Liberia: Doctor given experimental Ebola drug dies

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Liberia: 3 Receive untested Ebola drug (updated 8/19/2014)
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Liberia: Doctor given experimental Ebola drug dies
Children surround a man, left, that fell down while walking on a street suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The World Health Organization says the outbreak has killed more than 1,200 people, while authorities struggle to contain its spread and treat the sick. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
The Waterside local market with people doing business as usual despite fears of the Ebola virus in city center of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The World Health Organization says the outbreak has killed more than 1,200 people, while authorities struggle to contain its spread and treat the sick.(AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
A newly installed electronic board, rear, with updates on the Ebola virus with periodical information spanning over different time periods in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The World Health Organization says the outbreak has killed more than 1,200 people, while authorities struggle to contain its spread and treat the sick. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
A newly installed electronic board, rear, gives updates on the Ebola virus with periodical information spanning over different time periods in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. The World Health Organization says the outbreak has killed more than 1,200 people, while authorities struggle to contain its spread and treat the sick.(AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
As it rains Liberian police deploy at an Ebola treatment center, to provide security in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Liberia's armed forces were given orders to shoot people trying to illegally cross the border from neighboring Sierra Leone, which was closed to stem the spread of Ebola, local newspaper Daily Observer reported Monday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
Health workers with buckets, as part of their Ebola virus prevention protective gear, at an Ebola treatment center in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Liberia's armed forces were given orders to shoot people trying to illegally cross the border from neighboring Sierra Leone, which is closed to stem the spread of Ebola, local newspaper Daily Observer reported Monday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
As it rains Liberian police deploy at an Ebola treatment center, to provide security in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Liberia's armed forces were given orders to shoot people trying to illegally cross the border from neighboring Sierra Leone, which was closed to stem the spread of Ebola, local newspaper Daily Observer reported Monday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
Bed frames are laid out to be used at a newly built MSF, 'Doctors Without Borders', Ebola treatment center in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Liberia's armed forces were given orders to shoot people trying to illegally cross the border from neighboring Sierra Leone, which was closed to stem the spread of Ebola, local newspaper Daily Observer reported Monday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
A health worker washes with disinfectant after dealing with people suspected of having the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. New figures released by the World Health Organization showed that Liberia has recorded more Ebola deaths — 413 — than any of the other affected countries. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
In this photo taken on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, a family sit near the body of their mother suspected of dying from the Ebola virus, as the father, right, tries to contact family members on his mobile phone, in Monrovia, Liberia. Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital's largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including blood-stained sheets and mattresses. The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought from other parts of the capital to the holding center, Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister, said Sunday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 18: Public health advocates stage an Ebola awareness and prevention event on August 18, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The Liberian government and international groups are trying to convince residents of the danger and are urging people to wash their hands to help prevent the spread of the epidemic, which is spread by bodily fluids. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW KRU TOWN, LIBERIA - AUGUST 18: Local residents listen as UNICEF health workers speak about Ebola prevention on August 18, 2014 in New Kru Town, Liberia. UNICEF is canvassing communities in and around the capital, going house to house and urging residents to wash their hands to help prevent the spread of the epidemic, which is spread by bodily fluids. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 17: Workers prepare the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on August 17, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such center for Ebola treatment and isolation in history, and MSF plans to expand it to a 350-bed capacity. Tents, beds and much of the medical supplies at the center were provided by UNICEF. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW KRU TOWN, LIBERIA - AUGUST 18: A man who was showing symptoms of possible Ebola listens as UNICEF health workers speak about Ebola prevention on August 18, 2014 in New Kru Town, Liberia. UNICEF is canvassing communities in and around the capital, urging residents to wash their hands to help prevent the spread of the epidemic, which is spread by bodily fluids. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW KRU TOWN, LIBERIA - AUGUST 18: A man washes his hands in chlorinated water as UNICEF health workers walk through the streets, speaking about Ebola prevention on August 18, 2014 in New Kru Town, Liberia. UNICEF is canvassing communities in and around the capital, urging residents to wash their hands to help prevent the spread of the epidemic, which is spread by bodily fluids. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 17: Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on August 17, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such facility for Ebola treatment and isolation in history, and MSF plans to expand it to a 350-bed capacity. Tents at the center were provided by UNICEF. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
MONROVIA, LIBERIA - AUGUST 17: Supplies await arrivals to the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on August 17, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such center for Ebola treatment and isolation in history, and MSF plans to expand it to a 350-bed capacity. Tents, beds and much of the medical supplies at the center were provided by UNICEF. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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By JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH and ROB GILLIES

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - A Liberian doctor who received one of the last known doses of an experimental Ebola drug has died, officials said Monday. Separately, Canada said it has yet to send out an untested vaccine that the government is donating.

Ebola has left more than 1,400 people dead across West Africa, underscoring the urgency for developing potential ways to stop and treat the disease. However, health experts warn these drugs and vaccines have not undergone the rigorous testing that usually takes place before they are used.

The experimental vaccines are at still at a Canadian laboratory, said Patrick Gaebel, spokesman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, who declined to speculate how many weeks it could be before those are given to volunteers.

"We are now working with the (World Health Organization) to address complex regulatory, logistical and ethical issues so that the vaccine can be safely and ethically deployed as rapidly as possible," Gaebel said.

Earlier this month, Canada said it would donate 800 to 1,000 doses of an Ebola vaccine that it developed. Likely candidates include health care workers treating Ebola patients.

The experimental drug known as ZMapp has been tried in only six people. Health experts caution that since ZMapp was never tested in humans, it is unclear whether it works. The small supply is now said to be exhausted and it is expected to be months before more can be produced.

Dr. Abraham Borbor, the deputy chief medical doctor at Liberia's largest hospital, had received ZMapp, along with two other Liberians. He "was showing signs of improvement but yesterday he took a turn for the worse," and died Sunday, Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press.

There was no update provided Monday on the other two Liberians who received the drug.

Earlier, it had been given to two Americans aid workers and a Spanish missionary priest, who died after he left Liberia. After receiving rigorous medical care in the U.S., the Americans survived the virus that has killed about half of its victims.

Ebola can cause a grisly death with bleeding from the eyes, mouth and ears. The virus can only be transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of the sick or from touching victims' bodies, leaving doctors and other health care workers most vulnerable to contracting it.

International relief efforts have included shipments of gloves, gowns, face masks and other protective equipment, although it's not clear how many have reached health workers struggling to contain the epidemic in West Africa, where even such basics as sterile fluids can be in short supply.

But just getting enough gear isn't the whole story: Health workers can infect themselves while taking off contaminated equipment if they don't do it properly, a trio of infectious disease experts wrote Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine.

"The physical exhaustion and emotional fatigue that come with caring for patients infected with Ebola may further increase the chance of an inadvertent exposure to bodily fluids on the outside of the" personal protective equipment, wrote Dr. William A. Fisher II of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, along with Drs. Trish Perl and Noreen Hynes of Johns Hopkins University.

"In addition, the impulse to wipe away sweat in the ever-present hot, humid environment" after taking off some gear, and before washing up, could be enough, they added.

Meanwhile, the family of 29-year-old William Pooley, the first British citizen confirmed to be infected with Ebola, said he is receiving excellent care at an isolation ward in London's Royal Free Hospital after being evacuated from the capital of Sierra Leone.

"We could not ask for him to be in a better place," they said in a statement.

Pooley, a volunteer nurse, was flown back to Britain from Sierra Leone where he was working at an Ebola treatment center.

The WHO is also in the process of trying to evacuate a Senegalese doctor who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, said WHO Assistant Director General, Dr. Keiji Fukada on Monday.

The U.N. on Monday also spoke out against the limitations placed on flights into and out of the affected countries, saying they are slowing aid organizations' work in sending personnel and equipment and contributing to the countries' "economic and diplomatic isolation."

"We shouldn't do anything that stokes fear and stigmatization," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, told reporters.

On Monday, Japan also said it is ready to provide a newly developed anti-influenza drug as a possible treatment Ebola. The drug, with the brand name Avigan, was developed by Fujifilm subsidiary Toyama Chemical Co. to treat new and re-emerging influenza viruses, and has not been proven to be effective against Ebola.

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Gillies reported from Toronto. Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard in Washington, Cara Anna at the United Nations, Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, and Clarence Roy-Macaulay in Freetown, Sierra Leone contributed to this report.

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