The US working with African countries to stop the fast spread of Ebola


By Nigel Boys

Due to the extreme urgency to stop the spread of the Ebola virus in West African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, flights between these countries and neighboring parts of Africa have been banned.

However, to further slow down the accelerating spread of the killer disease, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is getting involved with human testing of the Ebola vaccine, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH states that although the Ebola vaccine has not been tested on humans, early trials involving volunteers will soon begin to evaluate the experimental vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Three healthy human volunteers will be given the first dose of the experimental vaccine at the NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, according to the statement. It continued, the next stage of the testing procedure, if the first is deemed safe, will be to vaccinate a small group of volunteers aged between 18 and 50 to see if the human immune system produces a strong response.

A lower dose of the experimental vaccine will be given to the volunteers via an injection in the deltoid muscle of their arm and if this proves to be safe and no untoward reactions occur, a larger dose will then be administered, stated the NIH.

Director of NIAID, Anthony Fauci said that there is an urgency to find out if the experimental vaccine will indeed produce an immune system response that will ultimately protect against the Ebola virus.

Fauci went on to say “We know the best way to prevent the spread of Ebola infection is through public health measures, including good infection control practices, isolation, contact tracing, quarantine, and provision of personal protective equipment.” He continued, “However, a vaccine will ultimately be an important tool in the prevention effort. The launch of phase 1 Ebola vaccine studies is the first step in a long process.”

Due to the urgent need to find an effective vaccine in the fight against this killer disease, the usual prolonged period of clinical trials prior to human testing has been cut short by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, there is a need to go slow with the initial dosing of the experimental vaccine, said Fauci.


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