KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo has approved four more experimental treatments against the deadly Ebola virus, the health ministry said during the race to prevent an outbreak in the violence-torn east.
Health authorities began last week to administer the mAb114 treatment in the US to Ebola patients, the first time such treatment was used against an active outbreak.
The health ministry said Tuesday in a daily bulletin that the 10 patients who had mAb114 since 11 August have experienced a "positive evolution", but the outbreak continued to grow.
The four additional treatments approved by the ethics committee of the Congo are Remdesivir, made by the Gilead Sciences of Israel; ZMapp, an intravenous treatment made by San Diego & # 39; s Mapp Pharmaceutical; Japanese medicine Favipiravir; and one referred to as Regn3450 – 3471 – 3479.
Remdesivir was administered on Tuesday to the first patient in the city of Beni, who is doing well, the ministry said in his bulletin.
Six new cases and four new deaths have been confirmed by the hemorrhagic fever, which causes vomiting and severe diarrhea, according to the ministry.
That brings the total number of deaths to 59 and confirmed cases to 75 since last month.
Congo, whose heavily wooded inland is a natural home for Ebola, is on the verge of a global campaign against the virus, killing more than 11,000 people when it was pulled through West Africa from 2013-2016.
The Central African country has experienced ten Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered in North Congo in 1976 – more than twice as much as in any other country – and 33 people died in a Northwest eruption that ended last month .
In addition, a vaccine was produced by Merck, which proved effective against the earlier outbreak in Northwest Congo, administered to 1,693 health workers and contacts of Ebola patients.
Insecurity in the eastern border region of Congo with Uganda has made the response even more complicated, with some contacts of Ebola patients in so-called "red zones", which are forbidden for emergency services due to militia activity.
Instead, local health workers in those areas monitor contacts and Ebola cases have not yet been confirmed.