Ebola `no longer incurable` as Congo trial finds drugs boost survival

Ebola `no longer incurable` as Congo trial finds drugs boost survival

Scientists have said that Ebola can no longer be called an "incurable disease" after the successful trial of two experimental treatments in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since then, four experimental drugs have been tested on almost 700 patients, with the preliminary results from the first 499 now known.

The recommendations will compliment efforts being taken by other worldwide partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Cardoso said.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director general of Congo's Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in DRC, who co-led the trial, said the results meant that "from now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable".

"Tanzania is at high risk of the Ebola virus outbreak and we are doing all we can to respond to the outbreak", said Mwalimu.

But in a place where suspicion of health workers and violent conflict are widespread, finding effective medical therapies is only half the battle, experts say.

The preliminary findings prompted an early halt to a major study on the drugs and a decision to prioritize their use in the African country, where a yearlong outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people.

World Health Organization - which coordinated an global research consortium for the trial - said it would continue to conduct rigorous research and incorporate findings into the Ebola outbreak response in DRC through "a variety of prevention and control strategies".

It was the first-ever multi-drug trial for an Ebola treatment.

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"The trial is monitored by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) that meets periodically to review interim safety and efficacy data and to make recommendations to the study team and the sponsors", reads part of the release.

Two vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus have recorded significant surviving rates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the disease has claimed more than 1,800 lives over the past 12 months.

The drugs, namely REGN-EB3 and mAb114, work by attacking the Ebola virus with antibodies, neutralizing its impact on human cells. Patients receive them once, intravenously, and "ideally, as soon as possible" after infection, Fauci said.

The primary objective of the trial was to compare mortality in patients with Ebola who received either REGN-EB3, mAb114, or remdesivir with those who received ZMapp in the control arm.

The rates for Zmapp and remdesivir were 49 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Two of four Ebola treatment drugs have been determined "more effective" than the others and will be the only ones used on patients going forward, the World Health Organisation announced on Monday. The use of other two Ebola drugs Remdesivir and ZMapp will be discontinued due to their lower effectiveness. "We want to get more information and Uganda's trial will be important".

"Getting people into care more quickly is absolutely vital", Ryan said.

He said medical professionals on the ground in Congo have sufficient stores of both drugs to administer them to all infected people.

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