As Ebola continues to take its toll on people around the world, scientists have identified two possible items which can help fight the deadly virus - tobacco leaves and beer.
Experimental drug ZMAPP developed from tobacco leaves - by infecting them with a genetically engineered virus that comprises instructions to make three antibodies against Ebola Zaire strain - has already saved five lives, News.com.au. reported.
The drug, manufactured by a California-based company named Mapp Biopharmaceutical, has also succeeded in providing more evidence to show its efficiency. Clinical trials on 18 monkeys showed the drug as highly promising in fighting the deadly disease. The entire group of rhesus macaques exposed to Ebola survived, after they received ZMAPP.
However, experts from CDC say it is "too early to know" the effectiveness of the new drug. Additionally, very few courses of the experimental drug are currently available.
Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania-based company has come up with a vaccine that uses the same technology used to brew beer. Interestingly, clinical trials conducted on pigs and guinea pigs have highlighted the vaccine's power in preventing death from Ebola.
"I joke around that you can turn any beer manufacturer's manufacturing production facility into a temporary emergency factory for our vaccines because we use the same fermentation technology as the beer brewing," Inovio Pharmaceuticals CEO and President Joseph Kim told US news organisation CNBC, accoridng to News.com.au.
While the search for an effective cure for the deadly disease continues, Ebola has already killed over 3,400 lives in West Africa, and is expected to infect another 1.4 million by January.
As the virus is mainly spread through blood, urine, faeces and semen of an infected person or animal, CDC suggests certain methods to help prevent previous outbreaks: isolating plus caring of patients and providing more public awareness about safe burial practices.