Advances in Ebola Diagnosis and Treatment

in Featured, In The News
May 23rd, 2017

Original article from WCAI by Heather Goldstone  May 22, 2017

Ebola is back. The virus killed more than 11,000 people between 2014 and 2016. It was the largest Ebola outbreak ever documented. Now, health officials say there’s a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Officials are reporting four deaths and more than thirty suspected cases of Ebola in the past two weeks. They are also monitoring more than 400 individuals who came into contact with those patients. Still, because the area is so remote, officials say the risk of the outbreak spreading beyond national borders is low to medium.

On the other hand, the lack of road access and electricity in the region is a significant challenge for those treating patients and trying to contain the outbreak. WHO is preparing for the possibility of using a vaccine that was put into experimental use during the 2014-2016 West Africa outbreak. At that time, there were ethical questions about using a relatively untested vaccine in humans. Now, it’s more a question of logistics.

“This vaccine is still in development,” said John Conner, Associate Professor of Microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine and the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory. “This is not a vaccine that comes in a freeze-dried formula that can sit on somebody’s shelf for five years until it’s needed and then deployed instantaneously.”

 

Click to read more & listen to Dr. Connor