Ebola death toll tops 1,000; infected Spanish priest dies after untested drug

The Ebola epidemic continues to ravage West Africa. This photo was taken in Kailahun, Sierra Leone in August 2014.

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(CNN) — As the death toll from the Ebola epidemic soars over 1,000, doctors in one of the hardest-hit countries will soon get an experimental drug that has never been clinically tested on humans.

The World Health Organization said it believes the virus has infected 1,848 people and killed 1,013 — making this the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

The desperation has pushed Liberia’s government to ask for scarce quantities of an untested drug from a U.S.-based company.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Liberia’s request for access to ZMapp, and sample doses of the medicine will be sent to Liberia this week to treat doctors who have contracted Ebola, the Liberian government said.

The drug’s manufacturer, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, said its supply was exhausted after fulfilling the request of a West African country.

ZMapp made international headlines after two American aid workers infected with Ebola in Liberia took the serum — and their conditions apparently improved.

But a Spanish priest who was infected Ebola in Liberia and started taking ZMapp died Tuesday morning.

Spain’s Ministry of Heath said Saturday that Miguel Pajares was being treated with ZMapp at a Madrid hospital. The hospital confirmed Pajares’ death Tuesday.

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