Photo: Ebola news
Human clinical trials of a vaccine against the Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa will begin next week, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said Thursday.
The tests will be performed at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on 20 healthy adults, all volunteers, Dr. Anthony Fauci told a press conference.
This will be the first of a series of clinical trials in which British physicians are collaborating, and the vaccine will also be tested in Britain, Gambia and Mali, and possibly also in Nigeria, one of the countries affected by the current outbreak.
“There is an urgent need for a protective Ebola vaccine, and it is important to establish that a vaccine is safe and spurs the immune system to react in a way necessary to protect against infection,” Fauci said.
The World Health Organization said Thursday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the most difficult health emergencies in recent years and that at least $490 million will be needed to try and contain the epidemic, which has been expanding exponentially.
Forty percent of the roughly 3,000 reported cases have occurred in the last three weeks, according to the WHO.