Washington, DC, United States (4E) – West Africans infected with the deadly Ebola virus cannot yet expect treatment from an experimental U.S. drug that may have kept two American medical volunteers who contracted the disease alive.
More information about the said drug is needed to determine if it is really helpful and ready for sharing with West African nations battling outbreaks of the disease, President Barack Obama told reporters Wednesday at the conclusion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
“I think we’ve got to let the science guide us,” Obama said. I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful.”
Obama made the statement as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the death toll from the Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone rose to 932 as of Monday.
Nigeria reportedly has contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about obtaining the experimental drugs used to treat Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were infected with the virus last month while helping treat patients in Liberia. But the CDC said the drug is not available for general use because it is still in experimental stage and there is very limited supply.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has five new Ebola cases and two deaths. Authorities are concerned with the spread of the disease in Lagos, one of Africa’s most populous cities.
WHO counted 1,711 new, confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola infections in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone as of Monday while deaths numbered 932.