GENEVA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said it will convene a panel of medical ethicists early next week to explore the use of experimental treatment in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
WHO said currently there is no registered medicine or vaccine against the virus, but there are several experimental options under development.
According to WHO, the recent treatment of two health workers from Samaritan's Purse with experimental medicine has raised questions about whether medicine that has never been tested should be used and, given the extremely limited amount of medicine available, if it is used, who should receive it.
"We are in an unusual situation in this outbreak," Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General said in a statement, referring to Ebola as a disease with a high fatality rate without any proven treatment or vaccine.
"We need to ask the medical ethicists to give us guidance on what the responsible thing to do is," she added.
The standard for assessing new medicine involves a series of trials in humans, starting small to make sure the medicine is safe to use. Then, the studies are expanded to more people to see how effective it is, and how best to use it.
As of Aug. 4, 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone stands at 1,711, including 932 deaths.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- As a "secret serum" called ZMapp emerged as the primary treatment of two American aid workers infected with Ebola in West Africa, experts warned that it is too early to tell if the treatment is effective.
International attention has turned to the experimental drug known as ZMapp, developed by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical and manufactured by Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), because Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly, who contracted the deadly disease while treating patients in Liberia, seemed to be improving after they were treated with the medication. Full story
LAGOS, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Wednesday described the Ebola outbreak in the country as a national emergency.
Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said this at an emergency meeting convened by the House of Representatives Committee on Health over the Ebola outbreak in Abuja, the nation's capital city. Full story