After more than 40 years of detecting the deadly Ebola virus, a team of scientists announced on Monday the opening of treatment, which turned out to be 90% effective if applied at the start of the disease.
So far, there has been no cure for such a high success rate against this virus.
So much so that the doctor responsible for this study described the finding as "the achievement of his life" and as "the greatest news of the year."
Since first discovered in 1976, this evil has caused the deaths of about 13,000 people, most of them in the last five years.
In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced: "international emergency medical assistance" about the Ebola epidemic that has hit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since mid-2018 and has already killed about 1,800 people.
- Which means that Ebola has once again been declared an international emergency medical aid
The last time the WHO used the same level of global health emergency was during the Ebola epidemic 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 fluids that could increase the chances of survival, ie. but they never exceeded 50%.
Michael Ryan, WHO's director of emergency services, told the paper The New York Times the mortality of the last outbreak is estimated to exceed 70%.
As of November 2018, a team of scientists has tested four types of antibodies to treat more than 700 people infected with the virus in the DRC.
Independent advice from scientists followed the study and found that two of the drugs were highly effective against infection when the patient received them in the early stages of the disease.
It's about medication mAb114manufactured by Ridgeback Laboratory; and REGN-EB3, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States Institute for Health (NHI, for its abbreviation in English), one of those responsible for the study, confirmed on Monday the high survival rate of nearly 90% among the infected people who took the test
- Doctors threaten to kill Ebola, an epidemic that has already killed more than 1,800 people a year
"They are the first drugs to demonstrate clearly in a science-based study a significant reduction in mortality, " said Anthony Foci, director of the center, according to the Efe Agency.
The magazine science details that "41% of participants in the process who sought early treatment and had low levels of Ebola in the blood" mortality is 6% among these receive the REGN-EB3 antibody and 11% among those who took mAb114.
However, the overall mortality rate in patients with each infection level (not only among those with low levels) was 29% with REGN-EB3 and 34% with other treatments.
- The Woman of the Year by Time magazine, who fought Ebola and died "because no one wanted to touch it"
15% of participants were vaccinated against the virus before participating, but the data obtained so far is preliminary and does not indicate whether this condition affected the outcome, he explains. science,
REGN-EB3 and mAb114 are now the only drugs approved for treating Ebola patients in DRC.
The final data analysis will be carried out between September and October in order to obtain definite results.
"The drugs neutralize the virus, the symptoms disappear and the patient feels better […]"He told the BBC's Jean Jacques Muembé, director of the National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, DRC, and is responsible for the study.
The antibodies are administered as an injection and disappear within two weeks from the body.
"It is better for a patient to come early when symptoms occur than if they are late," added Muimbe, who is also part of the team that discovered the virus in 1976.
The doctor explained that the vaccines were only for the treatment of Ebola, but not for the prevention of: "They don't protect their whole lives. They don't immunize," he warned.
- Ebola burials that breathed fear but saved thousands of lives
A different vaccine has recently been administered to prevent the spread of Ebola in the DRC.
"The impact of new drugs [en la República Democrática del Congo] It will be huge. Because patients consider treatment centers as death places. So if you see people coming and going to the community for treatment effectiveness, they will not hide their patients at homeThey will take them to the hospital. It is very important to break the chain of transmission, "said Muimbe.
It is "the biggest news of the year", trust the doctor hopes.
What is Ebola?
- The Ebola virus – Ebolavirus – initially causes sudden fever, weakness, muscle aches and sore throats.
- Symptoms then include vomiting, diarrhea, and internal and external bleeding.
- Humans become infected through direct contact with infected animals or with lesions on the skin, mouth and nose, or with blood, vomiting and body fluids from someone infected with Ebola.
- Usually, patients die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.
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