14 Oct 2014

Germany Ebola patient dies in Leipzig hospital

A 56-year-old man who had been working with the United Nations in Liberia died overnight at the hospital in Leipzig where he was being treated for Ebola, the hospital said Tuesday in a statement quoted by the German news media.

The brief statement gave no further details. The man was the third patient to arrive in Germany in recent weeks for treatment of Ebola, and the first to die.

The first patient, a Senegalese man who worked for the World Health Organization, was treated in Hamburg from late August until Oct. 3, when he was released. He has since returned home. The second patient, a Ugandan doctor who was working in West Africa for an Italian aid organization, continues to receive treatment at a hospital in Frankfurt.

The St. Georg clinic in Leipzig, where the man who died was treated, announced his arrival last Thursday in a statement. At the time, doctors said his condition was critical, but stable, and there were no further updates on his status.

The hospital gave assurances that the third patient would be safely isolated. “There is no risk of infection for other patients, relatives, visitors or the public,” Dr. Iris Minde, the chief executive of the clinic, said in a statement when the patient was admitted. Dr. Minde said the clinic followed the “strictest hygienic protocols according to latest standards.”

Dr. Thomas Grünewald, a senior physician at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Nephrology at the hospital, said the patient would be tended around the clock by at least one doctor and a nurse “in protection suits.”

He said then that the staff “was perfectly prepared,” and that it had been training with a system of airlocks that hermetically sealed special negative-pressure rooms used in the isolation ward.


Credit: Alison Smale/New York Times

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