Friday, February 06, 2015

Blog #1: Ebola Drug Aids Some in a Study in West Africa

There is a new drug that has been on emergency basis for European countries but has not been used in Africa yet.  This drug is called  favipiravir and appears to interfere with the viruses ability to copy itself.  It has lowered morality to fifteen percent from thirty percent in patients with low to moderate levels of Ebola in their bloodstream.  This drug is being tested in Guinea which is one of three African countries affected by Ebola.  On Wednesday the World Health Organization reported one hundred and twenty four new cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. There is a demand to provide experimental therapies to everyone because there is such a high mortality rate.  Doctors predicted that the drug would be most effective in patients that got it within two to three days of experiencing symptoms.  Most patients that showed up to the study site arrived later than early signs and instead has been five days after their symptoms began.

I think this drug will help treat individuals that have low levels of Ebola in their system.  However, what about patients that have a higher amount of Ebola in the bloodstream?  The only hope for these patients that have higher amounts in their body is to go under a a transfusion of serum that has been collected from individuals that have had Ebola.  The serum has antibodies that can help the immune system fight off the disease.  Since there is not a definite way to treat this terrible disease everyone needs to be careful and protect themselves.  Ebola cases are growing by the day but this new drug could be a small step in the right direction in curing this disease.  This drug could help doctors and scientists figure out exactly what ingredients to put in the drug that can completely cure Ebola altogether.

Kelsey Bryant

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