Anti-Ebola vaccine developed
December, 2016, the WHO revealed the world’s first Ebola vaccine provides substantial protection
World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan said a new outbreak of Ebola is inevitable, but expressed confidence that with the new vaccine, the world will be better prepared to handle it. According To World Health Organization. Photo courtesy WHO
World Health Organization: Vaccine available to combat ‘Inevitable’ future Ebola outbreak
CONAKRY, New Guinea (AFKI) — The World Health Organization has admitted that a new Ebola outbreak is inevitable due to the nature of the virus, but the group is confident that the world is now better prepared to combat an outbreak thanks to the successful vaccine that has been developed and tested.
The Ebola crisis that began in December 2013 hit West Africa hard, killing 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia while leaving thousands of survivors with long-term health problems.
The urgency of the previous epidemic led to the development of a new vaccine and rapid-response measures that are designed to quickly assist with an Ebola outbreak, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Last December, the WHO published results from the Guinea ring vaccination trial, revealing that the world’s first Ebola vaccine provides substantial protection, as the thousands of people who consented to be vaccinated presented no new cases of the Ebola virus.
At the time of the outbreak WHO was heavily criticized for their lackluster response, with some critics suggesting that the group did not fully comprehend the scale of the outbreak and the cultural aspects that needed to be navigated.
Tracking and treating the virus was a much bigger challenge than originally anticipated, as the rural population in the affected countries often mistrust foreign doctors and they failed to follow their advice.
At the time the World Health Organization set up a regional center in Guinea to respond to the Ebola outbreak, while MSF (Doctors without Borders) set up a response center in Sierra Leone in an effort to combat the disease, which was eventually kept under control, but not without significant loss of life.
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan addressed scientists and other guests at an event in the Guinean capital of Conakry on Thursday with the positive news.
“Scientists do not yet know exactly where in nature the Ebola virus hides between outbreaks,” Chan said. “When this occurs, the world will be far better prepared. These significant spillover effects strengthen the world’s collective defenses against the never-ending threat from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.”
Chan thanked the Guinean government for playing a crucial role in developing the successful vaccine, but she was also quick to admit that a new Ebola outbreak would almost certainly take place in the near future.