EBOLA: First vaccine tests on humans in the US
The United States will be conducting their first human tests of an Ebola vaccine next week, to see if the product is suitable for human use. The worldwide endeavour to get an Ebola vaccine ready for the use of humans has been accelerated to contain an outbreak that is currently raging throughout West Africa.
The first US phase 1 Ebola vaccine trial will begin next week at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Centre in Bethesda, starting with three volunteers.
The product, named GSK/NIAID Ebola vaccine candidate, was made by Glaxo Smith Kline and US government scientists.
"We have the green light to begin," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
"The launch of phase 1 Ebola vaccine studies is a first step in developing a vaccine that could be licensed and used in the field to protect not only the front line healthcare workers but also those living in areas where Ebola virus exists."
The trial will mainly focus on the safety of the vaccine against two strains of the Ebola virus, one being the Sudan strain which is the one currently spreading through West Africa and the other the Zaire strain, which has seen two cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past two weeks.
West Africa has seen the largest outbreak of Ebola in history. Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have been infected with a death toll of 1552 people and over 3000 people becoming infected. There have also been unrelated cases of a different strain of Ebola in the DR Congo.
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China has sent an additional 232 army medical workers into West Africa, in order to help the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
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International soccer stars have joined with FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and health experts from Africa, to raise awareness as well as to show communities preventative measures, in the fight against the Ebola virus.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially announced Equatorial Guinea as the host of the 2015 Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, after Morocco requested that the competition be postponed due to fears of the Ebola virus entering their country. The tournament is expected to kick-off on the 17th of January before concluding on the 8th of February.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said that they will not delay the dates of the 2015 Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON), after a meeting with the Sports Council of Morocco and the Ministry of Youth in Rabat on Monday, amidst fears of the Ebola virus spreading.
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