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Experimental drug offers promise in fight against measles

Published on Apr 17, 2014 6:35 AM
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An experimental anti-viral drug taken orally could help contribute to the eradication of measles, an infection responsible for thousands of deaths per year, scientists said in a report on Wednesday.

The drug, so far tested on animals, has been effective on a virus closely related to the one that causes measles, having reduced virus levels and prevented death.

Despite major progress to contain the highly-contagious disease worldwide, measles has caused around 150,000 deaths annually since 2007, according to the study, which appeared in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

A European resurgence of the measles-causing morbillivirus, previously considered contained on that continent, is due in large part to insufficient vaccination rates, mostly because parents opt out of vaccinating their children.

 
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