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Oral drug holds promise to eradicate deadly measles

Posted on Apr 17 2014 | IANS

Washington, April 17 : Despite a global initiative to eradicate measles begun over a decade ago, measles deaths still haunt developing countries, including India.

No more.

Researchers have discovered an oral drug that contained measles outbreaks in animals.

In animals infected with a measles-related virus, the drug reduced the virus, prevented death and promoted immunity, a promising study says.

"The drug is cheap to produce and shelf-stable and it could be stockpiled if approved for humans in order to suppress local outbreaks. Such a drug could help permanently eradicate the disease," said Richard Plemper of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

Plemper, along with Emory Center for Drug Development and the Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Germany, developed this drug that could treat people who have had contact with someone infected with the measles virus but who have not developed symptoms.

The research, however, is in early stages and it could be years before it hits the market but we are quite optimistic on the outcomes, researchers noted.

The drug may not only save an infected individual from disease but contribute to closing measles immunity gaps in a population, Plemper emphasised in a university press release.

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