A Cuban doctor on the frontlines of the battle against Ebola in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the virus, becoming the first Caribbean national known to have contracted the deadly disease.
Dr. Felix Baez, a specialist in internal medicine, is one of 165 Cuban medical professionals who have been treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone since early October.
The doctors and nurses stationed in Sierra Leone are part of a Cuban contingent of 256 medical volunteers deployed in West Africa to help combat the world’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of well over 5,000 people.
Another 53 Cuban medical professionals are stationed in Liberia, while 38 are currently serving in Guinea.
A further 205 Cuban medics have completed training in preparation for deployment to the West African countries worst-hit by the killer virus.
Dr. Baez, the first of the Cuban contingent to contract the disease, had a fever on Sunday and tested positive on Monday after being taken to Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, according to Cuba’s official website Cubadebate, which was citing a health ministry statement.
The 43-year-old doctor has not shown complications and is “hemodynamically stable,” the statement said.
“Our collaborator is being tended to by a team of British professionals with experience in treating patients who have displayed the disease and they have maintained constant communication with our brigade,” the statement revealed.
Dr. Baez, who was being treated at a Red Cross centre near Freetown, was reportedly scheduled to be flown to Geneva for further treatment.