'Ebola is no longer incurable': WHO announces effective disease treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) declared on Monday (12) that scientists from the Democratic Republic of Congo have developed a clinically proven method of combating Ebola, an extremely contagious and fatal viral haemorrhagic fever. .

The results of the clinical trials lasted about a year and the results are surprisingly good. "From now on, we can no longer say that Ebola is incurable, " said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director general of the National Institute of Biomedical Research of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Previously, an experimental vaccine was able to prevent people from contracting the virus, but for the first time a treatment was able to cure patients who were already sick. Three drugs were tested on infected patients and the results were compared with treatment with ZMapp, the drug that has so far shown to be most effective in combating Ebola but is still far from ideal.


Scientists in Congo have tested new drugs against Ebola; Mortality rate dropped to 6%. (Source: Getty Images / John Wessels)

The results were far more positive than expected: while an Ebola-infected person had a mortality rate of between 67% and 75%, those treated with ZMapp had that value reduced to 49%. Tests showed that two of the new drugs - REGN-EB3 and mAb114 - reduced patient mortality to 29% and 34% respectively.

Better than that, when treatment is performed from the first moment symptoms are detected, rates have dropped to 11% with mAb114 and to 6% with REGN-EB3. The data was so positive that the testing phase was completed early.

"This news is another step in saving more lives, " said Mike Ryan, director of WHO health emergencies. “Success is clear. But there is also a tragedy linked to success. The tragedy is that few people are being treated. We are still seeing a lot of people moving away from treatment centers, people who are not found in time to benefit from these therapies. ”