First Italian Ebola patient undergoes experimental treatment

November 26, 2014 7:05 am 

ROME, Nov 26 — An Italian doctor, who was flown home on Tuesday after testing positive for the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, was being treated with an experimental medicine here, local media reported.

The man started "a specific antiviral treatment with a non-registered pharmaceutical," doctors from the Spallanzani hospital, which specializes in infectious diseases, told a press conference.

They said the patient was in a stable condition despite a fever.

The doctor was reported by La Repubblica newspaper to be named Fabrizio and aged 50. He is from the island region of Sicily, in southern Italy, and is married with two daughters, the newspaper said.

He reportedly talked to his family before leaving Sierra Leone, saying that he was feeling good and confident that everything will be alright in the end.

"The situation is under control. The patient will have neither contact with doctors and healthcare assistants nor with citizens, there is no danger," Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin told Il Messaggero newspaper in an interview.

She stressed that the Spallanzani hospital, where Fabrizio was being treated by a team of 30 medical staff including 15 doctors and 15 healthcare assistants, is "a center of excellence at the European level."

The doctor, who works with the medical aid NGO Emergency, has become the first Italian to contract Ebola during the current outbreak of the deadly virus.

The WHO said a total of 15,351 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the United States up to Nov. 18, and 5,459 people have died so far. (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/JSD

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