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AVAILABLE EXPERT: New Ebola vaccine

Friday, July 31, 2015

Queen’s University infectious diseases expert Dick Zoutman is available to comment on the new Ebola vaccine. The vaccine’s development has a strong Canadian component and speaks to research excellence in Canada.

“It’s almost a year ago since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Ebola epidemic was a global public health threat,” says Dr. Zoutman. “There have been over 27,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths due to this deal virus. And although it has not been in the news this much Ebola is still active in Western Africa though thankfully at much lower levels with only seven cases in the last week.

“The news that a new Ebola vaccine has been effective in preventing transmission in close contacts of cases is very welcome indeed. When given immediately to family and neighbors of active cases of Ebola 0 out of 4,123 people developed Ebola. This means complete protection. This unique vaccine is packaged inside a virus that does not cause disease in humans has proven itself in this preliminary analysis to be safe and very effective. As always further analysis is necessary and further clinical trials will be needed particularly for children and pregnant women who were not included in this study.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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