Many Ebola patients in West Africa have begun to purchase the blood of Ebola survivors on the black market to increase their chances of survival.
CNN reports that Ebola survivors’ blood is referred to as “convalescent serum,” and is said to possess antibodies that can fight the virus. However, the efficacy of the treatment is unproven.
The serum has been used to treat some patients, including Rick Sacra, an American aid worker. The blood of Kent Brantly, an American who survived Ebola, was used to treat him.
According to reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) is worried that patients in the affected countries are obtaining the blood via improper means, and that doing so could lead to the spread of other diseases including HIV and other blood-related ailments.