Liberia: Nun dies of Ebola virus, two missionaries ill

A nun working in Liberia has died of the Ebola virus. Sister Chantal Pascaline worked with the Hospitaller Brothers of St John of God. She died in Monrovia on Saturday. Two colleagues from the same order, Spanish priest Father Miguel Pajares, 75, and Sister Juliana Bonoha Bohe, 65, were evacuated to Madrid by jet this week. Sister Juliana initially tested negative for Ebola but is being held in isolation at the hospital, according to Spanish media reports.

Father Miguel has the disease, and is going to be the first European to be treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. The drug, produced by Mapp Biopharmaceutical in San Diego, has been tested on monkeys but had never been tried on humans until earlier this month, when two American missionaries were treated with it shortly before being evacuated from Liberia to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

One of the missionaries, Dr Kent Brantly, said in a message released by the Samaritan's Purse charity said: “Every day I am stronger, and I thank God for his mercy as I fought against this terrible disease."

A World Health Organization medical ethics panel is scheduled to meet later today to discuss whether ZMapp should be made available to hospitals in the West African countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease and so far has killed at least 961 people, the UN health agency said on Friday.

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