Preliminary trials on a possible new Ebola vaccine have indicated that they could have potential importance in the fight to eradicate the disease. The vaccine, originally tested in the US on monkeys, has now been trialled on healthy human volunteers in Uganda with initial findings indicating that they are effective, demonstrating an immune response by raising antibody levels against the Ebola virus.
Scientists at Oxford University are currently looking to develop a vaccination for the disease. Production is estimated a possibility for later this year, with Johnson and Johnson hoping that the vaccine will be available for use by mid-2015.
British nurse Pauline Cafferkey remains in a critical condition at London’s Royal Free hospital. She contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, whilst working as a volunteer.
Ebola, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids, has to date swept through West Africa, claiming more than 8,000 lives across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. News of a potential vaccine is welcomed as the World Health Organisation has predicted that the death toll in African counties could reach 20,000 unless it is brought under control.