Canadian research has potential for global impact
OTTAWA, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Researchers at the Public Health Agency of
Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) have developed a new
and easy-to-manufacture treatment for Ebola infection, one of the
world's deadliest diseases. The findings were published today in the
Science Translational Medicine journal. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq,
Minister of Health, today congratulated the researchers on their
"The Harper Government is committed to advancing national and
international public health," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This
groundbreaking discovery is a remarkable achievement and exemplifies
the world-class research conducted here in Canada."
Zaire Ebola virus is one of the world's most aggressive viruses. Up to
90 per cent of infections result in death within days of exposure. As
there is no approved Ebola vaccine to prevent infection, there is an
urgent need for a treatment to improve survival rates after exposure.
This new treatment can be effective when administered up to 48 hours
"Our researchers have seen first hand the terrible effects of the Ebola
virus on populations in Africa," said Dr. Frank Plummer, Chief Science
Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada. "This discovery should
pave the way for the development of a new drug that has the potential
to save many lives."
While Ebola does not naturally occur in Canada, there is always a small
risk that it could be imported into Canada by an infected traveller.
Having a safe and effective treatment option at the ready is important
to protect Canadians from that risk.
The NML is Canada's leading public health infectious disease laboratory
and the only facility in Canada that is permitted to study and work
with live haemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola and other similarly
highly infectious and deadly organisms.
SOURCE PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA
For further information:
Également offert en français
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada