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Nigeria Considers U.S. Experimental Ebola Drug for Sick Doctor

Ebola Virus
In this handout from the Center for Disease Control, a colorized transmission electron micrograph of a Ebola virus virion is seen. Source: Center for Disease Control via Getty Images

Nigeria is considering applying for a dose of the experimental Ebola therapy given to two Americans to treat a Nigerian doctor who contracted the virus.

The female doctor who treated a Liberian victim of Ebola before he was diagnosed is receiving care in a hospital in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, Jide Idris, the state’s commissioner for health, told reporters today in the city.

“We will exploit the possibility of getting some,” Idris said. “There are protocols involved.”

San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc.’s experimental ZMapp drug had only been tested on infected animals before it was given to Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, U.S. health workers who were infected with the virus in Liberia.

The Nigerian doctor is the country’s only confirmed case of Ebola, which has sickened 1,603 people in West Africa, killing 887, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the cases are in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Nigeria is monitoring another seven other people who came into contact with Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian government worker who died in a Lagos hospital on July 25, five days after flying into the country.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and its most populous nation of about 170 million people.

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