Ebola agents have been successfully tested 2

Ebola agents have been successfully tested

A recent study tested four Ebola medicines with about 500 volunteers. Is this a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola?

Ebola was released in Congo for about a year – nearly 1,900 people died in the recent epidemic. It is the worst Ebola outbreak since the devastating wave of disease in West Africa in 2014 and 2015.

There are experimental remedies for Ebola, but it was not clear how good they were. The differences are clearly large: the WHO World Health Organization has now presented the provisional results of a recent study of about 500 volunteers. So two funds are particularly successful, the other two should no longer be used.

Progress against Ebola (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, oto: Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro / AP / dpa)

Fighting Ebola is also a challenge for helpers.

oto: Al-Hajji Kudra Maliro / AP / dpa

Progress in the fight against Ebola

Ebola cannot be safely cured with two new active ingredients – but they are as successful as any drug before. After all, about seventy percent of patients survived in the last series of tests in the Congo, a significant step forward.

The huge names REGN-EB3 and mAb114 are mixtures of virus-blocking antibodies. The antibodies are from Ebola survivors; you can now copy them to the lab.

Not all agents tested work

Two other agents, Zmapp and remdesivir, on the other hand, only managed to save about half of the patients. They were once considered a bearer of hope, but now they are no longer prescribed by the WHO.

Ebola research continues with only two new experimental tools. The final results will only be available in the fall; even publication in a scientific journal is still ongoing.

The caregiver of the CTE ALIMA BENI Ebola Care Center is caring for a child suspected of having Ebola. (Photo: dpa radio, photo: Kitsa Musayi / dpa)

The caregiver of the CTE ALIMA BENI Ebola Care Center is caring for a child suspected of having Ebola.

Photo by Kitsa Musayi / dpa

Early treatment increases the chances of recovery

Nevertheless, an important finding is already apparent: the sooner patients receive new active substances, the greater their chances of recovery. About 90 percent of patients survived if doctors injected them with antibodies within the first three days of the onset of the disease.

Population distrust of treatment

Therefore, some researchers are already talking about the breakthrough – but this hides huge obstacles in Ebola therapy in Congo. For the distrust of the population is still great; Many people avoid official treatment centers, and there are always attacks on medical staff.

In addition, bloody civil war rages in parts of the country for months, and some areas are no longer available to aid organizations.

Ebola vaccine for prevention
At least as important as new drugs is effective prevention – as the people responsible for this study point out. The already available Ebola vaccine plays a key role.

Almost 200,000 people in the Congo have already been vaccinated – especially families with a sick relative or employees in health centers. Vaccination campaigns for these particularly vulnerable citizens must continue intensively – if successful, new drugs are only needed in exceptional cases.

Girl Receives Ebola Vaccine Spray (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, Jerome Delay / AP / dpa)

Prevention is better than cure. Vaccination can help prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

Jerome delay / AP / dpa


The Ebola virus belongs to the filovirus family. It is a rare and particularly aggressive pathogen.

The Ebola virus was discovered in the 1970s. Since then, there has been an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda and Gabon. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the 2014 epidemic in West Africa was the largest Ebola outbreak to date.

Malaria-like or flu-like symptoms
The symptoms are similar to a malaria or flu infection. Patients usually have fever, headache and muscle aches, suffering from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

So far, mortality has depended on the virus variant at 30 to 90 percent, the "Ebola-Zaire" type between 60 and 90 percent. Those affected die of cardiovascular shock in most cases.

Wemba Kambale Kikopo survived Ebola (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, Kitsa Musayi / dpa)

Wemba Kambale Kikopo faces CTE ALIMA BENI, the Ebola treatment center. He is 37 years old and survived Ebola. Wemba Kambale Kikopo works at a treatment center and participates in educational work.

Kitsa Musayi / dpa

Monkeys and fruit bats as possible gears

Possible Ebola carriers are monkeys and fruit bats that are considered a delicacy in countries like Liberia.
Among humans, the virus is transmitted through body fluids such as sweat, blood, urine or saliva. The rule of thumb is that the stronger the symptoms, the higher the risk of infection.