Nigeria asks US for Anti-Ebola Serum

A UNICEF worker speaks with drivers of motorcycle taxis about the symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and best practices to help prevent its spread, in the city of Voinjama, in Lofa County, Liberia. (Photo: Reuters)
A UNICEF worker speaks with drivers of motorcycle taxis about the symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and best practices to help prevent its spread, in the city of Voinjama, in Lofa County, Liberia. (Photo: Reuters)

Nigeria has reached out to the U.S., asking for the drug used to treat two U.S. missionaries infected with Ebola virus.

The Nigerian government has reached out to United States health authorities for access to the new experimental drug, ZMapp, that was used to treat two U.S. volunteer doctors who were infected with Ebola while treating patients in Liberia who the virus had infected.

ZMapp is a drug made by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and has only been tested on infected animals before it was given to the two white U.S. health workers, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. Though the drug proved effective in the treatment of primates, the two health workers were the first humans to be treated with the drug.

It has been confirmed that 1,603 people in West Africa have been infected and that the virus has so far killed 887 people. Most of the cases are in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 8 more cases broke out in Nigeria when Patrick Sawyer, a Black U.S. Citizen infected with Ebola, flew from Liberia to Lagos and died shortly after arrival.

The Nigerian Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, told Journalists that the government is in consultation with the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, CDC, to acquire the “secret serum” that was used in the treatment of the two Americans.

“We are in touch with the Americans. Yesterday, I spoke on the telephone with the Director of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Freiden. We spoke at length, and we have exchanged emails. Yesterday, I inaugurated the Treatment Research Group and one of its terms of reference is to collaborate with similar working groups across the world. Now that they have started work, they will get in touch with the Americans and understand what they are doing and whether we have access to similar opportunity,” said Mr. Chukwu.

It remains to be seen whether or not the U.S. will distribute the drug that has helped the two health care workers, to the thousands of people infected in West Africa.

SOURCE: NEWS NOW/ Telesur

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