The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 12 August 2014 sanctioned the use of experimental drug ZMapp to fight against Ebola as the death toll increased.
The declaration of WHO came after a US company Mapp Biopharmaceutical supplied ZMapp to two US doctors Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebo who got affected with the Ebola disease while treating Ebola affected patients in Liberia. It showed some positive effects in saving the lives of Ebola-affected people.
After considering all the aspects, the panel of WHO reached a consensus that the experimental drugs should be used with all transparency including aspects of care, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person and preservation of dignity. Doctors would not use ZMapp without permission of the patients.
The current outbreak of Ebola is described as the worst since the discovery of Ebola Virus. There is no available cure for Ebola currently. Mapp Biopharmaceutical in the first week of August 2014, made available the drug ZMapp to two US doctors Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebo who got affected with the Ebola disease while treating Ebola affected patients in Liberia and then to Spain Government for treating Ebola-affected patient.
The drug uses a new method of passive immunization to treat Ebola infection by inserting genetically altered Ebola protein into tobacco leaves. However, ZMapp has been tested only on monkeys so far and it was to be tested on healthy human volunteers in 2015. The sudden outbreak of Ebola speeded up the process.
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When: 12 August 2014
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