Amid the Ebola virus continues to claim hundreds of lives in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) will on Monday meet to discuss the ethical issues surrounding experimental treatments that are given to the victims.
Monday’s meeting comes after the global health body on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak ‘a public health emergency of international concern’.
According to WHO chief PRO Gregory Hartl, Ebola treatment is surrounded by two ethical issues:
- Whether it is safe to give such experimental treatments that have never involved humans before.
- In the dearth of doses, who should be given priority and who can be left to receive the treatments.
The fatal Ebola virus continues to play havoc in West Africa and now it is expanding to other countries too. In the dearth of proper medication, drugs and treatment, the virus has claimed 932 lives in West Africa since February this year.
Meanwhile, the global doctors and scientists are conducting rigorous experiments and tests to develop treatments for the life-threatening Ebola virus.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working rigorously on developing Ebola vaccine. They are hoping to launch phase 1 clinical trials in this autumn.
The US Department of Defense is currently working with Newlink to develop an Ebola vaccine candidate. NIH in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University is developing an Ebola vaccine candidate based on the established rabies vaccine.
Tekmira and Biocryst Pharmaceuticals have also received funding from the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). They have therapeutic Ebola candidates in early development.
According to CDC, currently the standard treatment for this deadly virus is supportive therapy. In this therapy, the doctors track oxygen status and blood pressure and maintain fluids and electrolytes, besides treating infections.