EBOLA 2016: Medical authorities struggle to control Ebola outbreak as latest plasma treatment fails

Medical authorities continue to struggle to contain the new Ebola outbreak. Treating the disease with blood plasma donated by Ebola survivors failed to drastically increase the likelihood of recovering from the malady, according to a field test of the experimental treatment.

The results are based on the cases of 84 people treated with plasma in Conakry, Guinea, hoping that the antibodies in the fluid would help combat the virus the way they did in the surviving donors.

The death rate was 31 percent with the plasma group, in comparison to 38 percent in the control group of 418 patients treated at the same medical center, according to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.(1)

After the researchers adjusted several variables that can impact survival rates, including the age of the victims, the effects of plasma therapy proved to be even less effective.

Ebola a.k.a the zombie virus

Ebola is the closest thing to real-life zombie infections, notes Mike Adams, the Health Ranger. He describes Ebola as “a gruesome disease that causes cells in the body to self-destruct, resulting in massive internal and external bleeding.”(2)

Chief author Dr. Johan van Griensven of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, said, “Of course you would like to dream and see a very strong reduction in mortality, but we didn’t see this.”(1)

A foremost limitation of the study is that it’s unknown how many virus-fighting antibodies were present in the plasma of the donors. Since the Ebola virus disease is extremely dangerous, analysis needs to be conducted in laboratories under controlled conditions, which are unfortunately unavailable in affected countries, note the researchers.

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“We might have anticipated there would be an effect” with plasma from survivors, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, who was not involved in the study.(1)

Although no benefits have been seen, that “does not mean antibodies to Ebola are not going to be a good treatment,” he warned. The plasma of donors might not have been completely recovered, meaning the fluid might not have been teeming with antibodies.

There were indications that some groups benefited from the treatment, however. Children younger than five years old had the highest risk of death in the control group. However, four of the five patients in the age group treated with convalescent plasma survived, van Griensven and his colleagues report. Pregnant women have also had a poor prognosis, but six of the eight pregnant women treated with convalescent plasma survived, they added.

Ebola mortality rates higher among men than women

According to another study published as a letter to the journal, researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) claim that men treated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have had a lower survival rate than women. Ebola killed approximately 67.1 percent of infected men, whereas it killed 63 percent of infected women.(1)

“The difference persisted even after adjusting for age, symptoms, and the amount of time it took for the person to seek medical help after falling ill, said coauthor Dr. Christl Donnelly of Imperial College London.(1)

“People hadn’t found that before. But because we had such a large epidemic we can see it consistently,” she told sources.(1)

Men were no more or less likely to become infected by Ebola than women in the study. However, men did, on average, wait twelve hours longer to seek help than women, and the longer one waits to treat Ebola, the greater chance it has to spread.

The researchers could not confirm nor disconfirm that the 12 hour-delay was ultimately responsible for the higher death rate among males.

“Twelve hours is 12 hours. Maybe that’s not so trivial,” said Schaffner. “This can, at certain stages, be a rapidly moving infection. This is intriguing, interesting and worth another look.”(1)

Sources include:

(1) NBCNews.com

(2) NaturalNews.com

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