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Two US Aid Workers Improving After Taking Ebola Experimental Drug   
 
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05-Aug-2014  
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Kent Brantly, US doctor who contracted the virus from patients in Liberia
 
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Two US aid workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia appear to be improving after receiving an experimental drug, officials have said.

But it is not clear if the ZMapp drug, which has only been tested on monkeys, can be credited with their improvement.

Dr Kent Brantly was flown home for treatment on Saturday. His colleague Nancy Writebol arrived back in the city of Atlanta on Tuesday.

Since February, 887 people have died of Ebola in four West African countries.

The World Bank is allocating $200m (£120m) in emergency assistance for countries battling to contain the Ebola outbreak.

It is the world's deadliest outbreak to date and has centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been two cases in the Nigerian city of Lagos, where eight people are currently in quarantine.

British Airways has temporarily suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until 31 August 2014 because of the health crisis, the airline said in a statement. It follows a similar suspension by two regional air carriers last week.

The virus spreads by contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. The current outbreak is killing between 50% and 60% of people infected.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola - but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says clinical trials are to start in September on an Ebola vaccine that has shown promising results during tests on animals.

"By the middle to end of 2015, we'll be able to have some vaccine - at least to vaccinate health workers - who put themselves at considerable risk when they take care of these patients," he told the BBC's Newsday programme.

The US aid workers were treated with the ZMapp serum before their evacuation from Liberia.

According to a CNN report, quoting a doctor in Liberia, Dr Brantly's condition improved dramatically within an hour of receiving the drug.
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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