BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts General Hospital says it is stepping up preparedness for biothreats by participating in a clinical trial evaluating an experimental treatment for the Ebola virus.

If necessary, MGH will provide patients with the ZMapp drug, which uses three antibodies to treat the disease. Scientists had previously studied ZMapp in West Africa and the United States during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.

“While there are currently no patients with Ebola in the United States, having ready access to experimental therapeutics such as ZMapp has been a priority for MGH, in our role as the Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogens Treatment Center,” Dr. Erica Shenoy, director of the hospital’s Biothreats Care Unit, said in a statement.

The government designated MGH as a special regional center to deal with Ebola back in 2015. The hospital conducts several training and planning sessions annually in case there is another outbreak of the disease.

“We are extremely excited to participate in this protocol and to be able to offer this therapy if we are ever asked to care for a patient with Ebola,” said Dr. Paul Biddinger director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, in a statement.


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