The following article is a modified version of a story by BBC News published under the headline : “Use Ebola survivors’ blood – WHO.”

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Blood bag

The blood of patients who recover from Ebola should be used to treat others, the World Health Organization has announced.

How does that work? People produce antibodies in the blood in an attempt to fight off an Ebola infection.

In theory, those antibodies can be transferred from a survivor into a sick patient to give their immune
system a boost.

However, large scale data on the effectiveness of the therapy is lacking.

Studies on the 1995 outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo showed seven out of eight people survived after being given the therapy.

Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general at WHO said: “We agreed that whole blood therapies may be used to treat Ebola virus and all efforts must be invested to help infected countries to use them.

“There is a real opportunity that a blood-derived product can be used now and this can be very effective in terms of treating patients.”

She said that it was the one positive aspect of so many people being infected.

“There are also many people now who have survived and are doing well. They can provide blood to treat the other people who are sick.”

West Africa is facing the largest Ebola outbreak in history and more than 2,000 people have died including eight people in Nigeria.

A global group of experts have been meeting to assess the experimental therapies that could
contain Ebola.

The WHO also announced that Ebola vaccines could be used on the front line by November.

However, there is still no clinically proven drug or vaccine to treat Ebola, but many are in the experimental stage.

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