What's the story behind the 'secret' Ebola serum?

Newsy/Reuters

, Last Updated: 1:54 PM ET

The two Americans exposed to Ebola have seen some improvement after getting some experimental treatment.

Kent Brantly, was receiving treatment in an isolation ward at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after being flown back to the United States on Saturday.

Missionary Nancy Writebol, 59, was expected to arrive in the U.S. Tuesday, when she would also be taken to Emory for treatment.

Brantly received a dose of this experimental serum and within an hour his condition improved.

But what is this experimental serum?

The serum was developed by biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical and has not yet been approved for use. It hasn’t even undergone human testing.

It is the first drug to show promise combating Ebola and works by preventing the virus from entering and infecting new cells.

Normally it is illegal to administer an untested drug, but this case could fall under the compassionate use rule.

It is unclear how much of the serum exists right now. It is unclear when the drug will be formally tested or made more widely available.

 

 


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