Researchers Have Finally Found an Effective Treatment for Ebola
by Lila Thulin Smithsonian.com
As the second-largest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus reached its one-year mark in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a group of public health organizations announced that researchers have finally found an effective treatment for the devastating sickness.
On August 9, a committee overseeing a clinical trial of four experimental therapeutics for Ebola determined that two relatively new antibody-based treatments were so effective that they would become the new standard of care. When these two treatments were administered within a day of infection, survival rates were around 90 percent. As the first Ebola trial to confirm a medical success, it’s a hopeful development. The Ebola virus, which hijacks the immune system and causes massive hemorrhaging, currently proves fatal for nearly 70 percent of patients.
“From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable,” Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a longtime Ebola researcher who now directs the D.R.C.’s National Institute of Biomedical Research, said in a conference call with reporters.