CDC Fears Ebola Virus 'Out of Control'; Human Trials On Third Vaccine To Begin Early 2015
By Reissa Su | September 5, 2014 8:41 AM EST
The Ebola outbreak may be "spiraling out of control" as the Center of Disease Control and Prevention director predicts the virus will only get worse. According to a CBS report, Dr Tom Frieden revealed that countries in West Africa continue to struggle with the virus.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.
The CDC director said the current Ebola outbreak is "bad" and believes it will only get worse in the future. Frieden visited Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to assess the situation. He is expected to report to the U.S. government about his findings.
Frieden said countries in West Africa need more resources and technical experts. He added that vaccines for Ebola virus may be available in the future but the infected can no longer wait. The director feared the epidemic may be "going faster" than healthcare workers. Frieden explained that the response to Ebola should be scaled up.
He reiterated that the Ebola outbreak is not just West Africa's problem. It is the responsibility of the world to stop the virus to prevent it from claiming more lives.
According to reports, a third vaccine for Ebola will begin human trials in early 2015. In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said the vaccine was the result of technologies developed by Netherlands' Crucell N.V. and Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic.
Crucell global head of infectious disease and vaccine programs Johan Van Hoof said the company is intensifying efforts to accelerate the Ebola vaccine program due to the current outbreak in West Africa.
Aside from Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline has previously announced it will start human trials within the month for its own vaccine. Canada will also hold its own trials later on in the year.
A new study has revealed that the virus is "rapidly mutating" which will make it difficult for healthcare workers to find a cure. Researchers from Massachusetts discovered almost 400 genetic mutations of the virus taken from blood samples of early Ebola patients.
Since Ebola still has no cure, the World Health Organisation has feared more than 20,000 people might be infected before the virus can be brought under control. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has left more than 1,500 people dead, reports said.
To contact the editor, e-mail: