Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Liberia: 3 receiving untested Ebola drug improving

19 August 2014, 19:00

Monrovia - Three Liberian health workers receiving an experimental drug to treat Ebola are showing signs of recovery, officials said Tuesday.

The three are being treated with the last known doses of ZMapp, which had earlier been given to two infected Americans and a Spaniard. The Americans are also improving, but the Spaniard died.

"The medical professionals have informed the Liberian information ministry their progress is 'remarkable,'" the ministry said in a statement, adding that they are showing "very positive signs of recovery."

Experts have cautioned that it's unclear if ZMapp, which had never before been tested in humans, is effective. Even if it is, the California-based maker of the drug has said more supplies of the drug won't be available for months.

In the meantime, experts say the best way to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa is to identify the sick, isolate them from the healthy and monitor everyone with whom they have been in contact.

More than 1,200 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the current outbreak and more than 2,200 have been sickened, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

Authorities have struggled to treat and isolate the sick, partially because of a fear that treatment centers are places where people go to die and a lack of confidence that officials are doing enough to protect the healthy. Many sick people have hidden in their homes, relatives have sometimes taken their loved ones away from health centers, and mobs have occasionally attacked health workers.

On Saturday, residents of the West Point slum in Liberia's capital of Monrovia attacked a center where people were being monitored for Ebola. The raid was a result of fears that people with the disease were being brought there from all over the country, the Information Ministry said Tuesday.

During the raid, dozens of people, who were waiting to be screened for Ebola, fled the facility. Looters made off with items, including bloody sheets and mattresses, that could spread the infection.

All the patients who fled are now being screened at a hospital in Monrovia and those who tested positive are being treated, the ministry said Tuesday. It was unclear how many of the 37 who fled were confirmed with Ebola. In addition, residents of the West Point slum have agreed to return any stolen items to the holding center, officials said.

Now there is a new search for a pastor who ran away from another Ebola treatment center outside Monrovia, according to the Health Ministry. The statement did not say whether the man had tested positive for Ebola, but state radio was broadcasting messages asking the public to look out for the preacher.

Still, the WHO said Tuesday that it is seeing some encouraging signs in other parts of West Africa. In Guinea people from villages that had previously rejected outside help were beginning to seek medical care, said a WHO statement. The statement said the situation is "less alarming" in Guinea than it is in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Although the outbreak began in Guinea, Liberia now has recorded the highest number of deaths and Sierra Leone the highest number of cases.

The WHO also said that there is "cautious optimism" that the spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped. So far, all recorded cases have been linked to one man, who flew from Liberia to Nigeria while he was already infected.

"The outbreak is not under control," the statement said, despite the encouraging signs. "As recent experience shows, progress is fragile, with a real risk that the outbreak could experience another flare-up."

In an effort to stem the spread of Ebola, officials have imposed quarantines and travel restrictions for the sick and those in contact with them, sometimes shutting off whole villages and counties.

Those restrictions are limiting access to food and other basic necessities, said the WHO. The U.N. World Food Program has said that it is preparing to deliver food to 1 million people over the next three months.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?