Is there a cure for Ebola? Doctor's blood plasma could save nurse in Dallas

Sarah Spickernell
Follow Sarah
Dr Brantly was one of the first people to be given the experimental Zmapp treatment (Source: Getty)

Blood plasma from an American doctor who recovered from Ebola is being used to treat a nurse who has also fallen ill with the disease.

Dr Kent Brantly returned to the US when he contracted the deadly virus in Liberia, but recovered after being one of the first two people to receive experimental treatment Zmapp.
Brantly and fellow medical missionary Nancy Writebol both recovered after being given Zmapp, but it is not known for certain whether it was the drug that cured them.
Meanwhile, Nina Pham has become the first person to contract the disease in the US. On Friday she came down with a fever and went to a hospital in Dallas, Texas.
The 26-year-old nurse had been monitoring her own temperature because she was one of the hospital staff involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital. There were approximately 70 others who are now being monitored closely.
Duncan was a Liberian who flew to Texas on 20 September, and on 25 September went to the hospital after suffering from a headache and abdominal pain. Pham had been in his room regularly, according to hospital reports, including the day before he died.
Pham is just one of three victims to whom Brantly has donated his blood. “He’s a doctor. That’s what he’s there to do. That’s his heart,” said Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the nonprofit medical mission group Samaritan’s Purse.
Brantly had also offered his blood for use on Duncan, but this was not possible because their blood types did not match. It is not known whether the transfusion to Pham will be successful.

Related articles