A group of scientists led by an African Dr has discovered a new cure/treatment for the deadly Ebola virus, which cures the infected patient in one hour.
Dr. Jean Jacque Muyembe, the team leader, says that the drug is able to cure and erase any signs of Ebola in 90% of its victims as long as they report early for treatment.
Till date, Ebola remains one of the most dreaded killer viruses in Africa, and indeed the world. The first case of the killer virus was recorded in 1976. The outbreak in 2014-2016 in some West African countries made the virus quite popular as it killed thousands of patients and health workers.
It was reported to have started from the forest areas in Southern Guinea, and then spread to urban areas, in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Nigeria, and some other West African countries.
Many sources in Africa and beyond have the opinion that Ebola, just like HIV was manufactured in laboratories outside Africa. The pattern of these viruses might suggest this be true.
Over the years many drugs have been tried, but the results have not been very profound, because many patients still died of the deadly virus. But recently, two drugs out of four that are being tested in the current Ebola outbreak in The Democratic Republic Of Congo have reduced the death rate significantly.
Before now, the major drugs used for managing and curing Ebola were ZMapp and Remdesivir, which were used in the epidemic in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone. These two aforementioned drugs have been removed from the treatment procedures of Ebola victims and have been replaced with the newfound cure. The two new cures are known to be monoclonal antibodies which attack and block the virus.
Prof Jean-Jacques Muyembe, in a statement, hailed the new cure discovered by him and the team, saying: “these advances will help save thousands of lives.”
Health workers and doctors who take care of the infected people have expressed concerns about the reluctance of the victims to seek treatment. They say many of the sick people don’t show up for treatment. This is mainly because the natives of the affected areas don’t trust the health workers and the treatment procedures. They see their family members go in for treatments and come out as dead bodies.
Prof Muyembe is positive that now patients will trust the health care system more since many of their family members will respond to treatment and come out healed.
The importance of quick action once symptoms surface could not be overemphasized by the team at US NIAID. The director of the organization made a comparison of the mortality rate of patients who were cured with monoclonal antibody drugs made by Regeneron and 114.
He said that those who reported to the hospital the moment they got sick had low death rate, with 24% for ZMapp, 33% for Remdesivir, 11% for 114, and 6% for Regeneron respectively.
He insisted that more results are on their way for the new drugs as the trials were still ongoing.
The towns which were involved in the trials of the new cures are Beni, Katwa, Butembo, and Mangina. In a speech, the director of US NIAID thanked the towns involved in the trials. He also thanked members of the NGO’s who risked their lives in treating the patients in such extreme and difficult conditions.
The Ebola epidemic is one which puts fear in the hearts and souls of many African governments. This is because you can’t predict where they spring up and how fast they travel.
So, the news of a cure is a big deal for the world, but especially West African countries, who have been affected more by the deadly virus. We one day hope that the works of scientists would lead to the total eradication of Ebola in Africa and in the world at large.