New Ebola Treatments are Changing the Game

Here, we take a closer look at the science behind the latest advancements in Ebola treatment.

New Ebola Treatments are Changing the Game
Photo by Raimond Klavins / Unsplash

As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing Ebola outbreak, a glimmer of hope has emerged in the form of new treatments that have proven to be highly effective in curing the deadly virus. But how exactly do these treatments work, and what makes them so effective? Here, we take a closer look at the science behind the latest advancements in Ebola treatment.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a highly infectious and often deadly disease caused by the Ebola virus. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, and from human to human through bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, and feces. Symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, muscle pain, and weakness, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes internal and external bleeding. The disease has a high mortality rate, with some outbreaks having fatality rates as high as 90%.

The Development of New Treatments

In the face of the current Ebola outbreak, researchers have been working tirelessly to develop new treatments that can help combat the virus and save lives. One of the most promising treatments to emerge in recent years is the use of monoclonal antibodies.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced proteins that are designed to target and neutralize specific molecules within the body. In the case of Ebola, these antibodies are designed to target and neutralize the virus, preventing it from replicating and spreading throughout the body.

One monoclonal antibody treatment, known as mAb114, has been shown to be highly effective in treating Ebola patients. Developed by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), mAb114 has demonstrated a 90% cure rate in clinical trials.

Another treatment that has shown promise in treating Ebola is the use of ZMapp, a cocktail of three different monoclonal antibodies. ZMapp has been used to treat several high-profile Ebola patients, including American doctor Kent Brantly, who was successfully treated and discharged from hospital after receiving the medication.

In addition to monoclonal antibodies, researchers are also exploring the use of antiviral drugs to treat Ebola. These drugs work by targeting the virus itself, preventing it from replicating and spreading within the body. One such drug, called GS-5734, has shown promising results in animal studies, and is currently being tested in human clinical trials.

The Future of Ebola Treatment

While these new treatments represent a significant step forward in the fight against Ebola, there is still much work to be done to improve their effectiveness and make them widely available.

One major challenge is the limited supply of these treatments. Monoclonal antibodies, in particular, require complex and expensive manufacturing processes, making them difficult to produce in large quantities. As a result, supplies are currently limited, and not all patients who could benefit from these treatments have access to them.

Additionally, there is still much that is unknown about the effectiveness of these treatments in different populations and in different stages of the disease. Further research and clinical trials are needed to fully understand the potential of these treatments and to optimize their use.

Despite these challenges, the development of new treatments for Ebola is a major milestone in the fight against this deadly disease. By targeting the virus directly, these treatments have the potential to significantly reduce the mortality rate of Ebola and save countless lives.

Take Action

If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the fight against Ebola, be sure to follow @ebola_cases on Twitter.

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