The World Health Organization (WHO) says the clinical trials of vaccines for the Ebola virus will begin soon and the medical protections will become available by early 2015.
Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO’s assistant director-general, said on Saturday it is “realistic” that a vaccine will soon get into the trial process and be ready for use next year.
There is currently no known cure for Ebola, which is a form of hemorrhagic fever with diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding as its symptoms. The deadly virus has so far killed some 1,000 people in West Africa.
Jean-Marie Okwo Bele, a vaccine chief at the UN health agency, said earlier in the day that British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is estimated to begin a trial process of a vaccine in September, adding that the vaccine will likely be ready by next year.
“Since this is an emergency, we can put emergency procedures in place… so that we can have a vaccine available by 2015,” he said.
Kieny also said that the WHO has been engaged with some developers in order to “accelerate and facilitate the development” of the vaccine. She also noted that the tests should be carried out in controlled environment so that researchers could spot possible adverse effects and prevent a wide distribution of unsafe drugs.
The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.
Ebola remains one of the world’s most virulent diseases, which kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who get infected by it !!!