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It's Ethical to Offer Unproven Treatments to Ebola Patients, WHO Panel Says — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 13, 2014

It's Ethical to Offer Unproven Treatments to Ebola Patients, WHO Panel Says

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

A panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization has "reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention" in the current Ebola outbreak, according to a WHO statement released on Tuesday.

The manufacturer of one experimental treatment, ZMapp, said it had already sent its entire supply to West Africa, Reuters reports. Two infected doctors in Liberia are set to be treated and will become the first Africans to receive ZMapp.

Elsewhere, the CDC issued a "minor revision" to its guidance for evaluating patients suspected of being infected with Ebola virus: The agency now recommends that U.S. healthcare personnel contact their local or state health department and the CDC "to determine the proper category for shipment based on clinical history and risk assessment."

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