Obama says lacks sufficient data to fast-track Ebola drug

WASHINGTON Wed Aug 6, 2014 6:40pm EDT

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WASHINGTON Aug 6 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he lacks enough information to green-light a promising drug to treat the deadly Ebola virus and that the initial response should focus on public health measures to contain the outbreak.

"We've got to let the science guide us and I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful," the president said at a media conference. "The Ebola virus both currently and in the past is controllable if you have a strong public health infrastructure in place."

Public health officials should do all they can to contain the outbreak, and during the course of that process, authorities can assess whether new drugs or treatments can be effective, he said.

"We're focusing on the public health approach right now, but I will continue to seek information about what we're learning about these drugs going forward," he said. (Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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