Scientists working on curing Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo have hit a major breakthrough as two out of four drugs being tested have been found to significantly reduce the death rate.

According to the World Health Organisation and the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which was a co-sponsor of the trial, the drugs block the virus, had substantially more effect than previous drugs, which include ZMapp and Remdesivir.

Prof Jean-Jacques Muyembe, Director-General of the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in DRC, said, “From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable. These advances will help save thousands of lives.

“Now that 90 per cent of their patients can go into the treatment centre and come out completely cured, they will start believing it and building trust in the population and community.”

Speaking on the new discovery, Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome and the co-chair of the WHO Ebola therapeutics group, said the trial, which is the first-ever multi-drug randomised trial for Ebola, has happened despite such highly complex and challenging circumstance

He added, “A long-running outbreak like this takes a terrible toll on the communities affected and it is a sign of just how difficult this epidemic has been to control that there have already been enough patients treated to tell us more about the efficacy of these four drugs.

“The trial will have saved lives. The next phase should reveal more about which of the two works best in certain settings."

 

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