ROME, Italy—An Italian doctor from the humanitarian association Emergency has been found positive for the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. He is the first Italian citizen to have been infected. After his return to Italy, the patient will be transported to the National Institute for Infectious Diseases ‘Lazzaro Spallanzani’ in Rome.
To make immediate arrangements for the transport of high biocontainment (highly protected transfer) to Italy, the Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin sat together with the Prime Minister Mattero Renzi. Emergency said that “all the staff employed at the Centre for Ebola Treatment in Sierra Leone follows specific training on security protocols to prevent infection and the spread of the virus. However, in a serious epidemic like this, no health intervention can be considered completely free of risk.”
The Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin, stated in a press release that “I would like to reassure to the family’s doctor that he is fine, he had no fever or other symptoms during the night, this morning [Nov. 23] he had breakfast, and continues to drink independently. I express my closeness to him and his family, and assure that the Italian government is on his side.”
The Italian doctor was at the Center of Emergency in the city of Lakka, in Sierra Leone. On Sept. 18 this year, the center opened in order to give assistance to people with Ebola. Emergency explains that the epidemic continues to expand in Sierra Leone, about 100 new cases a day. According to data from World Health Organization, there are over 5,000 people with Ebola in the country, but the numbers could be much higher.
To respect the privacy of the doctor and his family, the humanitarian association would not release other information about him for the moment.