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Ebola vaccine trials in Liberia

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posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 02:37 AM
Just an update.

As the death toll nears 9000 and reported new cases are dwindling, vaccine trials are beginning in Africa, Liberia to be specific.

Ebola crisis: First major vaccine trials in Liberia

The potentially preventative medicines were taken under strict security to a secret location in the West African country.

Scientists aim to immunise 30,000 volunteers, including front-line health workers.

More than 8,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The total number of reported cases is more than 22,000. In Liberia alone, more than 3,600 people have died from the disease.

But the number of Ebola cases in Liberia has been steadily decreasing, with only four confirmed cases in the week leading up to 25 January.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic has entered a "second phase" with the focus shifting to ending the epidemic.

Yet, we have this.
Liberia: Only 5 people being treated for Ebola in country

currently only five confirmed cases of Ebola in the entire country — a dramatic turnaround in the West African nation where the virus has taken its deadliest toll.
At the height of the outbreak in August and September, Liberia was recording more than 300 new cases of the virus every week. To date 3,636 Liberians have died of Ebola, according to the World Health Organization.

And this, which has historically been an issue with the vaccines and treatments:
Lack Of Patients Hampers Ebola Drug And Vaccine Testing

"It's very difficult conducting clinical trials when there are very few actual patients," Friede says.

One of the two drugmakers gearing up for clinical trials has given up. North Carolina-based Chimerix announced Friday that it would halt a planned test of its drug, brincidofover, in Liberia.

The only other drug that has been part of an active trial is a Japanese flu medication called favipiravir. It's being tested in Guinea, and the trial has already recruited enough patients. "So at least there will be one trial where they will probably have had adequate numbers for [researchers] to make some estimate of efficacy, or at least of safety," Friede says.

Ebola vaccines testing starts in Liberia

The studies in Liberia are taking place after smaller tests determined that the vaccines were safe for human use. By comparing them now with a dummy shot, scientists hope to learn whether they can prevent people from contracting the disease.
Despite the vaccine study's promise, authorities must combat fear and suspicion that people could become infected by taking part. Each vaccine uses a different virus to carry non-infectious Ebola genetic material into the body and spark an immune response.

WHO adopts reforms to repair reputation after bungling Ebola

"The groundswell of dissatisfaction and lack of trust in WHO over Ebola has reached such a crescendo that (without) fundamental reform, I think we might lose confidence in WHO for a generation," said Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University.
"Ebola revealed all of WHO's inherent weaknesses and the international community saw painfully what it was like to see WHO not being able to lead. That resulted in thousands of deaths that were completely avoidable," he said.


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