Update: Italian Ebola case hospitalised, 3 more people quarantined




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ROME – Italian authorities confirmed on Wednesday in Rome that the nurse who tested positive for the Ebola virus after returning from Sierra Leone admitted to a specialised hospital in Rome, while three people who came into contact him were quarantined.
Dr Emanuele Nicastri of the Spallanzani hospital, who specialised in highly infectious diseases, said at a press conference that the nurse was overnight transfer to Rome by the Italian air force.
He said the 37-year-old from Sardinia returned home on Friday, and felt the first symptoms of the disease two days later, after his blood sample tested positive for the often fatal virus.
“At the time of admission, the patient was feverish, alert and cooperative,” he said.
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Meanwhile, Luigi Arru, the Regional Alderman for Health, said three people were placed under quarantine in Sassari, at the hospital where the Ebola patient was first taken in on Monday.
“Healthcare workers of the Hospital in Sassari, who examined the patient, were well equipped with personal protective equipment and are now under surveillance, as well as the close contacts of the case,” he said.
“The risk of contagion is negligible, the staff that dealt with the patient are highly specialised and equipped,” he added.
He said they were optimistic that the disease had spread.
The WHO said the unnamed patient worked in Sierra Leone for the Emergency medical charity.
It said the patient flew from Freetown to Rome via Casablanca, adding it was not necessary to screen passengers because he developed symptoms more than 72 hours after the last flight.
It was the Ebola case to be treated in Italy, and the first detected on national territory.
More than 11,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, where the outbreak has been subsiding.
However, Liberia was declared Ebola-free on Saturday, but the disease was still present in Guinea and Sierra Leone. (dpa/NAN)
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