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ITALIAN NURSE WHO WORKED IN SIERRA LEONE TESTS POSITIVE FOR EBOLA

May 14, 2015 | Uhuruspirit

Ebola health workers in Sierra Leone



ROME — An Italian nurse who returned from Sierra Leone last week was flown to an infectious diseases hospital in Rome on Wednesday after he tested positive for the Ebola virus a day before.

The nurse, the second person with Ebola to be treated in Italy, had worked with an Italian aid group in Sierra Leone, one of the West African countries hit by the outbreak last year. He started showing the first symptoms two days after his return last Sunday to his home in Sassari, Sardinia.

He immediately isolated himself in his room and was safely transferred to the local hospital’s infectious diseases ward, and then to Rome in a specially equipped Italian Air Force aircraft, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Last year, an Italian doctor with the same aid group, Emergency, was successfully treated in the Spallanzani hospital in Rome and was released after a month. In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the doctor said he had received infusions of the blood of Spanish and German health workers, and he speculated that his own blood might be used to treat the nurse.

Local health officials will monitor the nurses and doctors who have examined the patient as well as his closest contacts. The health minister confirmed that workers at the Sassari hospital were wearing personal protective equipment while treating that patient, and that it was not necessary to track down all the passengers on the nurse’s flights, because his symptoms showed three days after his last flight.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 11,000 people have died from Ebola since the outbreak of the disease in December 2013.

- NYT



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