Two American aid workers that are now infected with the Ebola virus will receive treatment with the use of a new experimental drug, one that was never tested on humans for safety and that is the result of research carried out by the US government and the military. The potential treatment was identified at the beginning of this year.
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the 2 US citizens infected, are now improving but it cannot be said for sure that it is because of the treatment or simply recovering on their own. Both are to be treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.
Infection happened while they were working in Liberia.
The World Health Organization declared that the current death toll rose to 887 deaths in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leona and Guinea. Over 1,600 people were infected.
The US aid workers receive an experimental treatment called ZMapp, created by San Diego based Mapp Biopharmaceutical. Its main purpose is to boost the body’s immune system so that it can fight off the Ebola virus. The treatment is made out of antibodies that are produced by lab animals that were exposed to the virus.
Official human testing for ZMapp should have started later this year and the FDA did not approve the testing for the 2 Americans infected. However, the first treatment was offered in Liberia and the FDA does not have authorization outside US.