Spanish priest with Ebola dies
Updated: 2014-08-12 21:11
MADRID -- A Spanish missionary priest being treated for Ebola died Tuesday in a Madrid hospital amid a worldwide ethical debate over who should get an experimental Ebola drug.
Spain's Health Ministry said Monday it had obtained a course of the US-made experimental Ebola drug ZMapp to treat Father Miguel Pajares, 75.
Pajares died Tuesday at Carlos III Hospital, the hospital and his order said. The hospital would not confirm that he had been treated with the drug, but his order said earlier that he would be.
He is one of only three Ebola patients thought to have received the experimental treatment. The others are two Americans evacuated to Atlanta. The vast majority of those sickened by the virus have been Africans.
The World Health Organization says 1,013 people have died so far in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and authorities have recorded 1,848 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the killer virus. The virus was detected in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and possibly Nigeria.
Pajares had been treating people with Ebola at the San Jose de Monrovia Hospital in Liberia when he became ill, and was evacuated to Spain on Thursday. He worked for the San Juan de Dios hospital order, a Spain-based Catholic humanitarian group that runs hospitals around the world.
On Tuesday, the UN health agency denied reports from Liberia that it had authorized the experimental Ebola drug for that hard-hit nation.
"We were not involved in transferring the serum and we will not be involved in any future transfers of it," said Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman. "WHO doesn't have any role in handing out the serum or any other experimental medicines."
WHO was holding a news conference later Tuesday to discuss the ethical issues surrounding unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines.
Liberia also backed away from its earlier claim that President Barack Obama had approved the use of experimental Ebola drugs for two Liberian doctors.
In a statement Tuesday, a UK-based public relations firm representing the Liberian government said the experimental Ebola treatment would be arriving within the next 48 hours.
"The two doctors gave their consent, themselves being medical professionals, for the drug to be administered," the statement said. "The drugmaker has agreed to supply a sufficient amount of this drug only for these two patients."
Also Tuesday, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf suspended all travel by executive branch officials for one month. She also ordered those already abroad to return home within a week "or be considered as abandoning their jobs," according to a statement from her press secretary.
Most airlines flying in and out of the Liberian capital of Monrovia have suspended flights amid the unprecedented health crisis.
Spanish Ebola patient gets experimental drug
US OKs use of experimental Ebola drug
No Chinese quarantined in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone
WHO declares Ebola virus a global health emergency 2014-08-09 07:41
China prepared to ward off Ebola attack 2014-08-09 07:39
WHO declares Ebola epidemic an international emergency 2014-08-08 17:52
Ebola virus 2014-08-08 17:07
WHO declares Ebola epidemic an international emergency 2014-08-08 16:03
Chinese medical teams stay put in West Africa for Ebola battle 2014-08-08 15:20
Today's Top News
Chinese film fans mourn for star
Untested Ebola drugs ethical, says WHO
China demands more overseas crude
China halts some US pork imports
Over 1,000 auto firm under probe
Spanish priest with Ebola dies
Russian convoy heads to east Ukraine
UK launches 24-hour visa service in China
Lunar probe , China growth forecasts, Emission rules get tougher, China seen through 'colored lens', International board,
Horrific nightmare at Kunshan factory
Shaolin: Fists of fame
Reading into an online age
China helps fight international war on drugs
Crackdown on terrorist attacks
My China Story: Meeting the master