Ebola by Kameron Ison

            Ebola is a recently discovered virus that is mostly affecting people in Africa. It has become noticed by many scientist and citizens outside of Africa, who are trying to figure out how to get rid of it and causing fear for the citizens. Why is Ebola causing such a stir? How come there isn’t a vaccine and how deadly is it?

Text Box: Figure 1 Kameron Ison working on Ebolakameron 1            Ebola is a highly infectious virus with a low survival rate, the death percentage of people who get Ebola is around 90%, causing people to be fearful of it. Currently scientist are trying to develop a vaccine for Ebola but are finding it difficult to successfully do, however, there is an experimental drug being made. Two Americans that have Ebola were injected with an experimental drug called ZMapp. Before the two were injected with ZMapp, it was experimented on monkey. Even if it does work for these two, it cannot be widely distributed to the public because the FDA has a review process for drugs to make sure they are safe.

            The FDA’s drug review process has 11 steps. The first step I shaving the drug tested on animals, the company has to show the FDA that the drug is safe to use by testing it on animals like monkeys or any animal similar to humans, but not humans. The second step is to get the drug review by someone from the FDA and someone from the local institutional review board. The institutional review board determines the people who can be tested on with this new drug and when the testing can take place. If the institutional review board finds the research acceptable, they gather people to participate and tell them the risk of taking this new drug. Step three, four, and five are testing phases. The first phase of testing is the smallest, around 100 healthy volunteers are tested on with the drug to determine what the side effects could be. The second phase test how effective the drug is. Around 300 patients are gathered and testing one to determine if certain conditions someone has effects how well the drugs works on them. Patients given the experimental drug is compared to patients given a different drug and the differences are analyzed. Then The FDA and the company making the drug work out how to do the third phase, which is a wide scale test. The third phase is to determine how the drug interacts with other drugs, and is tested on around 3000 people. Then it moves onto the sixth step, where the drug is reviewed in a meeting to get approval for post marketing. The seventh step is where the company asks the FDA to consider approving the drug for marketing. The eighth step gives the FDA 60 days to determine if it should be reviewed. The ninth step is where the FDA’s review team reviews the drug is approved for being reviewed to determine how safe and effective the drug is. In the tenth step, the FDA reviews information on how to use the drug. In the eleventh step, the FDA sees how the companies’ facilities are maintained and how they make the drugs. After all this, the reviewers can give approval and determine that the drug can be used publicly, the problem for is that is takes several years to do the testing phase, which is the phase that ZMapp is in.

            Text Box: Figure 2 Ebola magnified with Kameronkameron 2There are more reasons for why there are no cures for Ebola yet, one is because it is caused by another virus, and it is harder to make a treatment for a virus than it is for bacteria. Another reason is because of how high the death rate for Ebola is, with the high death rate, few experiments can be performed. Because few experiments can be done, the FDA approval takes longer, so instead of several years is and take longer.







Work Citied
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Hellerman, Caleb. "Only the Facts: Ebola Experimental Drugs." CNN. Cable News Network, 14 Aug. 2014.              Web. 13 Sept. 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/14/health/ebola-vaccine-drugs-         faq/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
"The FDA's Drug Review Process: Ensuring Drugs Are Safe and Effective." FDA. U.S Department of Health             & Human Services, 28 May 2014. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.                 <http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm143534.htm>.
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