The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has said it will host clinical trials of new treatments for Ebola at three centres in West Africa.


The rate of transmission of Ebola remains intense, the WHO says


Medical staff will use two drugs from a World Health Organization shortlist, as well as blood and plasma therapy also endorsed by the WHO.

The aim of the trials is to keep the patients alive during the critical first 14 days of the illness.

The news comes as the number of people to die from Ebola rose to 5,160.

The outbreak is thought to have infected more than 14,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa.

The frequency of new cases no longer appears to be increasing in Guinea and Liberia but remains high in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization says.

But transmission remains "intense" in the first two countries, the WHO added, and the deaths of three people in Mali were reported on Wednesday.

'Hope for real treatment'

MSF spokeswoman Annick Antierens said the charity was taking part jointly with British, French and Belgian researchers to give Ebola sufferers a better chance of survival.

"This is an unprecedented international partnership which represents hope for patients to finally get a real treatment," she said.

The three trials are:

•    In Gueckedou, Guinea, led by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), using the drug favipiravir

•    In Conakry, Guinea, led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), involving convalescent blood and blood plasma therapy

•    At a site yet to be determined, funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by the University of Oxford, using the antiviral drug brincidofovir.

Source: BBC