The United States and the United Kingdom are taking an active role in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
On July 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), delivered a press release in which Director Tom Frieden announced his intention to send 50 disease control experts to West Africa in the next 30 days. “This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history. Far too many lives have been lost already. It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done.”
Leading experts in the UK Peter Piot, who discovered Ebola in 1976, David Heymann, the director of the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security, and Jeremy Farrar from the Wellcome Trust have said there are several drugs and vaccines that could be used to combat the disease and are encouraging the World Health Organization (WHO) to make these drugs available to African governments.
In an article for the Wall Street Journal the three experts said that: “There are antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines under study that have shown varying degrees of effectiveness in animals that have been infected with or exposed to the Ebola virus.”
During the last week, two American aid workers who contracted the virus have been brought back to the US for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both patients were given doses of an experimental drug called ZMapp, developed by a private biotech firm in San Diego, while medical researchers continue to work to try to find a cure for the disease.