Ebola virus: Liberian doctor receiving experimental new drug ZMapp dies

Doctor was among the first Africans to receive ZMapp as supplies dwindle

A Liberian doctor taking an experimental anti-Ebola drug has died, according to the country’s information minister today.

Dr Abraham Borbor, the deputy chief medical doctor in the country’s largest hospital, was one of three Liberians taking the experimental drug ZMapp, credited with saving two Americans infected with Ebola.

There has been no update on the condition of the other two patients.

Information minister Lewis Brown said Dr Borbor “was showing signs of improvement but yesterday he took a turn for the worse”.

It is believed Dr Borbor died in Liberia capital Monrovia.

The situation in Liberia has rapidly lurched from a medical disaster into a humanitarian one, as authorities have battled to contain the virus against local superstitions and fears.

Last week it was reported police fired live rounds into crowds in an attempt to maintain a quarantine zone in the heavily crowded West Point slum in Monrovia.

Health services in Liberia have been overwhelmed, with cases of looting and families hiding their sick seriously impeding their work.

More than 1,400 people have so far died from the Ebola virus affecting Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in west Africa.

Only six people in the world have received ZMapp, which is purported to have saved two American health workers. However, the experimental drug has run out.

 

There is no known cure for the virus, which can have a 90 per cent fatality rate - although in the current outbreak the rate is estimated to be nearer 55 per cent.

Only yesterday an RAF airplane touched down carrying the UK’s first Ebola patient, nurse William Pooley, 29.

Mr Pooley contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone and is currently being treated in a special isolation unit at a London hospital. He is not believed to be receiving the ZMapp drug.

Meanwhile, Japanese authorities are preparing to issue flu medication to combat the virus.

The anti-influenza tablet favipiravir is hoped to be effective against the Ebola strain as viruses are same type.

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