A Spanish priest who has been infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia is due to be repatriated back to his home country. Miguel Pajares, 75, became one of the first Europeans to be infected with the deadly virus after working with the sick in the disease-hit country.
Father Miguel will be transported back to Spain in a military Airbus A310, with a medical team on hand.
Spanish daily El País says that he is weak, with a high fever and in low spirits. His treatment is described as basic, consisting merely of paracetamol for his fever and liquids to prevent dehydration.
Two African nuns, Chantal Pascualine and Paciencia Melgar, have also become infected, with Fr Miguel’s order -the Order of St John of God – attempting to have them brought to Spain too. A spokesman said: “It would be cruel to separate them as they have been part of the same community for many years,” however Spain’s health ministry has yet to decide whether to accept the request.
Spain’s foreign ministry has now warned nationals against visiting western Africa, which has been worst-hit by the disease.
Spanish newspaper La Razón spoke to another nun, Juliana, who had tested negative for the disease. She said: “Chantal and Miguel are in a very bad state, fatal,” adding: “Chantal vomited this morning and has had diarrhoea… Miguel has eaten a little and seems more lively… but his head doesn’t know where it is, he’s delirious.”
The Ebola virus has now claimed over 800 lives since the beginning of the outbreak in February, mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. It is now the most severe outbreak of the virus in recorded history in terms of both human cases and fatalities.
There is currently no cure or vaccine for the disease.