The Ebola outbreak that is slowly creeping its way across Africa is beginning to spread panic amongst its citizens. Here in South Africa we’ve had our own share of concern after hearing rumours of Ebola cases throughout our country. Fortunately those rumours were proven to be false, but the threat of Ebola remains. Scientists are working round the clock to develop a serum or vaccine that could stop the disease in its tracks, and according to reports it seems they may be on to something.
A new experimental Ebola vaccine has proved to be very effective in warding off the virus in monkeys. The two-part vaccine – which includes a booster shot and the Ebola vaccine – has just started human trials. Last week, 2 women were given the vaccine to test its effectiveness and how it responds in the human body. If it is considered safe to use and produces the antibodies needed to fight the disease, a larger trial will be needed for further testing.
However, even if the vaccine is successful it won’t be available anytime soon – the initial trial might only be completed by the end of the year, and subsequent trials will be finished by the end of next year. Considering the impact of the outbreak, they are increasing their efforts. It’s also important to note that this isn’t the only vaccine in the works. There are several others under development, so no one can say for sure what the future holds.