The US government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced that two out of four candidate Ebola drugs proved effective: an antibody cocktail called REGN-EB3 developed by Regeneron and a monoclonal antibody called mAb114. Both  now be offered to all infected patients after recording the lowest mortality rate among patients that were given REGN-EB3 (29%) and mAb114 (34%).

Among individuals that came to the treatment center right after they fell ill, the results were more profound with mortality rates falling to 6% for REGN-EB3.

WHO said the drugs that showed the best results are are “the only drugs that future patients will be treated with”. “We will continue to conduct rigorous research and incorporate findings into the Ebola outbreak response through a variety of prevention and control strategies,” WHO stated.

While the various health policymakers involved in the prevention and control of Ebola have expressed interest in deploying the drugs in combating the disease outbreaks, it is worth noting the findings are yet to be published in scientific journals. NIAID said final analysis of the data has not been done and is expected to be completed in October 2019. The implication of this, according to Fauci, is that the final figures might change.

The current Ebola outbreak is the second largest in history after the West African outbreak which peaked between 2013 to 2014 and claimed more than 11,300 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

DR Congo itself has had nine Ebola outbreaks over the last four decades but has often been able to keep the spread of viral disease under relative control. However, this outbreak in the troubled eastern region of the central African country has been aided by the restricted movement of health professionals due to conflict between armed militia, this has also led to a mistrust of health workers by people in the region. This month marks the second anniversary of this outbreak.

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