Ebola Virus
An electron micrograph of the Ebola Virus.Reuters

Ebola patients in Liberia have started receiving a serum treatment that was earlier found successful in UK and US.

The new therapy has been developed with the blood collected from people who have survived the deadly virus, BBC reported.

Some people recover from the disease as they possess antibodies capable of fighting the Ebola virus. The serum therapy uses these antibodies to fight off the disease.

Doctors at the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville City, Monrovia have already started using this new therapy on their patients. The Liberian health care workers have been given proper guidance and training on using the therapy.

"This will empower local health care systems to become more self-sufficient and better serve their patients during this current epidemic as well as in the future," Dr David Hoover, the programme's director, told BBC.

Last month, a group of medics in Sierra Leone revealed their plans to bank blood plasma collected from 200 survivors using the equipment provided by a medical devices firm in US.

The company said their equipment can collect 18,000 units of convalescent serum from survivors.

The convalescent serum therapy works by helping the patients to create their own antibodies. The therapy can eradicate the deadly virus within five days of starting the treatment, The Guardian reported.

Efforts to contain the disease have been on from a long time. Early this month, a team of UK researchers announced their plans to launch two experimental vaccines by January 2015 to fight the deadly disease.

Till 10 December, Liberia has reported 7,719 cases of Ebola and 3,177 deaths.

A situation report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) also estimated the total number of Ebola cases to 17,942 with 6,388 deaths across the world. Guinea and Sierra Leone are the other two West African countries that are hit hard by the current Ebola outbreak.

The report showed that Ebola cases were slowing down in Liberia, but slightly increasing in Guinea. Situation in Sierra Leone was either increasing or stable.

In Guinea, 2,292 cases and 1,428 deaths have been reported; while in Sierra Leone the figures were 7,897 and 1,768.

Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, United States are the other countries affected in the current Ebola epidemic.