UPDATED Monday, October 6, 2014 at 2:37 p.m. E.T.: An experimental drug treatment is being provided to the Liberian national who was infected with the Ebola virus, the hospital where he is being treated in Texas announced on Monday. According to the Dallas Morning News:
The drug is an investigational medication, brincidofovir. Duncan remains in critical but stable condition, according to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
Chimerix, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company today announced that brincidofovir has been provided for potential use in patients with Ebola Virus Disease….
“We are hopeful that brincidofovir may offer a potential treatment for Ebola Virus Disease during this outbreak,” Dr. M. Michelle Berrey, the president and chief executive officer of Chimerix, said in a statement released Monday by the company.
Thomas Eric Duncan (pictured), the man who contracted the deadly Ebola virus after traveling from Liberia to the United States, is now fighting for his life, with his condition escalating from serious to critical in a Dallas hospital. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite his condition, Duncan will not be receiving the experimental drugs used to treat the raging virus, reports ABC News.
SEE ALSO: Crew Decontaminates Ebola Patient’s Apt
Duncan, who is currently at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, is not being given the experimental drug ZMapp because doctors fear it may actually worsen his already grave condition.
Still, those close to Duncan question the doctors’ decision to not give Duncan any drugs, especially in his condition, “I don’t understand why he is not getting the ZMapp,” Joe Weeks, who lives with Duncan’s sister Mai, told ABC News.
ZMapp, an experiment therapy based on engineered antibodies that were successful in monkey clinical trials, quite possibly helped to save the lives of American aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly, Dr. Rick Sacra and Nancy Writebol who were all brought back to these shores for treatment.
Brantly also received a unit of blood from an Ebola survivor, which now reportedly makes him immune to that particular strain of Ebola.
Reportedly ZMapp is difficult to produce and is in the process of being produced again and according to Anthony Fauci, head of the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who appeared on Sunday’s CBS’s “Face The Nation” the drug, “should be ready in a month and a half to two months.”
The Monrovian-born Duncan is a man in his mid-40s who had direct contact with someone who was stricken with Ebola on September 15th, just four days before he left Liberia to fly to the United States. On his first trip to America, he came to visit his sister in Texas.
When he arrived in the States, he began feeling sick and went to a Dallas hospital emergency room only to be sent home with antibiotics. Two days later, he returned to the hospital with worse symptoms and was finally diagnosed with Ebola.
Last Friday, a hazardous-materials team of workers decontaminated the Dallas apartment, where Duncan was staying when he feel ill. The materials were sealed in industrial barrels that were to be stored in trucks until they can be hauled away for permanent disposal. The family who lived there, Duncan’s girlfriend, one of her two children and two young men, were moved to a private home in a gated community, where they are being monitored; none of the four have yet to report any symptoms.
Health officials have also been keeping a watchful eye on the reported 50 people who may have come in contact with Duncan, and they, along with the four people at the residence where Duncan was staying, will all be observed for any signs of the virus over a period of 21 days.
Meanwhile, Liberian officials allege that Duncan lied about his history with Ebola on an airport health questionnaire that is handed out to passengers to weed out possible carriers of the virus. Therefore, Duncan will likely be subject to charges if he returns to his country, according to the New York Times.
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