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Anti-Ebola Drug Approved for Wider Use in Guinea

According to the announcement of Guinea government officials on Saturday, the Japanese anti-Ebola experimental drug has been approved for a wider use in Guinea, following the success of initial trials. Sakoba Keita, coordinator of Guinea’s Ebola response commented “We have decided to broaden the use of this drug. It will only be available in the Ebola Treatment Units, not the hospitals.”

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According to the reports, the number of people infected with Ebola has doubled in the past week in contrary to the declining trend of the infection across the three worst affected regions namely Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and this led to the approval of drug by the government. The experimental drug has been developed by Toyama Chemical, a subsidiary of Japan’s Fujifilm. Since mid-December, the drug has been subjected to trial by French and Guinean teams in southern Guinea.

French President Francois Hollande’s office has reported that the drug has accelerated the recovery of patients. Around two dozen new cases of Ebola have surfaced in the last two weeks and health officials are now also accessing the villages which previously offered resistance. However, no data has been provided by the health officials regarding the trial results of the anti-Ebola drug.

Last year about 9,000 people died of Ebola infection, especially in the three worst-affected West African nations. The epidemic began in Guinea where more than 1,900 deaths have been recorded out of 3,000 confirmed cases. Jean-François Delfraissy, a French Ebola expert working alongside Guinean authorities to contain the crisis stated “The Ebola situation is getting better but we are not cured.”

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