‘Fears of an Ebola pandemic’ in India – The Times
The first case of Ebola in India was reported on February 10 in the capital New Delhi.
The next day, the country’s health minister said the number of confirmed cases had reached 11,000.
“We believe the number to be around 10,000, but we don’t know how many of them are confirmed,” Dr. B.R. Surjewala told reporters.
On February 14, India’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain announced that the country has tested 1,800 new Ebola patients.
India’s government has issued a ban on travel to countries including Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In the United States, the Trump administration said it was considering the “potential for Ebola to be imported into the United State.”
As of Sunday, at least 988 people have died of the virus, according to the United Nations.
“In India, there is an increasing fear of an outbreak of Ebola, and that is why we are doing everything possible to ensure that we are not exposed to it,” Jain told reporters in New Delhi on Sunday.
At the same time, a small team of Indian researchers has been studying the effects of Ebola on the immune system of monkeys and primates.
A few weeks ago, the team showed that a single dose of a virus-fighting drug — called ZMapp — can be effective in reducing the rate of viral replication in the monkey brain.
“This is the first study showing that ZMApp can reverse the symptoms of Ebola,” said a team member who asked not to be identified.
“And if that proves effective, then we can take it up a notch and show it can reverse a whole host of symptoms.”
“We are trying to be more aggressive in developing this drug,” said the team member, who asked that his name not be used for safety reasons.
ZMapp is currently being tested in India and is expected to be available to the public in late January.