Facing Ebola outbreak, Uganda approves 3 experimental treatments

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Ugandan civilians queue to be vaccinated against the Ebola virus in Kirembo village, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kasese district, Uganda, June 16, 2019. Image: Reuters

Health authorities in Uganda have approved the use of three experimental treatments against Ebola in the country. The decision comes in anticipation of spillover from an ongoing outbreak in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and after the deaths of two people in Uganda last week who had traveled across the border from DRC with the virus.

Reuters reports that the treatments, all of which are already being used DRC, will be shipped to Uganda so that health workers can respond to any further infections.

The drugs include the antibodies ZMapp (made by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals) and REGN-EB3 (made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals), as well as Gilead Sciences’s antiviral Remdesivir, which was recently shown to work by disrupting viral genome synthesis.

All of the treatments have been in use in DRC since last fall. Protocols for a fourth treatment are underway, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Tarik Jasarevic wrote in an email to Reuters.

The latest outbreak of Ebola began last August and has so far killed more than 1,400 people in DRC, making it the second worst outbreak of the virus after the West African outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people between 2014 and 2016.

Read full, original post: Experimental Ebola Treatments Approved for Use in Uganda

Related article:  Uganda set to embrace artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, but biotechnology languishes
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