Following a drug trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has been determined that Ebola could soon be a treatable and avoidable disease.
According to a report from the BBC, four drugs were tried on patients in said region, where cases of persons carrying the virus are currently rife. The research indicates that over 90 percent of people can survive the disease if they get treated with the most effective drugs early enough.
This past Tuesday, two patients cured of Ebola were released and reunited with their families after the experimental drugs were administered at a treatment center in Goma, Eastern DR Congo. The drugs will now be used to treat all Ebola patients in the State, per health officials.
The Ebola virus is responsible for over 1,800 deaths in DR Congo over the past year so such a breakthrough has come as quite the relief for residents of the stricken African country.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was the sponsor of the trial and they claim that the results translate to "very good news" for the fight against the disease.
The two effective drugs are named REGN-EB3 and mAb114 and they work by attacking the virus with antibodies that neutralize the impact on human cells. They are the first set of drugs to have shown a "significant diminution in mortality" for Ebola patients.
The mAb114 drug was made with antibodies harvested from Ebola survivors while REGN-EB3 was developed with antibodies taken from mice infected with the disease. The other two, ZMapp and Remdesivir, have been binned as they weren't as effective as the others.
The study, conducted by an international research group coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO), started in November. Since then, the four experimental drugs have been tried on 700 individuals. At the time of writing, the preliminary results of 499 were known.
According to NIAID, 29 percent of the patients on REGN-EB3 and 34 percent of those on mAb114 died. On the other hand, 49 percent of patients on ZMapp and 53 percent on Remdesivir perished.
The survival rate of patients with low levels of Ebola in their blood was as high as 94 percent when administered REGN-EB3 and 89 percent when given mAb114.
This is taken to mean that more than 90 percent of people can live through the ordeal if they are treated early. Fingers crossed, everyone.