August 16, 2014




Nano Silver? Nigeria’s Potential Ebola Treatment Unlikely to Work

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | August 15, 2014

Eight Ebola patients in Nigeria will be treated with an experimental drug called Nano Silver, the Nigerian minister of health said, according to news reports.

The drug was reportedly developed by a Nigerian doctor living overseas, and is being shipped to Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos. But the health minister did not disclose the name of the doctor who developed the treatment, and little else is known about it, the Wall Street Journal reported.

One possibility is that the drug is made from nano-particles of silver, but it may also be made from other components, experts say. In any case, it’s highly unlikely the medicine has ever been tested against Ebola in nonhuman animals, experts say.

“I am suspicious of the claim … of this being a viable treatment for Ebola virus, and I am worried that this will cause more harm than good,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Health Security. [5 Things You Should Know About Ebola]

Experimental drugs

The current Ebola outbreak — the largest in history — has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa. Because there is no approved vaccine or treatment for Ebola, and the virus has a high fatality rate, the World Health Organization decided this week that it was ethical to use unproven drugs in the current outbreak.

Two American health care workers and a Spanish priest received doses of an experimental, antibody-based drug called ZMapp. (The Americans are reported to be improving; the priest has died.) A Canadian company is donating 1,000 doses of its experimental drug to Liberia, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted a hold on using another drug, developed by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. All of those drugs have been tested in nonhuman primates, and the Tekmira drug is going through initial safety trials in humans.

But the drug that Nigerian health officials plan to use is much less well known — and likely less tested — than any of these experimental compounds, experts say.

Nano silver

No one has reported on what Nano Silver is made of, or how it works.

One possibility is that the drug uses tiny — or “nano” — particles of silver. There is some evidence that silver has antimicrobial properties, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

But as far as taking it orally as medicine, “silver has been tried in various other circumstances against several different infections with very limited effect,” Schaffner told Live Science.

Adalja noted that silver coatings on bed railings, catheters and endotracheal tubes can inhibit bacteria from colonizing those surfaces. Silver is also added to certain topical antibacterial creams, such burn creams, to prevent infection, he said.

But there’s no peer-reviewed evidence that silver could help a person infected with the Ebola virus, Adalja said. And if the drug were actually made of tiny silver nano-particles, then the particles could potentially penetrate cells and “wreak some havoc there,” Adalja added.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, the diet supplement colloidal silver is popular, although drinking too much of the liquid silver suspension can have an ugly side effect: Colloidal silver can turn people blue.

But it’s possible that the phrase “nano silver” is just a catchy name for a totally different compound, Adalja said.

No animal testing

It’s unlikely that Nano Silver has been tested in animals infected with Ebola, Adalja said. In the United States, Ebola is incredibly hard to gain access to: Anyone who handles live Ebola virus must work in one of a handful of bio-safety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories, and must be cleared by both the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to work with such a dangerous agent, Adalja said.

Another reason to doubt the treatment’s validity is that any success in Ebola research tends to be big news, he said. In other words, if Nano Silver were showing promise, it would likely not have just been noticed now.

“Most of the things that are going on with Ebola are very well publicized,” Adalja told Live Science.

Giving untested treatments to Ebola patients is a risky proposition, Schaffner said.

People may think to themselves, “‘These are desperate circumstances. What’s to lose?'” Schaffner said. “There’s a terrific amount to lose.”

If the drugs harm people, or are just useless, “the already shaky confidence in the health care system could be threatened,” Schaffner said.

Even focusing on more tested drugs could undermine the public health effort. Quantities of all the experimental drugs are scarce, and are no substitute for “tried and true” methods for stopping Ebola, Adalja said.

“That involves basic public health and hygiene, finding cases, reporting them and tracking them,” Adalja said.

Spraying lungs, mouth and eyes with colloidal silver together with simple hygiene measures can prevent infections from all kinds of bacteria and viruses, according to many experts.

This simple, low risk, low cost virucide has been sidelined by pharmaceutical companies, regulators and governments in favour of expensive, untested and often lethal drugs.

The Nigerian government’s plan to use it to treat people infected with ebola is a welcome sign that the power of pharmaceutical corporations, WHO and the CDC is starting to be broken.

It is to be hoped the Nigerian government makes colloidal silver available to the whole population to prevent infection.

It will be interesting to see if a variant, nano silver, can stop the spread of Ebola in patients who are already infected with the lethal and fast killing bioengineered disease.

Just putting a silver coin or object in water for a long period of time can produce a rudimentary form of colloidal silver.

One comment

  • theunhivedmind

    First of all Jane Burgermeister is very wrong to call Colloidal Silver or anything similar as homoeopathic. These products are far from homoeopathy which utilizes just the frequency signature of compounds, venom’s, chemicals and herbs.

    I am not to sure how well silver would work against Ebola since some claim its anti-viral actions are non-existent and its more of anti anti-bacterial agent. Personally I would stick to using homoeopathy against Ebola, it has been proven throughout history that homoeopathy is superior for acute disease symptoms such as what we see today with Ebola and in the past with Cholera and the 1918 Flu. Do a study of when the Governments were employing homoeopaths to fight these types of serious outbreaks and how they had far superior survival rates than the allopathic doctor quacks. Study how Cuba uses nosodes in place of dangerous vaccinations!

    Now I’ve seen attacks on those who have mentioned using Ebola in a homoeopathic preparation against the disease. The attacks come from the branches of the medical mafia (The Worshipful Company of Apothecaries) and the ignorant. You cannot get hold of a homoeopathic preparation of Ebola since the disease is only supposed to be handled in a bio-safety level 4 laboratory. Therefore only lab technicians at such a facility would be able to prepare the homoeopathic preparation and not a typical regulated homoeopathic pharmacy. Homoeopaths have treated TB and Flu using nosodes made in a similar way, like for like. If there was a homoeopathic preparation of Ebola you would not find any physical Ebola virus in the solution, only an energetic signature which the body could instantly read and respond to if it causes a resonation because you have similar symptoms. If you do not have similar symptoms you will either not feel a thing or if you take too much nosode like any homoeopathic you might create a proving meaning feel some of the symptoms but don’t worry they are a kind of false symptom. A false symptom which removes the original symptom by replacing it and then the body can remove the resonance at some point meaning recovery. What being would take Ebola nosode if they didn’t think they had Ebola? No one would an Ebola homoeopathic unless they had similar symptoms with another disease as with Ebola but there are thousands of remedies to choose from so why worry about any provings anyway? An average proving with a 30c might last a week or longer, with 200c it could be a month and with the M range it could last months but with a nice LM1 range any proving or aggravation would last a matter of 3-4 days and could easily be buffered regardless with quadruple dilutions or even anti-doted using other remedies.

    Most people haven’t got a clue about the power of homoeopathy and they will scare people off treating illness and disease by saying “its only water and homoeopaths should be stopped”. If only the ignorant fools knew the truth and question why high Noble families mostly only use homoeopathy and hardly ever use pharmaceutical poisons. Study the New Doge (Queen Elizabeth II) of New Venice for instance and her Dr Peter Fisher physician is the top homoeopath in Great Britain. Argue with her and others who are privy to real information they do not let the herd know. Why would they let you know? They’re Malthusians!

    -= The Unhived Mind

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