GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that it will begin testing its Ebola vaccination as early as mid-September in human volunteers.
With the help of the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center, GSK will start recruiting patients in the Gambia, Mali and the United Kingdom to take part in the trials. If the vaccine is proven safe and those inoculated show immunity to the disease, the company would like to speed up delivery of the medicine to West Africa where Ebola has been most prevalent.
“A vaccine will be enormously important in the prevention effort for this deadly disease,” observed Melanie Kohr, RN, Passport Health’s Vice President of Clinic Operations. “Although public health measures like correct use of personal protective equipment and patient isolation have an important role to play in preventing disease spread, vaccination adds yet another tool to the disease prevention kit.”
Since the Ebola outbreak began in March of this year, more than 1,550 people have died and 3,069 been infected by the virus. While these are small numbers in comparison to the toll that diseases like malaria or influenza take, the fear of Ebola spreading further and current estimates that point to 20,000 more potential deaths before the outbreak ends has lead groups like GlaxoSmithKline to invest more heavily in Ebola vaccination efforts.
Ebola, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a disease that so far has been contained to Africa mainly in the sub-Saharan region. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash along with internal bleeding in some cases. The virus is spread through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected being (either human or animal). There are no documented cases of an outbreak starting anywhere outside of the sub-Saharan Africa region.
To find more about immunizations against diseases like Ebola, malaria, yellow fever or even the common cold, contact a Passport Health travel health specialist by visiting our website at www.passporthealthusa.com, or by calling 1-877-499-7277.