Respite as WHO recommends new Ebola Treatments

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The World Health Organization, WHO, said clinical evidence has proved that two monoclonal antibody treatments are effective for saving the lives of people infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

It also said this development followed a systematic review and analysis of randomized clinical trials of therapeutics for the disease.

WHO Team Lead for Clinical Care, Janet Diaz disclosed that the evidence underpinning the recommendations came from two clinical trials. The largest was done in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018 and 2019.

She maintained that the trials were conducted during Ebola outbreaks, demonstrating quality control trials could be done even under the most difficult circumstances.

“The evidence synthesis that informs this guideline shows that mAb114 and Regeneron-EB3 reduced mortality. The relative risk reduction was about 60 per cent…Between 230 to 400 lives are saved per 1,000 patients. Translate that into the number needed to treat, you treat two to four patients, and you save one life.”

It would be recalled that Ebola hemorrhagic fever is spread through the blood or body fluids of a person who was affected or died of the disease. The worst Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. Of the nearly 29,000 reported cases, more than 11,300 people died.

Diaz said the development of monoclonal antibody therapeutics was a very important advancement. However, she noted the drug itself was not the only solution but must be given in a comprehensive, clinical setting along with other treatments.

“That includes early diagnosis so that treatments can be given as soon as possible and also the implementation of appropriate infection prevention and control to stop transmission…and treatment of co-infections and access to nutrition, psycho-social support, and, of course, access to care after discharge.”

She said the two recommended therapeutics have shown clear benefits for people of all ages and, could be used on all patients confirmed positive for Ebola virus disease which included old people, pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and babies born to mothers with confirmed Ebola within the first seven days after birth.

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