NewsCentral AfricaCongo's experimental mAb114 Ebola treatment appears successful: authorities


Posted on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 13:08

Congo's experimental mAb114 Ebola treatment appears successful: authorities

By Reuters

Healthcare workers from the World Health Organization prepare to give an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker in Beni Democratic Republic of Congo, Friday, Aug 10, 2018. Photo: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP/SIPACongo's National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) has said a drug used for the first time on Ebola patients, the mAb114, is working well in North Kivu and that it expects some patients to leave hospital today.


Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the INRB's director-general said 10 Ebola patients had received mAb114 in Beni and that they are waiting for its US manufacturers to deliver more doses this week.

"Until now 10 people have already received this treatment (mAb114) via infusion, it's an hour of treatment, one injection and until now all 10 are getting better and I think Monday or Tuesday the first case will leave the hospital," said Muyembe.

Muyembe said another five treatments that have been approved by the WHO including Zmapp, Regeneron, Remdesvir and Favipiravir should also be available.

The patients receiving mAb114 have been closely monitored and no side effects have yet been identified although he added it was too early to tell.

The mAb114 treatment was developed in the United States from a blood sample of an Ebola survivor in Kikwit, DRC, in 1995 and was 100% effective when tested on monkeys.

Containment to cure

Muyembe said if the treatment was fully effective the fight to control the spread of Ebola in North Kivu could move from containment to cure.

"When we went to Mangina there were 5 or 6 patients and two in a severe state. I said we need to treat everyone (with the mAb114). We can't say we only administer to the less serious cases. We treated all levels (of the illness) so some of them were very serious, and in particular a child who had bloody stools and after this treatment he is now recovering slowly by slowly," he said.

On Sunday (August 19) the health ministry said they had a total 64 confirmed Ebola cases in North Kivu and that 50 Ebola patients had died since the start of the breakout.

But security is hampering the health workers' access to areas defined as 'red zones' where it is too dangerous to vaccinate contacts of Ebola cases and suspected cases.

As of 15 August, nearly 1,600 contacts, including more than 120 health workers, in North Kivu and Ituri provinces have been registered and are being followed up on a daily basis, WHO in Geneva said.

"This epidemic (in north Kivu) is going to bring a lot of surprises. It is not like the epidemic in the Equator that we have known already. This epidemic will bring with it a lot of surprises: the number of cases is going up and the number of infected zones is increasing so it will take a long time to control this epidemic and for the anti-virals which the companies will provide us, they are ready to increase the doses," said Muyembe.

There have been renewed campaigns to raise awareness and inform the public on how to protect themselves.

The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.

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