There are many infectious diseases in the world that may be dangerous and lead to death. Some of these diseases may have medication to help prolong life, while some are still being tested and trying to find a cure. I will be giving a brief overview of this deadly disease and the events leading up to them attempting to have human trials for the Ebola vaccine. The Ebola virus disease, also formerly known as Ebola Hemorrhagic fever is a rare but deadly virus that causes bleeding inside and outside of the body. “It damages the immune system and organs” (CDC, n.d. ).
Ultimately, it causes levels of blood-clotting cells to drop. This leads to severe, uncontrollable bleeding and death. Outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90%, “the kill rate in humans with Ebola is 9 out of 10” (Preston, 1999). Ebola’s transmission to humans occurs via broken skin or bodily fluids of an infected person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen), objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids or infected animals, such as monkeys, chimps, or fruit bats.
First outbreak was in 1976 in Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease gets the name. The most recent outbreak began in Guinea and spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal. Currently “3,944 people are affected with Ebola, according to the WHO. More than half of them have died. The epidemic is raging out of control in Liberia and Sierra Leone. ” (Weintraub, 2014). Several cases have occurred also in Nigeria, in travelers from infected areas, and subsequently in healthcare workers.
Three of those health care workers have been transported to the United States for further study, testing and evaluation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. There is no cure for the virus, the U. S. Department of Defense awarded a $140 million contract to a Vancouver base company name Tekmira and they have begun a Phase 1 treatment with only 60% rate. “The National Institute of Health and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (NIH) was also awarded a grant of $28 million for joint collaboration on creating a cure. “(Murphy, 2014).
The NIH recently announced a safety trial of another Ebola vaccine would start this September. From the article in the USA Today, “The first human trials of Ebola vaccines are getting underway and more than 10,000 healthcare workers could begin getting vaccinated by the end of the year. Potential Ebola treatments are also being developed at an unprecedented pace. ” (Weintraub, 2014). The WHO, along with other affected countries around the world, wants to speed up the availability of the effective drugs and vaccines, without compromising public safety.
The plan of action in terms of treatment, according to the WHO (2014), “the affected countries have already begun to offer some patients the blood of people who have recovered from Ebola. “(para. 6). To be successful in fighting off the disease, a victim must produce antibodies to the disease: those who have recovered carry those antibodies in their blood. After they check the blood to ensure it is clear of other diseases like HIV, and that the levels of antibodies are adequate, some current patients are being given the serum from the recovered patients (Weintraub, 2014).
“Five to Ten drugs have already shown promise in treating affected animals, including ZMapp, which was given to two Americans who fell ill while helping Ebola patients. The supply of the drug has now run out, and will take several months to make more. All treatment vaccines need to be given as a part of clinical research until it is clear which ones are the safest and most effective. Initial safety trials of one vaccine are beginning very soon, and completed by November. If the vaccines are received safely by the first handfuls of people, they will immediately be given to healthcare workers in affected countries.
” (Weintraub, 2014). In Conclusion US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “Although the drugs and vaccines are promising, the Ebola epidemic will be won, not by drugs but by proper infection control and good patient care. ” The answer to the devastation that’s going on right now in West Africa, at this point, today, tomorrow, next week, next month, 2 months from now, isn’t going to be vaccines that may or may not work or drugs that may or may not work,” he said. “It is going to be a massive acceleration of infection control approaches.” (Weintraub, 2014).
References CDC. (n. d. ). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/ebolavirus Murphy, T. (2014, August 14). Finding a Cure for Ebola. Retrieved from http://www. washingtonpost. com Preston, R. (1999). _The Hot Zone_. Rutledge, NY: Anchor Publications. Weintraub, K. (2014, September 5). _Human trials begin for Ebola vaccines_. Retrieved from http://www. usatoday. com/story/news/nation/2014/09/05/ebola-vaccine-health-workers/15155153/.