Fighting Ebola ... and What Might Come Next
The severity of this year’s outbreak in West Africa jump-started efforts to find a vaccine and a cure. Epidemiologists and health officials are already concerned about the potential of other untreatable diseases to trigger new epidemics.
Experimental Ebola vaccines
Maker: Johnson & Johnson
Status: Human trials expected to begin in January 2015
Availability: 250,000 doses by May 2015
Status: Phase I human safety trial under way
Availability: 10,000 doses by Jan. 1
Maker: Mapp Biopharmaceutical
Status: No doses remain, delaying the start of clinical trials
Availability: A few hundred doses by Jan. 1
Maker: Tekmira Pharmaceuticals
Status: Approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Availability: 900 doses by early 2015
What Might Come Next
Tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people in 2013. In parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 20 percent or more of new TB cases are resistant to the two most powerful treatments.
A new strain of influenza virus, H7N9, was first spotted in China in March 2013. Fatality rates are higher than for other flu strains: Of the 453 confirmed cases, 175 people have died.
This mosquito-borne virus, causing debilitating joint pain, can sometimes be fatal. Detected in the 1950s in Tanzania, it reached the Caribbean in 2013; the first U.S. transmission was identified in Florida in July.
Middle East respiratory syndrome
MERS, a coronavirus similar to SARS, was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, 897 cases have been confirmed, and 325 patients have died.The severity of this year’s outbreak in West Africa jump-started efforts to find a vaccine and a cure. Epidemiologists and health officials are already concerned about the potential of other untreatable diseases to trigger new epidemics.