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Monday, August 18, 2014

3 Liberian Health Workers With Ebola Receive Scarce Drug After Appeals to U.S.

Three Liberian health care workers who have contracted Ebola received an extremely scarce experimental serum on Friday at a hospital outside the national capital, Monrovia, a Liberian health official said Saturday.
The official, Tolbert G. Nyenswah, an assistant minister of health and social welfare, would not say if any of the three were doctors.
The drug, a mix of monoclonal antibodies called ZMapp, has been tested in animals, but has not been studied for safety or effectiveness in humans. It arrived in Liberia on Wednesday after appeals by leaders there to top officials in the United States and a letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia to President Obama.
Mapp Biopharmaceutical of San Diego, which provided the drug, said the “available supply of ZMapp has been exhausted.”
Mr. Nyenswah, who picked up the drug when it arrived at the airport and took part in a meeting to discuss which patients should be selected, said the three recipients had signed consent forms stating that they understood the risks and released all parties involved from liability.
He said he did not know how the patients were doing since receiving the drug.
If the treatment works, Mr. Nyenswah said in an interview earlier in the week, “and we can save the doctors here, especially those senior medical doctors that are infected with the virus, then Liberia can be a place to do a mass trial with the drugs.”

Liberian health officials requested the serum after it was...
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[Click here to read the US CDC Current Update of Ebola]