The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a serum with Ebola antibodies will be ready for use in Liberia in a few weeks. The WHO added that it is also working on two trial vaccines against the virus for trial use in West Africa in January. At the same time, in France, according to “Liberation” newspaper, scientists perfect an express diagnostic test, which will be able to detect the virus in less than 15 minutes.
The international community is cautiously optimistic after the full recovery of the Spanish nurse and the American cameraman, at the time when Nigeria and Senegal who were in the eye of the proverbial storm have been characterized as “Ebola free” by the WHO. The extent of the virus is being studied by the Organization, while Barack Obama will be meeting the US “Ebola czar” (expert on combating the virus), Ron Klain.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the WHO announced that it will begin trial vaccinations to twenty thousand health workers in West Africa.
“There are chances of failure of the vaccine”, according Dr Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO, but the test will have a broader scope than was ever imagined six months ago.
When asked on the antibodies serum based on samples by Ebola survivors being researched by the WHO, Dr. Kieny clarified that preparations are underway. “We have partnered up with others who are preparing the virus. The country already well on its way is Liberia. We are expecting that infrastructure for drawing blood and processing to be set up in the coming weeks”.
A WHO spokesman also spoke of 20 thousand vaccinations in January and similar numbers with trial drugs. Spokesman Fadela Chaib stressed that an effective vaccine will be able to protect health workers, whose role in combating the virus will be crucial.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which started ten months ago, has caused the death of more than 4,500 people, especially in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.