Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Experimental Ebola Drug Showing Promise

 The experimental antiviral drug Favipiravir has shown promise in clinical effectiveness against Ebola after its first clinical human trial in West Africa. It appears the drug only works if patients take it as soon as symptoms appear and not in late stages of the disease.

Results for the first 69 adults and teens in Guinea were released Monday. Among those who got the drug when virus levels were still low, survival was 85 percent. Moderately better than the roughly 70 percent survival for patients treated in the same clinics two months before the study began, researchers said at the Retrovirus Conference in Seattle.

There are no specific medicines or vaccines to fight the virus, though some experimental ones are being tested. Favirapir, also known by its brand name, Avigan, is made by a Japanese company, Toyama Chemical. It was approved in Japan last year for treating flu and tests suggest it also may work against other viruses.
A French nurse who got Ebola while volunteering in Africa for Doctors Without Borders was treated with favipiravir and recovered.
Recent reports also show that the rate of survival with Ebola is gradually improving with early detection and better care.

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