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Three Russian Ebola vaccines ready within six months: Moscow

Russia expects to produce three Ebola vaccines within the next six months, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Saturday. "We have created three vaccines... and we think they will be ready in the next six months," the minister said on Rossiya 1 television. "One of them is already ready for a clinical trial," she said.

One of the vaccines was developed from an inactive strain of the virus, the minister added. The current outbreak of Ebola, the worst on record, has claimed more than 4,000 lives since the start of the year, mainly in the west African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There is no licensed treatment for the highly contagious disease, but several countries are trying to develop an effective vaccine.

Russia, which has not had any cases of Ebola, sent a team of scientists and a mobile laboratory to help fight the disease in Guinea at the end of August. Russia has also implemented a protection plan against the virus, which it stepped up in July, according to the minister. Seventy-one Russian airports were equipped with thermal cameras to detect the first signs of the virus, she said. More than 450 students from West Africa studying in Russian universities were under constant surveillance, she added.-AFP

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