Spain to repatriate priest diagnosed with Ebola: health official

MADRID Tue Aug 5, 2014 4:39pm EDT

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain is arranging for the repatriation of an elderly Spanish Catholic priest working in West Africa who has tested positive for the Ebola virus, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to humans, has killed nearly 900 people in West Africa since February and is still spreading fast. There is no known cure and no vaccine to protect against the disease.

Miguel Pajares, 75, had been working as a missionary in Liberia when he tested positive for Ebola at a hospital in the capital Monrovia.

Spanish authorities are organizing his repatriation in line with World Health Organization procedures, the health ministry official said.

Pajares, the first Spaniard to be detected with Ebola, belongs to the Madrid-based, non-profit organization Juan Ciudad and the Hospital Order of San Juan de Dios, which had requested the priest's urgent transfer to Spain earlier on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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