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Ebola breakthrough

Ebola could soon be “preventable and treatable”, after a trial of two drugs showed significantly improved survival rates.

Four drugs were trialled on patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is a major outbreak of the virus.

More than 90% of infected people can survive if treated early with the most effective drugs, the research showed.

The drugs will now be used to treat all patients with the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, say health officials.

The drugs – named REGN-EB3 and mAb114 – work by attacking the Ebola virus with antibodies, neutralising its impact on human cells.

They are the first drugs in a scientifically sound study that have “clearly shown a significant diminution in mortality” for Ebola patients, it is claimed.

REGN-EB3 and mAb114 were developed using antibodies harvested from survivors of Ebola, which has killed more than 1,800 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past year.

Two other treatments, called ZMapp and Remdesivir, have been dropped from trials as they were found to be less effective.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola crisis in the country a “public health emergency of international concern”.

 

Image credit | iStock

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