Ebola Drug Reportedly Shows Promise
Posted at 10:29 a.m. on Aug. 5
Concern about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has prompted a heightened response from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal health agency imposed tight security and safety precautions as the first Americans infected with the virus arrived in the United States from Liberia, where they had been working. Dr. Kent Brantly arrived on Saturday in Atlanta for treatment at Emory University Hospital, and Nancy Writebol is due to arrive on Tuesday. CNN reports that both received doses of an experimental drug. The report could lead to calls for wider use of the product, which has not been approved for use, based on anecdotal reports about promising results in the two patients.
The organization sponsoring the two missionary health care workers requested the drug directly from the drug manufacturer. However, the regular drug development process seeks to balance out the need to address a current health threat with testing on drug effectiveness and safety. CQ HealthBeat’s Kerry Young reports that another Ebola drug is under development.
Additionally, CQ HealthBeat’s John Reichard reported on CDC Director Thomas Frieden’s defense of the decision to bring the two patients back to the United States as he made a series of Sunday talk show appearances. The federal health agency has also published instructions for health care providers and airlines that might come across patients and passengers returning from the infected region in West Africa. The health agency has also assembled a list of responses to common questions about the Ebola virus.