Nebraska Ebola Patient Getting Same Experimental Drug As Texas Patient

PHOTO: Ashoka Mukpo is loaded into an ambulance on Oct. 6, 2014, after arriving in Omaha, Neb.James R. Burnett/The World-Herald/AP Photo
Ashoka Mukpo is loaded into an ambulance on Oct. 6, 2014, after arriving in Omaha, Neb.

The American journalist who is being treated for Ebola at a Nebraska hospital is receiving the same experimental treatment as the Liberian patient who was diagnosed with the disease in Texas.

"After looking at the data on this drug, collaborating with the CDC and FDA and speaking with the patient and his family, we decided this was currently our best option for treatment," said Dr. Phil Smith, the medical director of the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medical Center where Ashoka Mukpo is being treated.

Both Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who was working with NBC in Liberia when he tested positive for the disease, and Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man visiting family in America, are being treated with brincidofovir.

"Every patient is somewhat different, and we believe Brincidofovir is the best choice," Smith said in a statement released today.

PHOTO: Diana Mukpo, mother of Ashoka Mukpo, speaks to the media, Oct 6, 2014, on the treatment of her son, at a news conference in Omaha, Neb.Dave Weaver/AP Photo
Diana Mukpo, mother of Ashoka Mukpo, speaks to the media, Oct 6, 2014, on the treatment of her son, at a news conference in Omaha, Neb.

The drug is produced by a North Carolina-based biopharmaceutical company and was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in specific, experimental cases.

Mukpo left Monrovia, Liberia on Sunday night and arrived in Omaha on Monday morning. His parents saw him as he was taken off the plane and said at a press conference Monday that they were happy his conditions had not worsened dramatically since leaving Africa.

Duncan remains in critical condition and he is described as stable. He is on a ventilator and receiving kidney dialysis, according to a release today from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan's liver function, which declined over the weekend, has improved, the hospital said.