(NaturalNews) An experimental drug for Ebola known as ZMapp has failed, according to new reports, after a top Liberian doctor who was given the untested medication recently died. According to Lewis Brown, Liberia's Information Minister, Dr. Abraham Borbor seemed to be improving after being given ZMapp but suddenly "took a turn for the worse," calling into question the effectiveness of the experimental drug.
Borbor was among three Liberian doctors who were given ZMapp, which initially appeared to be working as intended. But the deputy chief medical doctor at the largest hospital in the country, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, suddenly reversed course, passing just days after it appeared as though he would likely experience full recovery.
"He was walking around yesterday and the doctors were hopeful that he would make a full recovery," stated Minister Brown to The Associated Press (AP). "He was a classmate in high school, so this hits close to home."
Two other medical workers who also took ZMapp, American doctor Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol, reportedly survived, sparking claims that ZMapp might be the Ebola cure for which everyone has been waiting. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was quick to denounce this, urging caution on the matter.
Besides Dr. Borbor, a Spanish priest reportedly also died after taking ZMapp, further suggesting that the drug may not actually have any beneficial effect. This was reinforced after Dr. Phillip Zokonis Ireland, another doctor with Ebola who was admitted to the same ward as Dr. Borbor, survived after not taking ZMapp.
"What this means for the drugs, I don't know," added Minister Brown, as quoted by BBC News.
Japan green-lights untested Ebola drug T-705, which was originally developed for influenza
Despite its repeated failures, ZMapp is still being touted as a potential treatment option for Ebola, should the virus continue to spread globally in the coming months. And other experimental drugs such as T-705, also known as Avigan, are also being pushed, even though they have never been tested on either animals or humans.
According to BBC News, Japan is considering allowing shipments of T-705 for Ebola within its borders, even though the drug has never been proven safe or effective. Developed by Japan's Toyama Chemicals company, T-705 was originally intended for treating influenza, but officials plan to take a shot in the dark by giving it to Ebola victims.
"I am informed that medical professionals could make a request for T-705 in an emergency even before a decision by the WHO [World Health Organization]," stated Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, during a recent news conference. "In that case, we would like to respond under certain criteria."
Meanwhile, one of the hardest-hit countries in Africa, Sierra Leone, recently made it a criminal offense to hide patients determined to be infected with Ebola. The country's parliament passed a law mandating that, if caught, offenders will be subject to a prison term of up to two years.
So far, there have been at least 2,615 confirmed cases of Ebola throughout West Africa.