Ebola treatment clinic in Monrovia, Liberia
Ebola treatment clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Getty

A doctor who was used anti-HIV medication to treat Ebola out of desperation after being inundated with patients, has reported positive results.

Dr Gobee Logan gave the drug lamivudine to 15 Ebola patients in a clinic in Tubmanburg, and 13 survived.

This gives patients treated with lamivudine a 7% mortality rate, whereas overall mortality rates for those infected are 70%.

"My stomach was hurting; I was feeling weak; I was vomiting," Ebola patient Elizabeth Kundu, 23, told CNN. "They gave me medicine, and I'm feeling fine. We take it, and we can eat – we're feeling fine in our bodies."

Those patients who survived after taking lamivudine, took the medication during the first five days of infection. The two who died started treatment five and eight days after onset of the illness.

"I'm sure that when [patients] present early, this medicine can help," Logan said. "I've proven it right in my center."

Logan said that he was aware that the medical establishment would remain sceptical until research had been undertaken involving a much larger group of patients, half of whom would be given lamivudine, and the other half a placebo.

"Our people are dying and you're taking about studies?" he said. "It's a matter of doing all that I can do as a doctor to save some people's lives."

He said that he decided to try using lamivudine after reading in a medical journal that HIV and Ebola replicates in the body in similar ways.

Initially Logan tried the drug on a colleague who had become infected, and within two days he showed signs of improvement and survived.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that they would be willing to carry out follow-up tests.

The World Health Organisation said that experimental use of two trial Ebola vaccines developed by GlaxoSmithKline and NewLink has begun.