SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2017

Potential protection from Ebola found using experimental post-exposure antiviral treatment

Potential protection from Ebola found using experimental post-exposure antiviral treatment. | Courtesy of
U.K. physicians recently proved for the first time that antiviral-based therapies may protect people from contracting the Ebola virus.

Further details are available in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal.

The report explains a case-series involving eight different British healthcare workers. They were hospitalized at the Royal Free Hospital located in London after they had possible accidental exposure to the Ebola virus when they were in Sierra Leone.

Four of these workers may have been exposed to Ebola through needlestick injuries. They received post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) along with favipiravir, with or without monoclonal antibodies like ZMapp. The remaining four workers were considered to be low-risk because their exposure did not come from a needlestick injury. The remaining four were monitored and observed without receiving any PEP.

None of the workers developed a case of Ebola.

"It is possible that none of these health-care workers were infected with Ebola virus,” Dr. Michael Jacobs, lead author from the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, London, U.K., said. “Therefore, we cannot know for sure whether or not post-exposure prophylaxis prevented the onset of Ebola-virus disease. However, two of the workers had needlestick injuries contaminated with fresh blood from patients with Ebola virus disease putting them at very high risk of transmission."

Organizations in this story

Royal Free Hospital Pond St London, NW3 2QG

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