Discovery of Ebola cure good news for the world

Amid the gloom and pain wrought by the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has sprung a ray of hope.

Scientists now say they are a step closer to finding a cure for the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever after two experimental drugs showed survival rates of as much as 90 per cent in a clinical trial in the country.

The two drugs — an antibody cocktail called REGN-EB3 developed by Regeneron and a monoclonal antibody called mAb114 — will now be offered to all patients infected with the viral disease in the DRC.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director general of Congo’s Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale told Reuters that of patients who were taken to treatment centres with low virus levels in their blood, 94 per cent who got REGN-EB3 and 89 per cent on mAb114 survived.

And he consequently declared, “from now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable.” Though clinical trials are still ongoing, there is a good reason for the world to throw a party considering the promise the drugs hold.

Needless to say, Ebola has caused a big scare not only in DRC, where the latest oubreak has killed more than 1,800 people, 500 of them children, but also across the world.

In today’s globalised world where air travel has made it possible for one to eat breakfast in one corner of the world and dinner in the other, contagious diseases such as Ebola can spread at breakneck speed.

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Due to their close proximity, Kenya and other DRC neighbours are, of course, more exposed than the rest of the world. That explains why they have been on the alert. Discovery of a cure for the dreaded disease will make the world a better place.

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