Dallas patient getting test Ebola drug

The man suffering from Ebola at a Dallas hospital is receiving a new experimental drug after nearly a week of care, a hospital spokesperson said Monday.

Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola last week, is now being treated with an anti-viral drug called brincidofovir, a spokeswoman for Texas Presbyterian Hospital, Candace White, told The Hill. The drug was approved by the Federal Drug Administration on Monday for emergency use.

Federal health officials said this weekend that Duncan that was not being treated with experimental drugs, which have helped several Americans recover from the deadly virus. The drugs are in short supply, and one, known as ZMapp, has already run out.


Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Sunday that Duncan was not being treated with an experimental drug, citing the lack of availability. He said Duncan was receiving boosts of electrolytes and fluids to help him recover.

Frieden said the effectiveness of the drugs is still unconfirmed. 

"We don't know if ZMapp works, but there's no more of it now. The company's working hard to make a few more doses, but it's hard to make. It takes a long time," Frieden told NBC.

Duncan's family members have raised concerns that he was not receiving experimental drugs, which have helped infected Americans. CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, first reported Monday that Duncan was receiving the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration has worked to expedite the approval process for drugs to treat Ebola, but final approval for widespread public use remains months away. 

The fifth American to be infected with Ebola was brought to the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Monday. The patient, Ashoka Mukpo, contracted the virus while reporting in Liberia.

Bradley Britigan, dean of medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told reporters Monday that doctors would ask Mukpo for his permission before beginning any experimental treatment. 

"All things are being considered," Britigan said.