Black Market Ebola Blood Banks Spur WHO Response
the MPR take:
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that although studies have suggested that blood transfusions from Ebola virus survivors to infected individuals may help to treat or prevent infection, it is unknown if the antibodies in the plasma of survivors is sufficient to treat or prevent the disease. Convalescent serum has been used to treat some patients infected with Ebola, including an American aid worker currently hospitalized in Nebraska who received blood from another American who survived. However, there is now a black market for trading of convalescent serum that could put individuals at an even greater risk due to a lack of proper testing for other infectious diseases that could be present in the serum. The WHO has vowed to work with governments where this illegal activity is occurring to end such practices while fast-tracking research on the safety and efficacy of convalescent serum for the treatment and prevention of infection from the Ebola virus.
(CNN) -- As hospitals in the hardest-hit nations struggle to keep up, desperate patients are turning to the black market to buy blood from Ebola survivors, the World Health Organization warned. Blood from survivors, referred to as convalescent serum, is said to have antibodies that can fight the deadly virus.
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