GENEVA (Xinhua) --
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC) has approved the use of five investigational
therapeutics to treat Ebola virus disease (EVD),
marking the first time such treatments have been
available in the midst of an Ebola outbreak in the
country, the World Health Organization (WHO) said
the five approved drugs are currently in the
country, which are Zmapp, GS-5734, REGN monoclonal
antibody combination, and mAb114, under the
framework of compassionate use and expanded access,
the WHO said.
Clinicians working in the treatment centers will
make decisions on which drug to use as deemed
helpful for their patients, and appropriate for the
setting. The treatments can be used as long as
informed consent is obtained from patients and
protocols are followed, with close monitoring and
reporting of any adverse events.
in May, WHO convened a group of independent
scientific experts to evaluate investigational
therapeutics for EVD during the current outbreak in
the DRC. They found that there are many pathogens
for which no proven effective intervention exists.
pathogens there may be interventions that have shown
promising safety and efficacy in the laboratory and
in relevant animal models, but that have not yet
been evaluated for safety and efficacy in humans.
normal circumstances, such interventions undergo
testing in clinical trials that are capable of
generating reliable evidence about safety and
efficacy. However, in the context of an outbreak
characterized by high mortality, it can be ethically
appropriate to offer individual patients
investigational interventions on an emergency basis
outside clinical trials, WHO said.
According to WHO statistics, as of Wednesday, a
total of 58 EVD cases have been reported, including
27 deaths, 37 lab-confirmed, 14 probable and seven
suspected cases. Information about the extent of the
outbreak remains limited and investigations are
Currently, WHO considers the public health risk to
be very high at the national level, and also sets
the risk at the regional level at high level.
Globally, the risk is currently considered low, but
WHO said as further information becomes available,
the risk assessment will be reviewed.
Meanwhile, the DRC, the WHO and partners have also
developed a comprehensive strategic response plan
for points of entry to avoid the spread of the
disease to other provinces or at the international
includes mapping strategic points of entry and the
locations of areas where travelers congregate and
interact with the local population, and therefore
are at risk of Ebola virus disease transmission
based on population movement.
involves implementing health measures at the
identified points of entry or traveler congregation
points, such as risk communication and community
engagement, temperature checks, provision of hand
hygiene and sanitation materials, and the
development of alert, investigation and referral
however, has noted that the Ebola outbreak does not
currently meet the conditions for a public health
emergency of international concern, and that there
should be no international travel or trade