The Ebola vaccine might spell the end of the deadly virus’s outspread as the clinical trial has registered an 100 percent positive response rate.
Ebola has been ravaging the world for quite some time. First spotted in 1976, the ebolavirus is one of the deadliest health problems. Its mortality risks are at around 25 to 90 percent. The percentage targets all those infected.
Ebola is also known as the EHF or Ebola hemorrhagic fever. This is because its late stages involve both external and internal bleeding.
Its most usual symptoms involve muscular pain and headaches. They are followed by vomiting, rashes, and diarrhea. These are, in their turn, followed by decreased liver and kidneys functions.
One of the reasons for its deadly nature is also its transmission means. Ebola is spread via direct contact with bodily fluids.
The disease has been the cause of many deaths and quite a number of outbreaks. Still, as of March 2016, WHO no longer declared it an emergency.
WHO or the World Health Organization changed its status. As such, scientists could turn to both intense studying, not just treating the disease.
A new Ebola vaccine has been developed and was recently tested. Its development featured a collaboration. United States Army and the Canadian public health agency researchers were involved.
Merck was issued a patent for producing the Ebola vaccine. Merck & Co., Inc. is a United States-based pharmaceutical company. It is one of the largest ten such companies at a global level.
The newly developed vaccine is based on a virus strain. This is an animal virus, which has been proven harmless to humans.
The Ebola vaccine was constructed around a piece of the virus’s DNA. As such, it is meant to stimulate an immune response.
Clinical studies for the vaccine were carried out in 2015. They were undertaken in Guinea. More than 5,870 people were treated with the vaccine.
Out of them, none was registered to have contracted the ebolavirus. As such, the vaccine’s rate of response was determined to reach 100 percent effectiveness.
The current Ebola vaccine targets the deadliest strain of the virus. More research will be carried out. Researchers are hoping to develop vaccines for more of the subtypes.
There are 5 known ebolavirus strains. The second to be targeted by the researchers is the Sudan subtype. The current Ebola vaccine targets the Zaire strain.
Zaire is the first place in which the disease was recorded. It is perhaps more known under its current name, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ebola vaccine clinical trials were carried out throughout a two years period. International efforts helped speed along the process. Otherwise, they might have taken even up to a decade.
Dr. Jeremy Farrar offered some opinions. He hailed the effectiveness of the vaccine as quite a “remarkable outcome”. Farrar is part of the Wellcome Trust. The British biomedical research charity is one of the organizations to be involved in the tests.
Still, there is more work to be done. Although the vaccine has shown remarkable effects, more research will have to be carried out. The vaccine’s period of effectiveness remains to be established.
As it is, Merck has reportedly already stocked on the Ebola vaccine. Around 300,000 doses have been produced and are ready to be used in case of a future outbreak.
The vaccine is expected to be approved by 2018. The WHO and the United States Food and Drug Administration will be those issuing the decision about the vaccine.
Besides the vaccine’s effectiveness, the international collaboration was hailed as another accomplishment. It marks a new hope in treating potential future pandemics.
By developing the first of hopefully more vaccines, international authorities are hoping to put a stop to the deadly virus.
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