Experimental Drug Would Help Fight Ebola if Supply Increases, Study Finds

A new study provides strong evidence that the experimental drug given to two American aid workers stricken with Ebola in Africa really works and could make a difference in the current outbreak — if more of it could be produced.

In the study, all 18 monkeys exposed to a lethal dose of Ebola virus survived when given the drug, known as ZMapp, even when the treatment was started five days after infection, when the animals were already sick.

Moreover, the monkeys’ symptoms, such as excessive bleeding, rashes and signs of liver toxicity, eventually disappeared. By contrast, all three monkeys in the control group died.

Experts said these were the best monkey results reported to date for any Ebola drug, raising hopes that the drug will work in people.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.