New Experimental ‘Candidate’ Vaccine to Fight Ebola Virus Offers Fresh Hope

An experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus is developed by a group of Russian scientists and its trials are due to be completed in February, said the Director of St. Petersburg-based Research Institute of Influenza on Monday.

“The candidate vaccine against Ebola created by a group of young scientists of our institute is undergoing tests for genetic stability,” said Oleg Kiselev. As per report from IANS, he added that the vaccine will be called “candidate” until its industrial production begins.

Meanwhile, the vaccine has already been sent to the Virology Centre of the defence ministry and will undergo pre-clinical animal testing first. The clinical tests involving volunteers will be conducted in Africa. According to reports, a researcher from the Ivanovsky Institute of Virology said that the vaccine, if successful, could reduce the mortality rate from Ebola fever to 5 percent.

However, the team of Russian epidemiologists and virologists works in Guinea at present, using a special mobile laboratory mounted on a Kamaz truck.

All the stages of the trials are due to wrap up in February, the official added. The latest figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that the toll from the current Ebola outbreak has reached 7,693 and 19,695 people have been infected.

Also, as per World Health Organization statistics of September 18, there are 5,347 people in West Africa infected with Ebola, and 2,618 people have already died of the disease. The average death rate is 60 percent, which is lower than in previous outbreaks, when mortality reached 90 percent. Most deaths were reported in the hardest-hit West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

However, the researchers opine that though the vaccine may help tackling the virus, providing patients with proper care is much important.


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