Officials Urge Use of Ebola Survivors’ Blood to Treat Patients

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Health officials on Friday recommended the use of Ebola survivors’ blood to treat those suffering from an outbreak of the deadly disease in West Africa.

“We have to change the sense that there is no hope,” Marie-Paule Kieny, an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a conference of health experts, the Associated Press reports.

The use of blood was one method on a long list of experimental treatments suggested at the conference. RNA-based treatments and pre-existing drugs designed for other diseases were among the other potential options. The experts stressed the need for rigorous data-keeping and evaluation to determine the efficacy of each potential solution.

Kent Brantly, an American doctor who survived an Ebola infection, was given blood from another Ebola survivor during his infection. He also received ZMapp, a vaccine that has been developed to address the disease.

Experts said it will take time to produce more ZMapp and another promising vaccine that could stem the spread of Ebola, which has already killed more than 2,000 people in West Africa. The Obama Administration has asked Congress to provide funds to accelerate the development of ZMapp.


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