New Drugs Not the Only Answer to Ebola Epidemic

ZMapp is the medication that is got the most consideration so far. This drug is a combination of three synthetic antibiotics that help in neutralizing the virus. So far, seven patients were given ZMapp, out of which two recipients of this drug died. A young British nurse survived from EVD after receiving treatment from ZMapp ‘ the case was successfully managed because the patient was young, without any medical illness and received good supportive care. After analyzing the results of ZMapp studies on animals, 18 Ebola infected primates were cured, but still researchers are unable to elicit the exact mechanism. The effects of ZMapp is not yet been studied in humans.   Other treatments available for this epidemic are AVI-7537, TKM-Ebola, BCX-4430, ST-383, Favipiravir and Clomiphene/Toremifene (estrogen receptor modulators). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered to stop the trial on TKM- Ebola in volunteers, because the drug produced severe inflammatory response in higher doses, which could lead to medical complications. This drug acts by inhibiting the Ebola virus through a latest technology of RNA interference.   The clinical trials on AVI-7537 were called off due to financial problems. Favipiravir is used in treating flu like symptoms (influenza), and Clomiphene/Toremifene have been found useful in treating breast cancer and female infertility; however, these drugs are not yet been studied on EVD.   Vaccines for EVD  Vaccines for EVD

The effective vaccines are been manufactured to prevent this virus, and the first test on Ebola vaccines in humans started in 2003. A renowned? pharmaceutical corporation is studying the efficacy of a newly developed’ experimental vaccine to prevent EVD. The authorities said that if the vaccine is safe in use, they would donate up to 10,000 doses to people who are at higher risk of catching this deadly virus. The human trials for new vaccines will be conducted in 2015 or 2016, according to researchers of renowned health university.

A licensed public health agency, who deals in molecular genetics, developed VSV-EBOV, an experimental Ebola vaccine, which will be studied on healthy volunteers in October this year at a reputed research center. According to sources, after the successful trial of VSC-EBOV, the authorities who developed this vaccine will donate up to thousand doses to the WHO. Researchers opined that innumerable vaccines and drugs are required to help people who are in need to prevent and cure EVD respectively.   How are physicians trying to manage EVD?   Healthcare experts suggest emphasizing more on the study of new drugs and vaccines will help in knowing the effectiveness. While managing EVD, utmost care is given by providing supportive care, maintaining blood pressure levels, replenishing lost electrolytes and treating complications in an isolation setup. This line of treatment can reduce the mortality from EVD, but the access to such treatment is lacking in West Africa, from where this virus originated. Though, there are effective drugs that help in treating Ebola-sufferers, but it is not clear whether these drugs will prevent the transmission of virus. An epidemic cannot be controlled unless the transmission is blocked.   According to a renowned physician, the best possible way to prevent the transmission of Ebola infection is by implementing public health awareness, control practices, screening, isolation, and providing protective equipments to healthcare providers. However, vaccines play an important role in preventing EVD. The physician further explains that the priority should be given to the screening aspect to detect the case as early as possible, so that timely treatment, isolation and supportive care can be done to prevent transmission from person-to-person. Special precautions should be taken by healthcare workers who deal in treating Ebola patients by using personal protective techniques and equipments. Various affected countries are struggling to invest in strengthening their healthcare system, which make them difficult to accomplish their goals of prevention and treatment by using new drugs and vaccines. In the mean time, numerous people are dying from nutritional disorders due to scarcity of food, and other conditions like malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, birth complications, etc. The health system is crumbling in various countries due to inadequate medical care. New medical technologies are available, but they are not able to cure the diseases.   To illustrate this, researchers gave example of tuberculosis (TB)  which kills approximately 1.3 million people in a year, throughout the world. In late 1800s, the diagnosis of TB was done after two months due to lack of investigation tools, making the patient sicker, and eventually death. But then scientists came up with a specific technique, GeneXpert, which could detect TB in few hours. This helped in saving lives by providing early and timely treatment with effective drugs.   In 2011, the healthcare department of South Africa conducted an experiment on GeneXpert, and found that this technique had no peculiar impact on the mortality rate. The authorities of this health department explained that GeneXpert is just a diagnostic tool that helps in detecting a case of TB. They also said that diseases affecting poor people get less attention from healthcare researchers and pharmaceutical corporations.   The conclusion   After gathering the information from the above data, medical researchers say that we should invest more in developing new effective medications and vaccines to combat Ebola virus, we have to do this on the priority basis as we cannot afford to wait, because once the transmission rate is increased, then it is difficult to manage EVD. Therefore, it is recommended to invest more in strengthening the healthcare system by making the use of diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines.
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