Prophylactic mass vaccination programmes are unrealistic and not a practical alternative in combating Ebola virus outbreaks, reports a team of researchers from the University of Kent. The findings come as the World Health Organisation has announced a new Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Kongo. The team analyzed the prospects for various Ebola virus vaccines and found that, for the foreseeable future at least, Ebola virus outbreak control depends on surveillance and the isolation of cases. ‘Mass vaccination programmes are not effective in preventing Ebola virus outbreak.’ The researchers' analysis revealed that very high proportions of potentially affected populations would need to be protected by vaccination to establish herd immunity, i.e., the level of immunity that prevents virus transmission within a population. The study, entitled Herd immunity to Ebola viruses is not a realistic target for current vaccination strategies identified that, in the critical phases of many Ebola virus outbreaks, the average infected individual infects four or more other people, which enables the virus to spread rapidly. At this level, 80% of a population would need to be immunized to prevent outbreaks, even if a highly effective vaccine that protects 90% of individuals after vaccination was available. Such vaccination rates are currently unachievable. In a vaccination trial during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49% of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated. Thirty-four percent of contacts refused vaccination although they had been exposed to the disease. There are currently no clinical vaccine candidates available that protect against all four human-pathogenic Ebola viruses. It also remains unclear, say the researchers led by Professor Martin Michaelis, of Kent's School of Biosciences, whether the available vaccine candidates provide the long-term protection (? 10 years) that is required for the sort of prophylactic mass vaccination programme that could prevent Ebola, which becomes repeatedly introduced into the human population from animal reservoirs. A large vaccination programme would also be costly and impractical, the study points out. Costs for current Ebola virus vaccine candidates are estimated to be in a range of US$ 15-20 per dose, with some 462 million people living in the areas affected by Ebola virus outbreaks, many of them in very remote rural areas. In the absence of a realistic prophylactic mass vaccination programme, the researchers conclude that clinical vaccine candidates will need to be focused on health care workers who are often involved in disease transmission, potentially in combination with the vaccination of patient contacts.Source: Eurekalert << Nutmeg Prevents Liver Damage Babies Learn to Speak Better Hearing Other Babies Speak >> Recommended Reading Ebola Virus Disease Ebola is caused by a virus via direct contact with body fluids or infected blood. Scientists have identified five types of Ebola or Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus. READ MORE Ebola-Related Deaths Fell When Treated With High Dose of Antiviral Drug High doses of the antiviral drug called favipiravir maybe effective in preventing deaths form Ebola virus infection. READ MORE New Formula for Ebola Vaccine Proves Effective Ebola virus disease vaccine was developed to control the epidemic as the treatment for ebola is restricted. READ MORE New Ebola Virus Antibody Paves the Way for Future Vaccines and Therapy Natural human antibodies isolated from the blood of an Ebola survivor has been shown to neutralize all three major disease-causing Ebola viruses. READ MORE Chicken Pox Chicken pox is an acute and highly contagious viral infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. READ MORE Congo Fever Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease that affects people who are bitten by infected ticks or those in direct contact with blood or tissues of infected animals or patients. READ MORE Shigellosis Shigellosis or Bacillary Dysentery is a common cause of gastro-enteritis worldwide and can cause bloody diarrhea (called dysentery). READ MORE Traveling with Children Abroad? - Parents, Stay Alert! Traveling with children is always challenging as it involves careful planning. Here are some precautions that need to be taken when traveling abroad with kids. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Indian Medical Journals Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) More News on: Chicken PoxShigellosisBioterrorismCongo FeverEbola Virus DiseaseTraveling with Children Abroad? - Parents, Stay Alert!