In an article posted on Bloomberg News, it seems an Ebola drug made from a tobacco plant has saved U.S. aid workers.
The article goes on to say that a small San Diego based company provided an experimental treatment for two Americans who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia. The drug appears to be working.
The small company of 9 employees released the experimental drug ZMapp which until now has only been used on infected animals. A subsidiary of Reynolds manufactures the treatment for Mapp from tobacco plants.
The patients Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol are both improving according to relatives and supporters.
The patients have each received one dose of ZMapp in Liberia before being relocated to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, however it is unknown how many treatments of this scarce drug will be required.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with body fluids and has infected over 1600 people in West Africa killing more than half. The disease was first reported in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 and its symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose.
Historically the virus has killed 90 percent of those who contract and early treatment has helped bring down current numbers to a fatality rate of 60 percent.
Currently there is no cure for Ebola despite several companies including Mapp working on candidate that until now have been in the animal testing phase.
The FDA has yet to approve any drugs, although they can be in 24 hours, on an emergency basis.
The full story can be read on Bloomberg.com