Updated on 14 August 2014
Clinical trials are soon to begin for GSK and NIH Ebola vaccines
Singapore: With Ebola cases ceasing to subside, the World Health Organization has now declared that Ebola patients can be treated with experimental drugs or vaccines, as there were no approved biologics that could arrest the spread.
According to the recent WHO estimate, 2000 people have been infected with the disease and 1013 people have died.
The WHO also announced that its panel of experts had convened an ethics panel meeting to assess the ethical implications of using experimental interventions and approved the idea with conditions.
The agency said that it was unanimously agreed to evaluate these interventions in the best possible clinical trials under the given circumstances, in order to definitively prove their safety and efficacy or provide evidence to stop their utilization.
WHO experts said that more than prevention and treatment, isolation and quarantining of the patients should be the right approach to curb the spread. Researchers also plan to start a small clinical trial in humans of an experimental Ebola vaccine that was developed by US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and licensed to GlaxoSmithKline, as soon as next month.
However, a Spain priest who was treated with the experimental drug ZMapp died, marking the first Ebola death outside West Africa.