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WHO scrambles to discuss ethics of using experimental drugs against Ebola

Published on Aug 11, 2014 7:16 PM
 
Players of the ''L'Etoile de Guinee'' football team pose with a sign reading ''Stop to the ebola epidemic'' prior to a football tournament gathering youth from Guinea near the Koumassi sports center in Abidjan on Aug 10, 2014. As the world scrambles to stem the rapid spread of the killer Ebola virus, the World Health Organization is hosting a meeting Monday to discuss the ethics of using experimental drugs. -- PHOTO: AFP 

GENEVA (AFP) - As the world scrambles to stem the rapid spread of the killer Ebola virus, the World Health Organization is hosting a meeting Monday to discuss the ethics of using experimental drugs.

The talks come as countries ravaged by the tropical disease in west Africa are gripped by panic, with drastic measures brought in to contain the epidemic causing transport chaos, price hikes and food shortages, stoking fears people could die of hunger.

There is currently no available cure or vaccine for Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, and with the death toll fast approaching 1,000, the WHO has declared the latest outbreak a global public health emergency.

But the use of experimental drugs has opened up an intense ethical debate, and medical experts from around the world are set Monday to join WHO-hosted discussions to draft guidelines for using non-authorised medicines in emergencies such as Ebola.

 
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