The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed how the use of Ebola survivors’ blood could help the infected patients to recover.
While there is no approved drug for the deadly tropical virus which has already claimed around 2,000 lives in West Africa, hundreds of people still have managed to win the battle with Ebola. Health experts say that such survivors develop antibodies in their blood and thus immunity from further infection, Premium Times reports.
As the countries expect the results of experimental vaccines trial, every day counts and records new deaths. The UN health organization urged the affected countries not to wait until the drug becomes available but start using the blood of patients who recover from the Ebola in treating other patients.
Speaking yesterday on the issue of Ebola epidemic, which has definitely spun out of control, the WHO said there was no data on the effectiveness of such therapy, however studies on the 1995 outbreak in Congo showed that 7 out of 8 people survived after being given this therapy.
Marie Paule Kieny, WHO top officials, said, as reported by BBC:
“We agreed that whole blood therapies may be used to treat Ebola virus and all efforts must be invested to help infected countries to use them. There is a real opportunity that a blood-derived product can be used now and this can be very effective in terms of treating patients. There are also many people now who have survived and are doing well. They can provide blood to treat the other people who are sick.”
According to the latest update, at least 2,105 have died from Ebola. Nigeria is considered the country which manages to contain epidemic, however 8 deaths of the virus have been recorded since July. Five of Nigeria’s lethal cases are health workers.
Meanwhile scientists worldwide continue testing of the developed drug. The infamous unapproved ZMapp has been administered to 7 patients. The British William Pooley who received ZMapp, has successfully recovered and has been this week discharged from the UK hospital.
However the drug is still under testing and its supply is very limited; the production of new doses will reportedly require months.
Another drug is already being tested on healthy adults in the UK with the plans to extend the trials to the African countries.
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