• Spain's news in English

Spanish priest with Ebola won't receive ZMapp

AFP/The Local · 22 Sep 2014, 09:40

Published: 22 Sep 2014 09:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Brother Manuel Garcia Viejo, 69, director of a hospital in the Sierra Leonean town of Lunsar, "has tested positive (for Ebola) and has expressed his desire to be transferred to Spain", the health ministry said in a statement released on Saturday.

In a serious condition, he is already being treated at Madrid's Carlos III hospital, Spain's 20 minutos newspaper reported.

However, the hospital's director José Ramón Arribas on Monday said Viejo would not be treated with ZMapp as there were no more supplies of the drug.

Story continues below…

Viejo is the second Spaniard to contract Ebola in the current outbreak.

The health ministry said the risk to public health in Spain from the patient was "practically nil".

Garcia is a member of the Hospital Order of San Juan de Dios, a Roman Catholic group that runs Juan Ciudad, a charity working with Ebola victims.

On Saturday he was being treated in an Ebola unit in the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, the order said in a statement.

Garcia, a specialist in internal medicine, is also qualified in tropical medicine. He has worked in Africa for 30 years and has been director of the hospital in Lunsar for the past 12 years, it said.

Sierra Leone on Saturday began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly virus.

Most of the country's six million people were confined to their homes from midnight (0000 GMT) on Friday, with only essential workers such as health professionals and security forces exempt.

Spanish health officials did not expect the curfew to impede their efforts to fly Garcia out of the country, however.

The ministry said late Saturday that his repatriation would take place "in the coming hours" and he would be taken straight to Madrid's La Paz-Carlos III hospital.

In August a 75-year-old Spanish priest became the first European to die from Ebola during the current outbreak in west Africa, the worst since the disease was first discovered four decades ago.

That missionary, Miguel Pajares, was infected in Liberia, where he worked with Ebola patients.

The epidemic has so far killed more than 2,600 people in west Africa, the UN World Health Organization said Thursday.

No vaccine or medicine is available for treating Ebola. Pajares was treated with an experimental US serum, ZMapp, while in isolation in La Paz-Carlos III.

The virus causes severe muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and -- in some cases -- unstoppable internal and external bleeding.

British nurse William Pooley, 29, who was infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, recovered this month following treatment with ZMapp.

France on Friday authorized "experimental treatments" for a French nurse with Ebola who was flown back from Liberia.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brit paedo held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Spain approves equal parental leave for fathers
Photo: Rietje Swart / Flickr

Fathers will now be allowed the same parental leave as new mothers, under measures agreed by Spain’s parliament.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available