The World Health Organisation has raised an alarm that desperate patients of the Ebola virus disease are buying the blood of survivors known as convalescent serum that have been said to have antibodies that can fight the deadly disease. The serum has been used to treat patients including American aid worker Rick Sacra who is currently hospitalized in Omaha Nebraska, who got blood from Kent Bradley, a fellow American who survived Ebola he got while working in Liberia.
On Thursday, the WHO said that studies suggest blood transfusions from survivors might treat or prevent the disease, but the result of the studies are still difficult to interpret and more research was needed. They also said that unlike the Americans, patients in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone were procuring blood through improper channels thus raising fears that the illicit trade could lead to the spread of other infections including HIV and other blood related ailments.
WHO ‘s director General, Margaret Chan during the week was quoted by CNN as saying that WHO would work closely with the affected countries to stem out black market trading of convalescent serum because it was in the interest of individuals not to just get it without going through the proper standard and also provide proper testing because it was important since there may be other infectious vectors that needed to be looked at.
Ebola virus disease has been declared by health experts as a global emergency.