North Carolina Woman Receives Experimental Serum to Fight Ebola Virus

North Carolina Woman Receives Experimental Serum to Fight Ebola Virus

5:44pm Aug 05, 2014
Nancy Writebol of Charlotte has been in Liberia assisting medical doctors who are treating patients infected with the Ebola virus. She contracted the virus during her missionary trip with SIM USA. Writebol recently received an experimental treatment for the virus that has ties to Winston-Salem.

A Charlotte woman infected with the deadly Ebola virus during a missionary trip in Liberia is back in the United States. Nancy Writebol is at an Atlanta hospital where she is being treated.

Writebol, 59, and her colleague Dr. Kent Brantly arrived at Emory University Hospital after contracting the disease during missionary work in Liberia. She was working with the Charlotte-based SIM organization. George Salloum, team leader for the crisis response team for the organization, says Writebol is listed in serious but stable condition.

“She definitely is being placed in an isolation unit in a special part of the hospital to protect her from outside airborne diseases and to protect other people as well.”

Writebol and Brantly both received an experimental serum from the National Institute of Health against the Ebola virus before returning home. Medical experts say the serum has shown promising results in monkeys infected with the virus, but it has not been used in humans before.  

“We are hoping that they can verify that this serum actually worked and helped turn the tide for the health of these people and maybe it’s something that we can utilize in the future for the people in West Africa who have been infected with this disease,” says Salloum.

The drug is called ZMapp. Bloomberg news is reporting that its produced by a subsidiary of Winston-Salem based Reynolds American, which makes the serum from tobacco plants.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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