BRUSSELS, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union is allocating almost 25 million euros (over $28 million) on Ebola research, the European Commission said in a press release Thursday.
"The European Commission has today announced €24.4 million from the EU budget for urgently needed Ebola research. The funding will go to five projects, ranging from a large-scale clinical trial of a potential vaccine, to testing existing and novel compounds to treat Ebola," the document said.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed hope that the bloc’s contribution will speed up the development of anti-Ebola vaccines and medication. "We're in a race against time on Ebola, and we must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a long term response," Barroso was quoted as saying in the press release.
According to the latest report by the World Health Organization, the current outbreak of Ebola has claimed 4,877 lives as of October 19. A total of 9,936 cases of confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola infections has been reported in five affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States – and two previously affected countries, Nigeria and Senegal.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. At the moment, there is no officially approved medication for Ebola. However, several countries, including Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Canada are currently working on a vaccine.