Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital officials are making frantic efforts to save the life of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan since his health condition was upgraded from critical to worse last week.
Information reaching the Daily Observer says the 42 year-old Duncan has been receiving a drug, known as Brincidofoyir, which has shown promise in the fight against Ebola.
Mr. Duncan has been receiving doses of the experimental anti-viral drug since Saturday. The drug Brincidofoyir was developed by North Carolina-based Chimerix, and is approved for the treatment of the herpes virus.
The United States Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), granted Duncan’s doctors permission to use the drug after his condition worsened.
The FDA grants emergency access to unapproved drugs on a case-by-case basis, according to information reaching the Daily Observer yesterday. “[This is usually done] when a patient faces a life-threatening condition for which there are no alternatives,” the information added.
The agency has not approved any drugs or vaccines to safely and effectively treat Ebola, this newspaper was told.
Mr. Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas last Tuesday after arriving in the United States from Liberia. He flew into Dulles International Airport in Virginia and on to Dallas, Texas.
Two other experimental drugs developed specifically for Ebola have been used in American patients, though it's unclear if they had any effect. Additional information said:
“The small supply of one drug, ZMapp, was exhausted after being used on a few patients.
“A second drug, TKM-Ebola from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, has been used in at least one patient and is said to be in limited supply.”
The Atlanta based US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention is meanwhile monitoring 48 people who came into contact with Mr. Duncan while he was exhibiting Ebola symptoms.
But the encouraging news is that none are showing any sign of the virus which develops between one and 21 days after an individual has had contact with the disease.
Meanwhile Mr. Duncan’s mother, Nowai Gartay, was driven 15 hours by family members from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to Dallas, Texas on Monday, where she hoped to find a way to talk to her son.
In a video message filmed for her son with American NBC station last week, Mrs. Gartay said: “I love you. I pray for you to get well. My whole thinking is on you.”
These latest developments have dispelled rumors circulating in Monrovia that patient Duncan would not be attended to by the Americans, simply because he had taken a deadly virus into their country.