Clomid could be used to block transmission of the rare Ebola virus



In a recent joint study by researchers from the University of Virginia, a pharmaceutical company and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Clomid (clomiphene) and Fareston effectively blocked Ebola from infecting mice who had been injected with the virus.

In a recent joint study by researchers from the University of Virginia, a pharmaceutical company and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Clomid (clomiphene) effectively blocked Ebola from infecting mice who had been injected with the virus. Compounds in Clomid - a drug used to treat female infertility - prevented 90 percent of mice in the study from dying, while only 50 percent of the mice given Fareston - a drug that treats metastatic breast cancer - survived.

Though Ebola is a relatively rare virus, up to 90 percent of people who are infected by it die within two weeks. The first known Ebola outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, and instances have occurred sporadically in African countries ever since. No one is yet sure how a person initially becomes infected by Ebola, but according to the CDC, researchers hypothesize that it is first through contact with an Ebola-infected animal. The virus is transmitted from person to person through contact with blood or other skin lesions of infected people, and symptoms include hemorrhagic fever, skin rash, diarrhea, muscle aches, vomiting and bleeding. The latest outbreak of Ebola was in November 2012 in Uganda.

Researchers hope that Clomid can eventually be used as a preventative measure for healthcare workers and others caring for people infected with Ebola. Additionally, Medical Daily reported that the U.S. government is concerned that Ebola might eventually become a bioterrorism weapon because of how easily it spreads and how effectively it kills its hosts. This explains the USAMRIID's commitment to developing an effective antidote to the Ebola virus. Though more research must be done, Clomid, or clomiphene, could turn into a treatment for people exposed to Ebola.