Spanish priest dies as Ebola claims first European victim

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An elderly Spanish priest became the first European to die from a fast-spreading Ebola outbreak on Tuesday.

He succumbed to the virus in a Madrid hospital five days after being evacuated from Liberia.

The 75-year-old Roman Catholic priest, Miguel Pajares, had been treated in Spain with an experimental US serum, ZMapp, after being flown to Madrid on Aug 7.

He was the first patient to be evacuated to Europe from the African outbreak, which has claimed 1,013 lives since early this year, according to the World Health Organisation.

The  priest contracted Ebola at the Saint Joseph Hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia where he worked with infected patients.

A photo taken on Aug 7 showing the priest being transferred to the Madrid hospital from an air base in Madrid

The priest’s remains will be incinerated to avoid any risk to health professionals, the hospital said in a statement.

A few days before the Spaniard’s evacuation, two US missionary workers with Ebola were repatriated from Monrovia. They are being treated with ZMapp at an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

The unproven medicine arrived at Madrid’s La Paz-Carlos III hospital on Saturday after Spain’s drug safety agency exceptionally cleared its import to treat the missionary.

Source: AFP