” WHO facilitated the accelerated search for safe and effective vaccines, resulting in vaccine development in less than 12 months versus 10+ years.
In July 2015, WHO announced the results of an interim analysis of a Phase III efficacy trial for the Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV conducted in Guinea. Preliminary results suggest that the vaccine is highly effective. The trial was extended to Sierra Leone.
WHO, the Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN), and partners have evaluated novel diagnostic assays for the detection of EVD. Six diagnostic assays have been approved for UN procurement.
Clinical trials using convalescent whole blood and convalescent plasma from survivors have been limited to fewer than 100 patients, but have shown that blood and plasma collection can be safe and feasible in the context of an Ebola outbreak. WHO supported strengthening national blood transfusion services for the purpose of safely administering convalescent whole blood and plasma products from Ebola survivors to Ebola patients.
In addition, experts have reviewed and identified a few medicines and drugs – out of hundreds of recommendations – for use in treating Ebola patients or for further clinical studies. These include: ZMapp – a monoclonal antibody cocktail; favipiravir – a small-molecule antiviral; and several small-molecule antivirals with potent anti-Ebola virus activity. All continue to be tested for safety and efficacy.”
A UK military medic who has been discharged from hospital after being declared free of Ebola said it was thanks to medics that she is alive.
Cpl Anna Cross was the first person in the world to be given the experimental Ebola drug MIL 77, her doctors said.
Cpl Cross, aged 25, from Cambridge, caught the virus while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone.
During her illness she lost 22lb (10kg) and spent 14 days being treated at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
They described the drug she was given as a close relative of the medicine ZMapp – which British nurse William Pooley received when he was treated for Ebola
Experts at the Royal Free said MIL 77 was made in China and that a limited supply was available, should anyone need it.
Prof Jonathan Ball, a virus expert at the University of Nottingham, said: “This is fantastic news that another individual admitted to the Royal Free has recovered from Ebola.
“She was given an experimental drug, but it is impossible to say whether or not this directly contributed to her clearing the virus.
“In order to know whether a drug does work we need experimental trials and thankfully trials of various drugs are underway in West Africa, where Ebola virus is still doggedly clinging on.”
Ebola has claimed more than 10,000 lives across the worst-affected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in the past 12 months.
A British military healthcare worker who tested positive for Ebola is being flown to the UK for treatment.
Two of her colleagues are also being flown back as a precaution in case the infection has been passed on through close contact. They have not been diagnosed with Ebola.
A further two colleagues are being assessed in Sierra Leone, and may be flown back in the future
The three being flown to the UK today will be taken to the special isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Dr Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading, said flying the patient back to the UK offered the best chance of recovery.
“The Royal Free Hospital has a 100% record in treating Ebola cases so far, let’s hope that doesn’t change.
“While the new batch of ZMapp is not yet available, she could be treated with favipiravir, which has shown some early promising results in West African Ebola clinics.
“She may also be given antibody-rich serum from Ebola survivors to knock down the amount of virus in her blood while her immune system is learning to fight Ebola.”
Note: You have to ask the question, are favipirarir, ZMapp and Blood serum only available in the UK? Why are these protocols NOT available on site even if restricted?
What procedures are available in the Royal Free Hospital that are NOT available on-site in Sierra Leonne? No invasive surgical procedures are being performed unless you count an IV drip as surgical, it is supportive/recuperative care.
In a nutshell tell me what to do and give me the drugs to do it, so location does not matter! Right?
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FREETOWN, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Sierra Leone’s leading doctor died of Ebola on Thursday, hours after the arrival in the country of an experimental drug that could have been used to treat him, the chief medical officer said.
Victor Willoughby was diagnosed with Ebola last week after he treated a man with organ-related problems. The patient, a senior banker, was later diagnosed with Ebola and has since died.
The drug, ZMab, was transported in frozen form on a Brussels Airlines flight that arrived overnight. But before it could thaw, Willoughby’s condition deteriorated, said chief medical officer Brima Kargbo.
His death brings to 12 the number of Sierra Leone doctors to have contracted the virus. Eleven have died. In all, 142 health workers have been infected with the disease in the West African country and 109 (76.8% mortality) have died, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.
Sierra Leone, neighbouring Guinea and Liberia are at the heart of the world’s worst recorded outbreak of Ebola. Rates of infection are rising fastest in Sierra Leone, which now accounts for more than half of the 18,603 confirmed cases of the virus.
The overall death toll from the epidemic has risen to 6,915 as of Dec. 14, the WHO said on Wednesday, adding that the increase in cases in Sierra Leone appeared to have slowed.
Kargbo said Willoughby’s death was the most tragic to hit the country since the passing, in July, of its only virologist and Ebola specialist, Dr Shek Humar Khan.
“We all looked up to Dr Willoughby and would consult him on many issues relating to our medical profession,” Kargbo said.
Ebola centres in Sierra Leone overflowed on Wednesday as health workers combed the streets of the capital Freetown for patients, after the government launched a major operation to contain the epidemic. (Reporting by Umaru Fofana; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Mark Trevelyan)
ZMAb is related to ZMapp, another experimental drug that has been used to treat some Ebola patients.
Ebola nearly killed Nancy Writebol in July—and it also made her famous, which helped broadcast to the world that it needed to respond more aggressively to what had grown from a small outbreak into an out-of-control epidemic.
there are so many strains of Ebola, it would still be very wise and necessary to operate in PPEs and not just assume you’re immune.
Q: You and Kent Brantly both received ZMapp. Do you think it helped?
N.W.: It’s given at three different times. I had two of the doses in Liberia, and the third at Emory. I don’t know that I can say when I was given the ZMapp it made a dramatic difference in how I was feeling. I think I was very, very, very sick, critically sick. I’m not saying it didn’t help—I do think it had some benefit to it—but it wasn’t this huge, dramatic “I had this ZMapp and now I can sit up and take a shower.”
They give ZMapp via IV and they give it slowly and then turn it up a little. When they turned it up on me, my hands started itching terribly and then they turned it back down so I wouldn’t have a reaction to it. That’s the only thing I remember about the ZMapp.