SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Researchers present findings from Ebola vaccine trial

The researchers' method could also change how researchers are working to handle the Zika virus. | File photo

Researchers recently attended the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting to present the inner workings of their recent experimental Ebola vaccine trial.

The new vaccine unites novel vaccination methods that have an approximated 100 percent efficiency in protecting people against the Ebola virus. This method could start a new method for responding to emerging pathogens and their outbreaks, which could also change how researchers are working to handle the Zika virus.

The study used a new strategy that requires vaccinating people who had already had contact with other people who have Ebola infections. Vaccinating these close contacts is called a ring vaccination.

"This type of analysis is a very robust design,” Dr. Ira Longini, a researcher at the University of Florida and one of the study's authors, said. “It worked for the Ebola vaccine, and could work for the Zika vaccine, or any other emerging threat we might see. Now, we want to make the point that we can almost certainly contain future Ebola outbreaks, and that we will probably have a new paradigm and tool for dealing with new outbreaks of whatever emerges in the future."

The meeting, which was held on Feb. 12, discussed the results from their recent study, available in The Lancet.

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