An experimental medication called ZMapp cured 100% of the monkeys treated in a Canadian study. According to the USA Today website, researchers announced Friday that the drug allowed all 18 rhesus macaques infected with a lethal dose of Ebola to recover.
ZMapp, made by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals of San Diego, is in the early stage of development and has never been formally tested in humans. It worked on the monkeys even when given five days after infection. The three monkeys that didn't receive ZMapp died within eight days of infection.
Scientists are calling this news "a monumental achievement." "It's fantastic news," says study co-author Gary Kobinger of the Public Health Agency of Canada. "This strongly supports the hope that ZMapp will work in humans," he says.
The drug has also been given on a compassionate basis to a handful of Ebola victims in the current outbreak. For more information on this story as it develops, visit the USA Today website at www.usatoday.com.