September 2014 – AFRICA – Doctors treating a Spanish priest who was repatriated from West Africa on Monday after being diagnosed with the Ebola virus said there were no samples of experimental drug ZMapp available in the world right now, and they were considering alternative treatments. The priest, Manuel Garcia Viejo, 69, was in serious condition and was suffering from dehydration, with kidney and liver complications, said Javier Rodriguez, chief health officer for the Madrid region. Garcia Viejo, a medical director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, was transferred to Madrid Carlos III hospital after being flown back from Sierra Leone in a medically-equipped military plane.
Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the company that makes ZMapp, says the drug’s supplies are exhausted and that it takes months to make even a small batch. With ZMapp unavailable, the hospital was looking into alternative medicines or the possibility of using blood serum from a cured patient, said Dr. Jose Ramon Arribas, of the Carlos III hospital. Garcia Viejo is the second Spanish missionary to catch Ebola. Another priest, Miguel Pajares, 75, was flown back to Spain from Liberia on Aug. 7. Pajares began treatment with ZMapp, but died Aug. 12. Ebola is blamed for the deaths of more than 2,600 people in West Africa. The Health Ministry said Garcia Viejo asked to be transferred back to Spain after testing positive for the deadly virus. –ABC News
Germany asks soldiers to volunteer: Germany’s defense minister is asking for volunteers from the country’s military to staff a clinic it plans to set up in West Africa, where the deadly Ebola disease has claimed more than 2,600 lives. In a memo circulated Monday, Ursula von der Leyen appealed to soldiers and civilian employees to “voluntarily make yourselves available for this unusual mission.” Von der Leyen assured potential volunteers that they would be properly trained and compensated, and “in case of emergency you can rely on being brought back to Germany.” Von der Leyen did not say how many people would be needed to staff the foreseen 50-bed clinic. –ABC News