First French Ebola patient leaves hospital

PARIS (Reuters) - A volunteer nurse who was the first French national to contract Ebola has left hospital after being successfully treated for the disease, France’s health ministry said on Saturday.

The volunteer caught the disease while working for charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in Liberia and was evacuated to France last month.

The woman was admitted to a military hospital just outside Paris and received an experimental treatment after the authorities approved the use of drugs currently under development to treat Ebola.

“She received several experimental treatments successively,” Health Minister Marisol Touraine told France Info radio, declining to disclose which drugs were used.

“When you have several treatments being used, it is difficult to know if it is one of them that worked or the combination of them,” she added.

Drug companies and governments have been trying to find effective treatments and a potential vaccine in response to the worst outbreak on record of Ebola, which has killed more than 3,400 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organisation.

The French health ministry has authorised the use of four experimental drugs for treating Ebola: Favipiravir, TKM-100-802, ZMapp and ZMabs.

Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said in a statement last month that its Avigan treatment, which contains Favipiravir, had been administered to the French Ebola patient.

A British volunteer nurse who also contracted Ebola in West Africa was discharged from hospital last month after being given ZMapp.

In the German city of Hamburg, health officials said on Saturday that an employee of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who was being treated for Ebola in hospital had been released.

The Senegalese epidemiologist, who was flown to Hamburg in late August after contracting the disease in Sierra Leone, left on Friday after being successfully treated.

Also on Friday a Ugandan doctor infected with Ebola arrived in Frankfurt from Sierra Leone for treatment.

The United States is facing its first Ebola case after a man who travelled recently from Liberia to Texas was diagnosed with the disease earlier this week.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Stephen Powell