Theresa Griffin MEP welcomes work of University of Liverpool in fight against Ebola

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England has commended the work of the University of Liverpool to help find a treatment for the Ebola virus.

Recent figures show the virus has already infected more than 4,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people. With no vaccine or specific treatment available Ebola has a 60 to 90% mortality rate, making it one of the deadliest diseases.

“The first course of action must be to prevent the spread of Ebola and contain it to avoid any further unnecessary deaths. We must work together with authorities in the affected countries to help people affected by the disease and to mobilise a coordinated medical response and provide humanitarian aid”, said Ms Griffin.

“Ebola symptoms can take up to 21 days to develop, making it easy to spread across borders. We must work together to ensure this does not happen.”

The Institute of Infection and Global Health in the University of Liverpool has been working with colleagues in Public Health England on a treatment for the virus.

Researchers have identified a drug already in existence which will block the functioning of cellular proteins necessary for Ebola to replicate. Administering this drug will help end the virus’s resistance to medication.

“The work of the University of Liverpool will be instrumental in helping to end the devastation caused by this disease.

“However, this crisis cannot be solved by health systems alone; the response must also involve education and training, sanitation and food aid.

“The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is allocating €11.9 million specifically to address some of the most urgent humanitarian needs through its partners on the ground.

“The UK has also sent a team from Public Health England to help with the international team responding to the emergency.

“We must do more to help the people affected by this outbreak.

“The immediate needs are immense. These include the better tracing of people who have come into contact with Ebola patients, setting up treatment centres, the supply of medical assistance, staff and protective clothing, and securing the safe and reliable transport of medical staff and supplies.

“We must contain this disease and prevent it spreading any further and we must work with affected countries to bring this disease to an end.”