An Ebola vaccine is being tested following the confirmation of the disease in a patient in Sierra Leone. According to Un News Centre, early studies showed that the “Guinea ring vaccination” was very effective against the deadly disease. Basically, the vaccine gets its name from people in the circle (or ring) of contacts that the infected person has been around. Everyone who may have had contact with the patient — and even people who may have had contact with those in direct contact — are vaccinated.
“Although no-one wanted to see more cases of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone, we kept all our teams on alert and ready to respond and close down any new transmission” said Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.
The Ebola vaccine could help stop the spread of the disease, which is highly contagious. According to Inforum, another vaccine is being tested in the United States. Dr. Dubert Guerrero is running the trial at Sanford Health locations in Fargo and in Sioux Falls, S.D., and is seeking 30 volunteers. Basically, the vaccine is administered to 90 percent of the volunteers, while 10 percent will receive a placebo.
Over the course of six months, the volunteers will have regular blood tests to determine whether or not their bodies “developed Ebola-fighting antibodies.”
” ‘The volunteers will not be given the Ebola virus. They will receive a vaccine made from a different kind of virus genetically engineered to carry a protein present in the Ebola virus,’ Guerrero said.”
If the Ebola vaccine in the U.S. is proven to work, it could be held for use in an outbreak situation. The report also indicates that the vaccine could be given to people traveling to nations where Ebola is prevalent.
Research involving potential vaccinations has picked up over the past couple of months, likely because of the increase in cases that the world has seen in the past couple of years. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, more than 10,000 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, over the past year.
It is unclear if the vaccine being tested in the U.S. will be able to be used like the “ring vaccine” overseas, but both could make a significant difference in how future Ebola cases are handled. Of course, the ultimate goal would be to find a cure, or to stop the transmission of the disease altogether, and it seems like researchers are moving closer to that end.
[Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images News]