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Last updated at 14:02 BST, Monday, 11 August 2014

Ebola experimental treatment


11 August 2014

Two US aid workers who caught Ebola in Liberia appear to be getting better after receiving an experimental drug, officials have said. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now considering whether to make such treatments more widely available.


Imogen Foulkes

Syringe with blood

Scientists are trying to develop a vaccine against Ebola


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No one really knows if the drug given to two American aid workers really helped or whether now, back in the US, they are improving simply because they're getting the best medical care money can buy.

The World Health Organisation's discussions on whether to support further use of the experimental drug will be difficult.

Deciding against risks the accusation that a potentially life-saving treatment is available only to aid workers from wealthy countries.

Deciding in favour might, if the drug were to have major side effects, lead to charges the world's top public health body approved harmful medical experiments on some of the world's poorest people.


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getting better


does something even though something bad or dangerous could happen


a claim that someone has done something bad or wrong



side effects

effects of a drug or medicine that are not intended and can be unpleasant


causing injury

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