(Wash. Post) The decades-old treatment that may save a young Dallas nurse infected with Ebola

In late July, when it looked like Dr. Kent Brantly wasn’t going to make it, a small news item escaped Liberia. It spoke of Brantly’s treatment ”“ not of the Ebola vaccine, Zmapp, which Brantly later got. But of a blood transfusion. He had “received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care,” the missive said.

Now months later, Brantly, who has since recovered from his battle with the virus, has passed on the favor. A 26-year-old Dallas nurse named Nina Pham, who contracted the illness while treating the United State’s first Ebola patient, has received Brantly’s blood. It’s not the first time it has been used to treat Ebola patients. Recovered Ebola victim Richard Sacra got it, as well as U.S. journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who last night said he’s on the mend.

Injecting the blood of a patient like Brantly who has recovered from Ebola and developed certain antibodies is a decades-old, but promising method of treatment that, academics and health officials agree, could be one of the best means to fight Ebola. Called a convalescent serum, it might also save Pham, an alum of Texas Christian University.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, History, Theology

9 comments on “(Wash. Post) The decades-old treatment that may save a young Dallas nurse infected with Ebola

  1. Undergroundpewster says:

    Thankfully she is not a Jehovah’s Witness.

  2. Karen B. says:

    And thankfully Dr. Brantly has been the same blood type as several of the other Ebola patients.

    I continue to see God’s grace at work in that three very strong Christians: Dr. Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, and Nancy Writebol and Dr. Rick Sacra of SIM, were the first Americans infected with Ebola, and that in His mercy they survived. That has given them an amazing voice and platform to speak out about Ebola and to share their faith and their hope and confidence in Christ. They’ve been doing an amazing job. I’m continuing to keep them and their families in prayer.

  3. Undergroundpewster says:

    Agreed Karen B. Dr. Brantly has consistantly given all the credit and glory to God. Such a change from what we usually hear on the news.

  4. Karen B. says:

    Latest Ebola post at Lent & Beyond – focused on today’s shocking headline from WHO (though not a huge shock for those of us who have been tracking this): 5000 – 10000 cases of Ebola expected PER WEEK in W. Africa by December.

    The post includes three specific prayer suggestions, and three organizations you should consider supporting as they fight Ebola on the frontlines in West Africa.

  5. Karen B. says:

    Just came across a VERY helpful Ebola prayer resource tonight. The Christian & Missionary Alliance has a prayer page where they have posted 16 short (one sentence) daily prayer topics related to Ebola for the period October 11 – 26th. Find it here:

    Also, I’ve just added that link and links to some other good Ebola prayer resources to a comment on the Ebola prayer compilation thread at L&B. Look for the 4th comment on this thread:

    All the Lent & Beyond Ebola prayer posts can be found using this link:

    And don’t forget the Lent & Beyond Twitter feed which has a lot of prayer requests and links that don’t make it to the blog:

    (HUGE THANKS as always to Kendall and the elves for indulging our fairly frequent promotion of L&B entries in the T19 comments. We truly appreciate it.)

  6. Karen B. says:

    A report from the UN Mission’s Ebola Emergency Response chief Anthony Banbury to the UN Security Council today:

    [i] “Ebola got a head start on us,” he said. “It is far ahead of us, it is running faster than us, and it is winning the race. If Ebola wins, we the peoples of the United Nations lose so very much…,” he said.

    “We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan,” Mr. Banbury told the Council via video link from the operation’s headquarters in Ghana. [/i]

    Hmmm… I think we ALREADY face an unprecedented situation for which there is no plan, or at least no plan that is adequate to quickly contain this epidemic…

    That’s not be be critical. Just reality.

  7. Katherine says:

    I understand Dr. Brantly is giving plasma, which can be donated more often than whole blood. I wonder if nurse Pham is being given the antiviral which was just approved for experimental Ebola treatment in the US.

    Meanwhile, a company is ramping up [url=http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/13/ebola-zmapp-production-boosted/17204487/]production of ZMapp[/url], and there might be more soon.

    WHY we will not suspend entry of travelers from the hot zone into this country is beyond my comprehension. It’s working in Africa, and aid is still being sent there, although I fear it is too late for many thousands of people there.

  8. Br. Michael says:

    Another one just came down with it. Why? Well for starters they are treating a BSL 4 level pathogen with BSl 3 or less level protective equipment. And CDC know this. Look at their own publication: http://www.cdc.gov/training/QuickLearns/biosafety/

    I agre with Katherine why Obama has not sealed the borders from hot zone countries is criminal. It’s as if he wants us to die.

  9. Katherine says:

    There’s a story up about how nurses say the hospital was NOT ready for an Ebola patient, contrary to the CDC’s claim that we can handle this.