The haemorrhagic fever causes bleeding, severe vomiting and diarrhoea and spreads through close contact with bodily fluids. The average fatality rate is about 50 percent. The experimental drugs revealed this week will “absolutely not” cure all Ebola patients, despite showing a survival rates of as much as 90 percent in a clinical trial DR Congo, immunologist Yves Lévy, a special envoy in charge of the French Ebola response, told France Info radio. He said: “The new treatments are promising, but we’re dealing with a dreadful disease, one with a mortality rate of nearly 90 percent among children and pregnant women.”
The new drugs mark an “interesting and important breakthrough” in the fight against Ebola, he continued, “but we must continue to be cautious, because the clinical trial is ongoing”.
The two prototype drugs – an antibody cocktail called REGN-EB3 and a monoclonal antibody called mAb114 – will be offered to all Ebola patients in DR Congo’s year-long outbreak, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said earlier on Tuesday.
The drugs are antibodies that block Ebola, but more study is needed to pin down exactly how well the two compounds work, US researchers said.
The Congolese government’s Ebola response coordinator, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, said the trial’s positive results meant that “we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable,” adding the drugs would “help save thousands of lives.”
“Ebola is dangerous but it is also curable with the correct treatment,” he told a press conference in Congolese city of Goma. The disease “kills quickly” but it also “heals quickly,” he added.
Mr Muyembe was reacting to an earlier report that two Ebola patients who were treated