Congo: 2 who received experimental Ebola treatment recover

August 25, 2018 - 5:46 am

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's health ministry says two of the 10 people who were the first to receive an experimental treatment for the Ebola virus in the latest outbreak have recovered, and monitoring could show what role the treatment played.

The head of the World Health Organization on Saturday congratulated Congo's government for making several experimental treatments available in the Ebola outbreak, calling it "a global first, and a ray of hope for people with the disease."

The two people received the mAb114 treatment isolated from a survivor of an Ebola outbreak in 1995. It was the first of five experimental treatments Congo approved for use in the outbreak that was declared on Aug. 1.

WHO on Friday said Ebola has spread to an area of high security risk, a "pivotal" moment that endangers the health of medical teams. Several armed groups roam Congo's densely populated northeast, and health officials have said "red zones" where attacks occur pose a serious challenge to finding and monitoring contacts of infected people.

Congo says 77 Ebola cases have been confirmed, including 39 deaths and 11 recoveries. There are another 28 probable cases in which biological samples are not available for laboratory testing.

Nearly 3,000 people in this outbreak have received an experimental Ebola vaccine.

Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, is spread via contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead. It can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain. This is Congo's tenth outbreak of the virus.

The affected region borders Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, and while WHO says the public health risk is high at the national and regional level it advises against travel restrictions.

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