Large-scale vaccine test to begin in Guinea

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to begin large-scale testing of the Ebola vaccine in the Basse Guinee region of Guinea, an area of Guinea which has the highest number of Ebola cases.

The test will see how effective the vaccine might be in preventing future outbreaks of the deadly virus, the Big Story reports.

Since the outbreak of the deadly virus, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have been hardest hit leaving more than 9,800 people dead.

WHO's vaccination strategy in Guinea aims to create a buffer zone around an Ebola case to prevent its further spread, an approach used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. Officials will vaccinate people who have already been exposed to Ebola cases and are at risk of developing the disease.

The Guinea trial is being conducted with other health partners including Doctors Without Borders, Epicentre, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Guinean government while the vaccine being tested VSV-EBOV  was developed by Canada and is now licensed to Merck.

A second vaccine developed by U.S. National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline will be tested in a separate study as supplies become available.

WHO reported 132 new Ebola cases last week, an increase from the 99 cases reported the previous week. The agency said the spread of Ebola remains widespread in Sierra Leone and noted that cases have jumped both there and in Guinea.

The body stated that unsafe traditional burials which is a high-risk factor for Ebola transmission continues to occur in both Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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