Like little stars.
Now that the largest Ebola outbreak in history has taken more than 1,000 lives, pharmaceutical companies race to conduct clinical trials on drugs that could prove effective against the virus. But as of now, there are no contenders for distribution — in fact, the majority of these drugs aren’t even close to being ready.
The New York Times’ Andrew Pollack writes:
Experts caution that most of these drugs are so early in development and in such limited quantities that they may not make a difference.
“I wish I had a better story for you, but that’s it,” one official at the Health and Human Services Department said after discussing the relative handful of drugs and vaccines in the pipeline, most of which have yet to be tested even in small clinical trials.
Despite the long odds, two Ebola vaccines could begin initial safety testing in people as early as next month, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his agency did not have formal contracts with some of the companies involved.
While testing will be in healthy volunteers, some of those volunteers might be health care workers who intend to go to Africa.
The Canadian government recently donated 1,000 doses of an untested vaccine called VSV-EBOV to the cause, but the World Health Organization insists on reviewing the vaccine’s design and results from previous studies in non-human primates. “We cannot just take a vial of anything and start distributing it,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general for health systems and innovation at the WHO, in an email.
The persistent spread of Ebola has led certain U.S. hospitals to take even more stringent precautions than those recommended by public health authorities. Three American missionaries who returned from Liberia are being quarantined in Charlotte, North Carolina, even though they seem perfectly healthy. Even hospitals are going above and beyond to instill confidence in the public — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospital staff wear gowns, gloves, face masks and eye protection, but when faced with the threat of disease, hospitals often do much more. Mount Sinai staff wore respirators and hoods in addition to the aforementioned gear. Emory University Hospital is currently housing the two infected Americans in facilities designed to contain much more infectious diseases like SARS.
If you are at risk of having contracted Ebola, the CDC recommends that you take your temperature twice a day for 21 days, halt all long-distance travel, and stay close to hospitals.
More on the outbreak:
Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on sustainability. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Joanna Rothkopf.
Like little stars.
World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.
So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).
My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.
High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.
Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.
New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.
Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.
Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.
Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.
Really does taste like pineapple.