First effective ebola vaccine is shown to be highly protective against the disease

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Ebola virus isolated in November 2014 from patient blood samples obtained in Mali. The virus was isolated on Vero cells. Credit: NIAID, Wikimedia commons
Ebola virus isolated in November 2014 from patient blood samples obtained in Mali. The virus was isolated on Vero cells. Credit: NIAID, Wikimedia commons

The Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe and often fatal illness in humans. It spreads in the human population through human-human transmission mostly via body fluids. It was first identified in 1976 and ever since, there have been a number of sporadic outbreaks. The 2014 West African outbreak has however been the most lethal and rapid one so far which has killed more than 11,000 people already with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone being the most affected areas. The lethality of the virus warrants an effective vaccine that could curb this epidemic immediately and recently, scientists have reported that they have developed a 100% effective vaccine!

Recently, a trial with a vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV on nearly 12,000 people in Guinea and Sierra Leone during 2015 and 2016, yielded remarkable results. Of the 5837 people in the population who received the vaccine, they reported 0 cases of the Ebola 10 days after the vaccination, whereas 23 cases of Ebola were recorded in the population that was not vaccinated (control). This trial was led by WHO (World Health Organization) together with the Guinea Ministry of Health and other international partners. The manufacturers of the vaccine include Merck and Sharpe & Dohme. Although the results from this trial showed high efficacy of the vaccine against a particular strain of the virus, further research needs to be carried out to battle the other strains.

Watch the video below to learn more about the trial :

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