Apr 04, 2015 12:16 PM EDT
Ebola has been on the mind of nearly every world leader for months now. The deadly disease keeps popping up in different places around the world, and it leaves a path of death and destruction behind it.
Now, experts believe we may have turned a corner in the war on Ebola. According to NBC News, a new vaccine has been tested and appears to be showing great results in test patients. Past forms of the vaccine have cause some serious side effects, such as arthritis, in many of the test patients.
However, the only side effect that seems notable with this new strain of the vaccine is a fever that lasts from 12 to 36 hours after injection. Some test subjects complained of pain near the injection site, but that is a common side effect for vaccines and other types of shots.
The vaccine has been shipped to West Africa for further testing, and is a potent weapon, if it works correctly. It utilizes a virus called vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, to deliver tiny particles of the Ebola to the test subjects body. This trains the body to recognize Ebola as a threat, and triggers the immune system to begin fighting the virus.
In Sierra Leone. Guinea, and Liberia, more than 25,000 people were infected with the virus. Of that number, nearly half died from the infection. The vaccine had been stalled due to funding issues, but with new outbreaks cropping up in different locations, interest in a cure has become top of the list again.
It was tested on 40 people who volunteered for the project. The testing took place at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and was part of a project by the National Institutes of Health.
Col. Stephen Thomas helped pilot the study at Walter Reed, and he says, "We saw a robust immune response following a single dose of the vaccine, which could be particularly useful in outbreak interventions."
The vaccine is needed in places like Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The death toll in these countries is already in the thousands, and new cases are appearing almost daily. ABC News in Australia reports that a health worker in Sydney who had just returned from West Africa is being tested for the Ebola virus. She apparently exhibited symptoms similar to influenza, and physicians at Westmead Hospital are assessing her as a precaution.
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