Ebola, once thought incurable, is now treatable, per a drug trial used to halt the second largest outbreak ever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Four drugs were administered during the trial. The two “monoclonal antibodies, which block the virus,” had a substantially stronger effect, per the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Now treatment units will use only the antibodies. “These advances will help save thousands of lives,” says Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who has overseen the trial.
But other problems remain for the Congo. Because 70% of those infected previously died, family members are reluctant to seek treatment. They wait too long to get help.
Muyembe hopes seeing “90% of their patients…go into the treatment centre and come out completely cured, they will start believing it and building trust in the population and the community.”