A Cuban doctor infected with the Ebola virus in West Africa has arrived in Geneva for treatment. The 43-year-old man landed in the Swiss city late on Thursday night, the Swiss News Agency has reported.
The patient, who was able to walk unaided from the plane wearing a mask and protective clothing, was taken by ambulance to Geneva University Hospital under police escort. He is the first Ebola patient to be treated in Switzerland.
The man was part of a team of 165 Cuban medical professionals dispatched to Sierra Leone to help fight the deadly virus, which has claimed the lives of 5,450 people so far in eight African countries.
He has been placed in a specially-prepared negative pressure room in a building that is detached from the rest of the hospital and will be treated by a specialist in infectious diseases.
The precise medical treatment for the man, who first showed signs of fever five days ago, has not yet been determined. The Geneva hospital is currently testing potential vaccines against the Ebola on volunteers.
The hospital has a long tradition of treating patients suffering from hemorrhagic fevers similar to Ebola, including the Marburg virus, the cantonal doctor Jacques-André Romand said. There is no risk to the Swiss population, he added.
According to the World Health Organization, the transmission of the virus in Sierra Leone remains “intense and widespread, accounting for 70% of the 732 new cases recorded in the week of November 10.
swissinfo.ch and agencies