Could HIV drugs help tackle the Ebola crisis?
A doctor in Liberia has claimed a drug designed to treat HIV can help tackle the Ebola outbreak.
Dr Gobee Logan, of Tubmanburg in Liberia, says he began treating Ebola patients with the drug lamivudine out of “desperation”.
He told CNN that the mortality rate at his clinic for Ebola patients was just 7% – well below the 50-70% associated with the current outbreak across West Africa.
More than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the region since the start of the oatbreak, while 3,000 have died – including 1,830 deaths in Liberia.
He told CNN: “Ebola is a brainchild of HIV. It’s a destructive strain of HIV.
“I’m sure that when [patients] present early, this medicine can help. I’ve proven it right in my centre.
“It’s a matter of doing all that I can do as a doctor to save some people’s lives.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, said that medically, Dr Logan’s approach had some merit, as lamivudine is similar to drugs previosuly used to treat Ebola.
However, the drug would have to go through rigorous scientific trials before being recommended for use.
However, Dr Logan said: “Our people are dying and you’re taking about studies?”