The trial might begin in the autumn, a report says, as the US warns Americans not to travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Friday 01 August 2014
The US government will begin testing an experimental ebola vaccine on people as early as September, according to reports.
The move, which comes amid an ebola outbreak in Africa, was made after researchers saw positive results from tests on primates, USA Today reported.
The National Institutes of Health’s infectious disease unit has been working with the Food and Drug Administration to put the vaccine into trial as quickly as possible, according to the report.
Results from the study could be available early next year, Anthony Fauci, the director of the infectious disease unit, told the newspaper.
The ebola outbreak is the worst in history and has killed 729 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The virus is contagious and is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a sick person. It cannot be spread like flu through casual contact or breathing in the same air.
US health authorities on Thursday recommended against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three African nations worst affected by the outbreak.
Two American aid workers in Liberia have been diagnosed with ebola: Dr Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, who work for North Carolina-based aid groups.
Ms Writebol was getting an experimental treatment after Dr Brantly insisted that the only available dose of the serum go to her, according to the Samaritan’s Purse charity.
Dr Brantly’s wife, Amber, said in a statement: “I remain hopeful and believing that Kent will be healed from this dreadful disease.”
She and the couple’s two young children left Liberia for Texas before her husband was infected, and she said they were fine.