Ebola turns spotlight on experimental drugs

A health worker, wearing personal protection gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola virus disease (EVD), at a treatment centre for infected persons in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone in this August, 2014 handout photo provided by UNICEF August 6, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Dunlop/UNICEF/Handout via ReutersWith hundreds of patients in Africa suffering the devastating effects of Ebola, health experts are scrambling to determine which drugs might offer the best experimental treatment, and researchers are being pressed by government officials to speed up their work.

Three treatments have shown especially promising results in monkeys, the researchers said. One, produced by tiny California biotech Mapp Biopharmaceutical, gained international prominence this week when it was given to two U.S. aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa and have since shown signs of improvement.

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