Scientists say Ebola is now treatable thanks to 2 new experimental drugs
Scientists have seemingly found two new treatments for Ebola, an infectious and potentially fatal virus that has affected thousands of citizens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year alone.
The preliminary results from trials on the two experimental drugs – one developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the other by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) – were “compelling enough to recommend and implement these changes in the trial immediately,” according to a statement from the NIAID.
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In other words, the treatments, which are antibody-based, will be available to anyone infected with Ebola in the Congo, which is experiencing the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history as more than 2,000 cases have been reported.
While more study is needed, researchers said significantly fewer people died among those given the Regeneron drug or the NIH's compared to those who received another treatment.
In fact, those treated with either drug within days of infection reported a 90 percent survival rate, according to Nature.
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"Ebola kills quickly and Ebola heals quickly. That's the message," said Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research, at a press conference in Goma.
Health officials have also vaccinated tens of thousands of people in Congo and surrounding countries in an attempt to stop the outbreak, but the virus has now continued to spread for more than a year.
Response efforts have been repeatedly hampered by attacks on health workers and continuing mistrust among the affected communities; many people in the region don't believe the virus is real and choose to stay at home when they fall ill, infecting those who care for them.
Fox News' Paulina Dedaj and The Associated Press contributed to this report.