In this case, since health officials can't comment on a specific treatment or on the patients involved for privacy reasons, we don't know the exact status of Brantly and Writebol or how that status has been affected by the serum that they reportedly received.
Before this emergency use, ZMapp had only been tested in a small number of monkeys. The company reported that all four monkeys who received the treatment within 24 hours of being infected survived. Half of another group of four monkeys who were treated within 48 hours survived.
Brantly and Writebol had been sick much longer than that before being treated, and treatments that work in animals — especially such a small number of animals — routinely fail to work in human trials.
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