With the Ebola Virus outbreak’s death toll now exceeding 1000 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally approved the use of experimental Ebola serums to treat the virus. The U.S. company that makes ZMapp, the experimental Ebola medicine that was used on Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, said they have now sent all of their available supplies to the hardest hit areas of West Africa.
After meeting with several Ebola and infectious disease experts, Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s assistant director general, told reporters, “In the special circumstances of this Ebola outbreak it is ethical to offer unregistered interventions as potential treatments or prevention.”
Leading up to these discussions, there had been an international outcry, basically saying that it was unfair that the only people who had been given the experimental serum were white. Many took to Twitter to voice their complaints and demand that blacks also receive the drug.
It is unknown whether or not Zmapp helped the two American Ebola patients who received doses of the experimental serum. There were positive indications that it did help them recover, but elderly Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, who became infected while helping patients in Liberia, was also treated with Zmapp and he died anyway. It remains to be seen how effective this drug will be, and there are other untested experimental drugs in the works that could soon be used on Ebola victims.