The Belgian scientist who discovered Ebola in 1976 said it was vital to start clinical trials of ZMapp. Prof Peter Piot, now director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “This well designed trial in non-human primates provides the most convincing evidence to date that ZMapp may be an effective treatment of Ebola infection in humans. It is now critical that human trials start as soon as possible.”
“I never thought that 40 years after I encountered the first Ebola outbreak, this disease would still be taking lives on such a devastating scale.”
Two US doctors who made a full recovery after contracting the disease in Liberia were given the drug, but doctors at the American hospital where they received care have said they did not know whether the drug helped or hindered their recovery.
ZMapp is also being used as part of the treatment of the British nurse, Will Pooley, who is being treated in London after she was evacuated from Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, latest figures put the death toll at 1,552, almost as many as the combined death toll of the 26 outbreaks since Piot’s discovery 48 years ago. WHO also warned the current spread could affect 20,000 before it is contained.