluid that could increase the chances of survival, but these never exceeded 50%.
Michael Ryan, WHO ambulance director, told the paper The New York Times the death rate since the last outbreak is believed to exceed 70%.
As of November 2018, a team of scientists tested four types of antibodies to treat more than 700 people infected with the virus in the DRC.
An independent committee of scientists monitored the study and found that the two drugs were very effective against the infection when received by the patient in the early stages of the disease.
It's about medicine mAb114, manufactured by Ridgeback Laboratory; and Regno-EB3. manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron.
The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases of the United States Institute of Health (NHI), one of the study's responsible, confirmed a high survival rate of close to 90% on Monday among infected people who participated in the test
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"They are the first drugs to show clearly in a scientifically valid study a significant reduction in mortality, " said Anthony Fauci, director of the center, according to the Efe Agency.
Magazine science details that "41% of trial participants who sought early treatment and had low Ebola levels," mortality was 6% among these received REGN-EB3 antibody and 11% among those who took mAb114.
However, the overall mortality rate in patients with any level of infection (not only among those with low levels) was 29% with REGN-EB3 and 34% with other treatment.
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15% of participants were vaccinated against the virus prior to participation, but the data obtained so far are preliminary and do not indicate whether the condition affected the outcome, explains science.
REGN-EB3 and mAb114 are currently the only authorized drug for treating Ebola patients in DRC.
The final data analysis will be conducted between September and October to produce the final results.
"The drugs neutralize the virus, the symptoms disappear and the patient feels better […]"Jean Jacque Muyembe, director of the National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, DRC, and in charge of the study, told the BBC.
The antibodies are given as an injection and disappear after two weeks.
"It's better if the patient arrives early, at the onset of symptoms, than if they are late," added Muyembe, who is also part of the team that discovered the 1976 virus.
The doctor explained that the vaccines were intended only to treat Ebola, but not to prevent it: "They don't protect life. They don't immunize." he warned.
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A different vaccine has recently been administered to prevent the spread of Ebola in the DRC.
"The effect of new drugs [en la República Democrática del Congo] It will be huge. Because patients consider treatment centers a place of death. So, if you see people coming and going to the community for treatment effectiveness, they will not hide their patients at home, He'll bring them to the hospital. It is very important to break the transmission chain, "Muyembe said.
This is "biggest news of the year". hope doctor.
What is Ebola?
- The Ebola virus – the ebolavirus – initially causes sudden fever, weakness, muscle aches and sore throats.
- Subsequently, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and internal and external bleeding.
- People become infected by direct contact with infected animals or lesions on the skin, mouth and nose or blood, vomiting and body fluids of someone infected with Ebola.
- Patients usually die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.
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