First Italian Ebola patient undergoes experimental treatment

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Rome, Nov 26: An Italian doctor, who was flown home after testing positive for the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, is being treated with an experimental medicine here, media reported.

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

Ebola

They said the patient was in a stable condition despite a fever, according to Xinhua.

According to La Repubblica newspaper, the doctor is 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 would 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 - 15 doctors and 15 healthcare assistants - was "a centre 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 World Health Organization has 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 US till Nov 18, and 5,459 people have died so far.

IANS

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