A 75 year old priest from Spain, the first european victim of the lethal Ebola virus has died in a Madrid hospital. He was escorted by a convoy of doctors in protective suits back to Spain on a specially fitted medical plane.
Miguel Pajares was treated at The Carlos III Hospital prior to his death.
The Health Ministry in Spain said that it had acquired a dose of the American made trial drug ZMapp to treat the priest.
The hospital in Madrid wouldn’t confirm if he was given the drug during the time of his demise.
The hospital added that Pajares’ body would be cremated to prevent further public health hazards.
Pajares worked for a Spain-based Catholic humanitarian group called San Juan de Dios hospital order, and had been lending a hand to treat Ebola victims in Liberia.
He worked for almost 50 years in Africa as a missionary and was due to go back to Spain for good in September.
He was taken back to Spain together with a nun, who was as well suspected of contracting Ebola. However, the nun tested negative for the virus.
When Parajes first arrived in Spain, there were allegations he was on a drip and was not able to walk by himself.
It was said that he didn’t show symptoms of bleeding, which is a sign of an advanced stage of the sickness.
Mr Paraje’s brother Emilio said he was concerned but pleased regarding the transfer amid worries within the country that their hospitals might not successfully contain the virus.
The priest’s death comes as Turkey was placed on high alert over the virus after the country’s health ministry stated that a passenger from Nigeria was admitted to a hospital after arriving with a fever at Istanbul airport.
The ministry said it didn’t know if the female passenger had the deadly virus; however, they were taking precaution measures.
In the meantime, Liberia is set to get a limited quantity of the doses of the trial drug to treat the virus.
The information comes after World Health Organization (WHO) stated it is ethical to use untested Ebola vaccines and drugs in the latest outbreak in West Africa as long as the appropriate conditions are attained.
It’s statement, however, failed to deal with the key question of how to make the decision on who must receive the limited drugs.
The medics will be the first patients in Africa to get the drug.
The new treatment has not been experimented for effectiveness or safety in humans, and the firm has said it may take many months to manufacture even small volumes.
Already the trial drug was given to two U.S.AID personnel, Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were diagnosed with the virus while working at a medical facility that treated Ebola patients in Liberia.
Both were given the drug and airlifted to America.
Brantly and Writebol are reported to be showing signs of improvement; however, there isn’t a way to know if the drug helped or if they are improving on their own, as others have. Approximately 40% of those infected with the deadly virus have survived.
Jeremy, the son of Nancy Writebol, says he sees his mother two times a day through a special window at Emory University Hospital and added that he has noticed a significant improvement since her return from Liberia.
An official from Sierra Leone said the country has not requested for the drug; however, other African governments stated they need any treatment that will assist patients in getting better in spite of the dangers of untested medicines.
David Writebol, with his wife Nancy
The deadly Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids or the blood of an infected person.
It starts with symptoms, which include sore throat and fever and can rise to internal and external bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting.