Nov 21, 2014 3:19 AM

Cuban doctor arrives in Switzerland for Ebola aid

The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone arrived in Switzerland for treatment and was able to walk off the transport plane, a Geneva medical official said Friday.

Felix Baez Sarria arrived on a flight overnight and was transported in a specially outfitted ambulance with a police escort to Geneva University Hospital.

Geneva canton (state) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacques-Andre Romand told The Associated Press the 43-year-old Baez wore a protective suit and mask as he got off the plane and climbed onto a gurney before boarding the ambulance.

"He looked like a cosmonaut," Romand told the AP in a telephone interview. "He wore that just before he left the plane so that outside the plane no contamination was possible."

Romand said doctors will decide on a treatment regime for Baez, which could include experimental drugs.

"As soon as we know what is going on, if there is medication that will help him we will give it to him," Romand said.

Also Friday, a Spanish medical aid agency flew one of its health care workers home from Mali after she accidently pricked herself with a needle used on a person suffering from Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients.

Spanish Health Ministry spokesman Fernando Simon said the woman has not shown any symptoms but is being treated as a "high-risk" case.

Baez, a member of the 165-person medical team Cuba sent to Sierra Leone to help with the Ebola outbreak, caught the disease when he rushed to help a patient who was falling over.

Cuban state media said that Baez came down with a fever on Sunday and was diagnosed with Ebola the following day.

His treatment in Switzerland was organized through the World Health Organization.


Ciaran Giles contributed to this story from Madrid.


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