Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Spanish Ebola patient gets experimental drug

11 August 2014, 14:40

Madrid - Spain has imported a US-made experimental Ebola drug to treat a Spanish missionary priest who was evacuated from Liberia last week after testing positive for the killer virus.

The health ministry announced on Monday that the ZMapp drug, made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical of San Diego, was obtained in Geneva this weekend and brought to Madrid to treat Miguel Pajares.

The 75-year-old priest was evacuated from Liberia and placed in isolation on Thursday at Madrid's Carlos III Hospital.

Also Read: What's so scary about Ebola?

There is no known cure or licensed treatment for Ebola, which has killed more than 1 000 people in the current outbreak in West Africa.

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak an international health emergency and urged nations worldwide to donate resources to battle the disease.

Two Americans diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia and evacuated back to the United States have been treated with the drug.


One of them, Dr Kent Brantly, said last week that his condition was improving and the husband of the aid worker being treated with Brantly said the same thing. Both are being treated in isolation at an Atlanta hospital.

The ethical questions surrounding experimental Ebola drugs and vaccines were being debated on Monday during a teleconference of medical ethicists and other experts organised by WHO.

At least one country in West Africa has expressed interest; Nigeria's health minister, Onyenbuchi Chukwu, said at a news conference last week that he had asked US health officials about access but was told the manufacturer would have to agree.

Also Read: West Africa feels knock-on effects of Ebola battle

Dr Tom Frieden, director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said "there are virtually no doses available", a CDC spokesperson said last week, before the announcement that Spain was also using the drug.

Because the ZMapp drug has never been tested in humans, scientists say there's no way to tell if it has made any difference to the two American aid workers who have so far received it.

The drug is a mixture of three antibodies engineered to recognise Ebola and bind to infected cells so the immune system can kill them.

Scientists culled antibodies from laboratory mice and ZMapp's maker now grows the antibodies in tobacco plants and then purifies them. It takes several months to even produce a modest amount of the drug.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...