News / Health

2nd American Ebola Victim Arrives in US

Efforts to Curb Ebola Show Some Resultsi
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August 06, 2014 4:32 AM
As the apprehension grows worldwide about the spread of the Ebola virus, news from West Africa where the outbreak started is mixed. Campaigns to raise awareness of the virus and teach people how to protect themselves are showing some success, but economists say the disease may have a harmful effect on businesses. African leaders attending a summit in Washington have called on developed nations to help. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.

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A second American aid worker who contracted Ebola arrived for treatment Tuesday afternoon at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and is said to be feeling somewhat better.

Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virusCenters for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus
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Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus
Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus

Nancy Writebol was transported to Emory by ambulance from an Air Force base where her medical evacuation flight from Liberia landed earlier in the day.

Writebol contracted the deadly virus while working at a clinic in Monrovia, Liberia alongside American doctor Kent Brantly. He also is being treated for Ebola at Emory. Both patients are in the same high security, isolation ward.

Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virusCenters for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus
x
Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus
Centers for Disease Control, stages of Ebola virus

There is no approved treatment or vaccine for Ebola. But the two Americans are being given an experimental drug made from tobacco leaves.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa already has killed more than 900 people.

Dubai-based airline Emirates has suspended service to Guinea because of the Ebola outbreak there. British Airways says it will suspend air service to Liberia and Sierra Leone due to "the deteriorating public health situation” at least through August.

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by: Bryan from: Seattle, Wa
August 05, 2014 12:11 PM
This article needs to be retracted - the facts are completely wrong. Given how many other news outlets have been reporting correctly since the evening Aug 5th and a press release is available from leafbio it's truly mind boggling that this one could be so very wrong.

"U.S. health authorities have campaigned for years against smoking and using tobacco products to cut down on cancer deaths. But Mapp Biopharmaceutical, a California company with only nine employees, developed the anti-Ebola serum it calls ZMapp from therapeutic proteins found inside tobacco plants."

WTF? The proteins are were developed in mice, humanized (replacing the mouse parts with human ones), then the genes for producing them were inserted into transgenic (GMO for the layperson) tobacco. It has nothing to do with the tobacco plant other than its easy to grow and modify genetically.

In Response

by: Richard from: Saint Paul
August 05, 2014 1:48 PM
This is excitedly poor journalism. Sounds like a high school kid, ""U.S. health authorities have campaigned for years against smoking and using tobacco products to cut down on cancer deaths. But Mapp Biopharmaceutical..." writing it on their smoke break. Incredible.


by: Jimmy Ringworm from: California
August 05, 2014 12:09 PM
As I understand it, the active ingredient was developed in mice, made to look like it was from humans (to avoid a human reaction), transplanted into tobacco to be grown in quantities.

Apparantly, this is not an unusual procedure in biomedicine, either.


by: Wolfgang Liedtke from: Durham NC
August 05, 2014 12:06 PM
The article states

"But Mapp Biopharmaceutical, a California company with only nine employees, developed the anti-Ebola serum it calls ZMapp from therapeutic proteins found inside tobacco plants.".

This is misleading (incorrect), because the tobacco plant has been engineered to produce mouse proteins.

The bio-technologically-engineered tobacco plants produce immune proteins that are originally from mice which have been vaccinated with proteins from Ebola virus, namely humanized mouse antibodies that bind to and block critical surface receptors of the Ebola virus so that the virus is incapacitated from entering cells of the human host.
http://www.defyrus.com/images/News-July152014-ZMAb-license.pdf

Please set it straight, again, this is misleading.


by: Richard from: Saint Paul
August 05, 2014 11:58 AM
Yeah, because we're really short on tobacco, there is no way we'll be able to provide dosages to save the lives of poor people in Africa suffering and dying from Ebola... Plez. Don't attempt disguise your lack of humanity.

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