While the CDC in the United Sates is progressing slowly in its research, Russia is expected to conduct experiments in West Africa in approximately two months. Canada says it will be sending a vaccine to Maryland for testing on 40 patients; the results are expected within two months.
Those politically minded blame the delay in the United States on budget cuts. The reality is that several pharmaceutical companies involved in biotech research are increasing their efforts to develop a vaccine.
The Russians claim their drug is 70 to 90 percent effective and that they will work on both treatment and prevention. It has been effective on the Marburg virus which is similar to Ebola. It was announced on Sunday that Russian scientists are working on three more vaccines which are expected to be ready for trial in six months.
The Canadian vaccine has proven to be 100 percent effective in preventing the spread of Ebola when tested on animals. Scientists in Canada have been working on a vaccine to combat Ebola for ten years at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
The Canadian vaccine contains dead Ebola virus and an additional animal virus. It works by triggering the body’s immune system to create antibodies to fight the disease. They stress that there is no danger in its use because it does not contain live Ebola virus. It is also effective if given to a patient who was recently infected with the disease.
The latest Ebola statistics continue to create fear throughout the world. The World Health Organization reports that 4,033 patients have died after becoming infected with the Ebola virus. They also state that 8,399 patients have been confirmed or suspected of having been infected. Within the next four weeks the number of cases is expected to rise to more than 18,000.
The CDC’s estimate is even more dire. The largest number of those infected are in Sierra Leon and Liberia. They believe that there are thousands of un-reported cases of Ebola. When they are reported the number of patients who are confirmed to have the Ebola virus could reach 1.4 million in three months.
The latest confirmed patient in the United States is a nurse who cared for Mr. Duncan. Although she was wearing all the required protective gear, somehow she still managed to become infected.
Doctors and scientists alike claim that Ebola is not airborne. If this is true, how did she contract the disease?
Although the CDC has continuously claimed that the U.S. is well prepared for the arrival of Ebola, officials claim she contracted the virus because there was a ‘breach of protocol,’ whatever that means.
The confidence of our nation’s people is dwindling. They do not believe the constant reaffirmation from the media and health officials. And that is somewhat understandable.
Mr. Duncan was apparently in close contact with an infected individual. However, the doctor and aid who were working in West Africa were wearing protective gear, as was the most recent patient. An Ebola vaccine must become a reality.