Italian doctor with Ebola transfers to Rome

(AGI) Rome, Nov 24 - An Italian doctor has tested positive forthe Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. The doctor, who works forEmergency, an NGO, is being airlifted to the National Institutefor Infectious Diseases at Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome onMonday night, reported the Ministry of Health. He will betransferred in biologically secure transport. Minister ofHealth, Beatrice Lorenzin, said: "I want to reassure the familythat our doctor is fine. He had no fever or other symptomsduring the night. This morning he had breakfast and continuesto drink without assistance. I would like to express

(AGI) Rome, Nov 24 - An Italian doctor has tested positive forthe Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. The doctor, who works forEmergency, an NGO, is being airlifted to the National Institutefor Infectious Diseases at Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome onMonday night, reported the Ministry of Health. He will betransferred in biologically secure transport. Minister ofHealth, Beatrice Lorenzin, said: "I want to reassure the familythat our doctor is fine. He had no fever or other symptomsduring the night. This morning he had breakfast and continuesto drink without assistance. I would like to express mycloseness to him and his family and assure them that theItalian government is concerned." She continued: "I hope thatthere is no rush to the Spallanzani so the patient can beallowed some peace and medical workers can follow the protocolsin complete peace. The right to privacy of our doctor and hisfamily must be respected." Transferring the patient "poses norisk to the community", said Gianni Rezza, head of infectiousdiseases at the Higher Institute of Health. "We have beenprepared for such an eventuality for some time and theSpallanzani in Rome is well equipped to manage the situation."The doctor worked at a centre for Ebola suffers in Lakka,Sierra Leone, which has 26 Italian staff. Emergency said allstaff at the care centre are trained in security protocols toprevent infection and the spread of the virus. However, nomedical intervention in such a serious epidemic can beconsidered completely risk free. The situation in Sierra Leoneis dramatic with more than 100 new cases a day. According toWorld Health Organisation figures, there are more than 5,000people with Ebola in the country, but the real figure could bemuch higher. The Ebola epidemic broke out in Guinea in Marchand spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. A total of 5,459 peoplehave died and 15,351 have been infected. The World HealthOrganisation figure, updated on Nov. 18, refers to countrieswhere there have been cases. There have also been six deaths inMali, eight in Nigeria with another 12 cases, a case inSenegal, one in Spain and four in the U.S. with one death, theLiberian Eric Duncan. (AGI) . . .