Obama: Too early to send experimental Ebola drug to Africa

Washington - US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday it is "premature" to send experimental drugs for the treatment of Ebola to West Africa, which has been hardest hit by the deadly outbreak.

Obama said affected countries should focus on building a "strong public infrastructure", adding: "I think we have to let the science guide us... I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful."

He emphasized that Ebola, a hemorrhagic virus that kills more than half of those infected, "is not an airborne disease.

"This is one that can be controlled and contained very effectively if we use the right protocols."

But he said: "the countries affected are the first to admit that what's happened here is the public health systems have been overwhelmed. They weren't able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough."

"As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that occurred previously," he added.

He said the United States is working with European partners and the World Health Organisation to provide resources to help contain the epidemic.

"We're focusing on the public health approach right now, because we know how to do that, but I will continue to seek information about what we're learning with respect to these drugs going forward."

A total of 932 people have died since March in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria, with 1 711 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, red eyes, diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding.

Aslam Daweti Khumalo 2014/08/07 06:06:42 AM
Obama just don't care. People are dying and he is refusing to help us.
Laila Nagdee 2014/08/07 06:15:10 AM
Honestly? If I contracted Ebola I would be willing to try any drug that might help. Not many who contract Ebola survive, I'd take my chances.
Kedigoletse Wa Matsoma 2014/08/07 06:27:08 AM
Pls mr president hulp africa now ppl of God are dying we wl consider ur advice later
formandzen 2014/08/07 06:27:49 AM
Oh, ok Obama, we'll just sit and wait. (and yet they give it to a fellow american in a heartbeat...keeping in mind how strict they are about ANY experimental drugs being tested on humans in America, but yes, lets suddenly throw that rule away for U.S citizens, but apply that rule to the rest of the world.)
Sarah Montague 2014/08/07 06:34:48 AM
Oh okay Obama, how many more people must die before you think its a good time to start helping people??? It will be a good time when it reaches America right? Ass.
Kagisho Dark 2014/08/07 06:42:56 AM
Experimental drug!!! Already, pharmaceutical companies are going to wipe AFRICA apart.AID for AFRICA buLL***t.
Alistair Campbell 2014/08/07 06:53:12 AM
If it's premature why are you giving it to humans there? Perhaps trying to cultivate a demand that is large enough so as to make it profitable for America?
David Roux 2014/08/07 06:53:58 AM
Everyone is always tuning Obama firstly why should America even help? Ppl always quick to tune him but now everyone wants his help ;)
eugene.s.olivier 2014/08/07 07:08:06 AM
Speechless. Stupidity rules.
Drexlar Miutente 2014/08/07 07:08:55 AM
Pretending like you don't have the anti-dote, give us the damn cure already and take your bio-weapon back to CDC, what happened to that US doctor you took you fux!