Virologist who discovered Ebola says the virus is defeated
Ebola has been defeated. Vaccines and medical treatments have brought the deadly and terrifying disease under control, says Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the Congolese professor who first discovered the virus more than 40 years ago.
“For 40 years I have been a witness and a player in the fight against this terrifying and deadly disease and I can say today: it is defeated, it is preventable and curable,” Muyembe said.
According to new research, Ebola survivors can relapse and trigger outbreaks at least five years after infection, and long-term follow-up of former patients is needed to prevent devastating flare-ups.
But analysis of an outbreak this year in Guinea, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, found these “virus reservoirs” appear able to awaken and cause new infections and transmission years on.
News for Ebola virus disease prevention that was published yesterday in two papers presenting data showing that Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) two-dose Ebola vaccine regimen is safe, well tolerated, and produces a strong immune response in people over the age of one. This news comes five years after the largest outbreak of Ebola since its discovery and just one month after an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Ivory Coast.