Written by By Julia Nath, CNN
The World Health Organization will begin testing the possibility of conducting one-on-one treatments to try to stem the deadly Ebola virus. This year’s outbreak in West Africa has claimed 684 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
It’s too early to say whether one-on-one injectables would work, because trials haven’t yet started, the WHO said.
US officials have said that they hope the effort will be a better option than traditional lab tests, with a single shot instead of multiple blood samples, which have proven unreliable in the past.
Health workers in West Africa with these common-sense approach, where both front-line and curative care remain critical, are bracing for a second full-scale Ebola outbreak.
Last month, a WHO response team said “the worst is over” and said the situation was improving — but that despite the “rapid movement of people and items,” the incidence of new Ebola cases was “stabilizing.”
After failing to curb the epidemic in the rural parts of the three countries, public health officials are now focusing their efforts on urban centers.
On Monday, the WHO gave the green light for half a dozen West African countries — Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal — to return home without fear of transfer from Ebola screening.
Another team of doctors was sent to Mali to support regional teams engaged in guinea , and the United States National Institutes of Health flew eight US citizens out of Sierra Leone, where they sought medical treatment in November.
The Obama administration said in December that it had directed $76 million toward the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
CNN’s Emma Foehringer Merchant contributed to this report.