It is so interesting to see “old” treatments being called back from the distant past to treat this deadly disease. William Pooley, a British nurse who was cured of the Ebola, has been flown to the US on a life-saving mission to give his blood to a new victim of the deadly Ebola virus.
Mr. Pooley traveled to Atlanta to Emory University Hospital to provide his blood for an emergency blood transfusion that could save the life of a doctor who contracted the disease while working in Sierra Leone. His blood could help the victim fight off the virus because his blood carries antibodies for the disease.
Mr Pooley and the new unidentified patient are said to be close friends after working together at the Ebola treatment center in Kenema, Sierra Leone. The pair, who both contracted the disease while helping to save the lives of thousands of Africans suffering from the disease, have the same blood type, making Mr Pooley an ideal donor.
More than 2,500 people have died from Ebola in recent months and almost 4,700 people have been infected, making it the largest outbreak in history.
As part of their treatment, patients are given intravenous fluids, blood transfusions and antibiotics to bolster their immune systems. The blood of survivors contains natural antibodies that can protect against Ebola. When transferred to another patient, doctors say, the sufferer appears to benefit from the boost to their immune system.
The aid worker, who is the fourth American to contract Ebola, arrived at Emory University Hospital eight days ago on a specially equipped plane from Sierra Leone.
There is no approved cure for Ebola and in the short term the WHO has said that blood transfusions from survivors are likely to be the most effective method of tackling the outbreak. Work is currently under way to establish a registry of survivors complete with their blood types in order to begin the process of extracting their plasma for use to treat future victims.