Specialists are debating calls to employ developmental medicines against an Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa, the Canadian Press reports.
A number of analysts said distributing vaccines or drug treatments that are not fully tested may boost local distrust of officials that have been fighting the spread of Ebola hemorrhagic fever since March, the news agency reported on Wednesday. No fully vetted medicines currently exist for the disease, which as of Tuesday may have killed more than 500 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
According to some opponents of using such medicines, any adverse side effects may threaten years of efforts to develop the drugs as a defense against the potential biological-weapon agent.
“It would be unethical to roll [developmental medicines] out now, in my opinion,” said David Heymann, a former World Health Organization assistant director general.
Officials could instead move, once the current threat subsides, to lay the groundwork for using such treatments to combat future outbreaks, Heymann argued. The World Health Organization could make such policy preparations in collaboration with drug developers and regional governments, he said.
One expert, though, pressed for immediately using Ebola countermeasures now in a late stage of development.
“Imagine if you take a region of Canada, America, Europe and you had 450 people dying of a viral hemorrhagic fever. It would just be unacceptable — and it’s unacceptable in West Africa,” said Jeremy Farrar, a tropical medicine and global health specialist at Oxford University.
What We're Following See More »
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."