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Cuban doctor recovers from Ebola

December 6, 2014

A Cuban doctor who contracted the Ebola while working in Sierra Leone has been declared clear of the virus. He was treated with experimental drugs at a Swiss clinic.

Genf Einlieferung Felix Baez Sarria Ebola Patient 21.11.2014
Image: AP Photo/Julien Gregorio, Geneva University Hospital

Cuba's Health Ministry said that tests carried out on 43-year-old Felix Baez Sarria show he is clear of the virus and will soon be released from Geneva University Hospital and flown home.

"The tests carried out confirm the disappearance of the virus in his body fluids, so he will soon be released," the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Baez was one of 250 Cuban doctors and nurses who have gone to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the three countries hit hardest by Ebola. He showed symptoms on November 16 and was brought from Freetown to Geneva's University Hospital four days later.

He has been treated in an isolation unit of the hospital by a team of five specialists employing strict safety protocols. His treatment included the experimental drug ZMapp.

Out of 17,256 cases reported in this year's outbreak of Ebola, 6,113 have been fatal according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organization.

The Cuban contribution to fighting the worst ever outbreak of the virus has brought the Caribbean island international praise, as international agencies have been criticised for a slow response. Cuba has pledged to send a total of 700 doctors and nurses to West Africa.

Doctors die in Sierra Leone

Two doctors were reported to have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone on Friday, according to the Reuters news agency.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities, and it was not clear how the men were infected as neither of them were working on the frontline in an Ebola clinic.

Nearly 350 medical personnel have died in the outbreak this year - 106 of them in Sierra Leone.

jm/av (Reuters, AP, AFP)