Cuban doctor with Ebola is stable, fever reduced: official
BY DANIEL TROTTA
HAVANA Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:54pm EST
(Reuters) – The Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola while treating
patients in Sierra Leone was in stable condition with a reduced fever
and no further complications, a Cuban health official said Wednesday.
The doctor, Felix Baez, 43, cannot recall any mistake in procedure that
could have led to him catching the virus from a patient, said Jorge
Perez, director of the tropical diseases hospital where Cuban doctors
train for their Ebola missions.
Baez, a specialist in internal medicine, is the first Cuban known to
have contracted Ebola, which has killed at least 5,450 people since
March in the worst outbreak of the disease on record.
“He’s doing fine. He’s lost a little appetite but otherwise has no
complications at the moment,” Perez told Reuters a few hours before he
was due to travel to Geneva to help with Baez’s case.
Baez, who is married with two children, was due to arrive in Geneva late
Thursday, Perez said.
Some 165 Cuban doctors and nurses have gone to Sierra Leone for
six-month missions, with another 53 in Liberia and 38 in Guinea.
The Cuban commitment has won international praise as more substantial
than contributions from many wealthy countries.
A Geneva doctor specializing in infectious diseases will organize Baez’s
care in a special hospital room separate from other wards at University
Hospital, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health said.
British and Cuban doctors treating Baez in Sierra Leone reduced his
fever from 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to 37 degrees C
(98.6 degrees F) using the drug duralgina, said Perez, who has reviewed
medical reports on Baez and has spoken to his supervisor in Sierra Leone.
“He sent information saying he doesn’t remember how or where, doesn’t
know what his mistake may have been in getting infected,” Perez said.
Doctors and nurses wear protective, full-body suits when treating Ebola
patients with strict procedures on how to remove them. The Cubans
trained for their mission for three weeks in Cuba and another 15 days
upon arriving in West Africa.
Baez, who normally works at a military hospital in Havana, was one of
15,000 volunteers for the Ebola mission and one of 465 who received
“Be strong, Dad, everything’s going to be all right,” the doctor’s elder
son, second-year medical student Alejandro Baez, said via official
website CubaSi. “All of Cuba is waiting for you.”
Baez also has an 18-month-old son, Felix Luis.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay
in Geneva; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Source: Cuban doctor with Ebola is stable, fever reduced: official |