Malaria kills Cuban Ebola medic in Guinea

Malaria kills Cuban Ebola medic in Guinea

Sunday, November 2, 2014 12:21 am

The Cuban medics leaving for West Africa: one has died of malaria

The Cuban medics leaving for West Africa: one has died of malaria

Guinea authorities buried a Cuban Saturday who died of malaria while working in the country to help battle the killer Ebola virus.

Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, was an administrator with a team of Cuban medical personnel sent to west Africa in October to stem the spread of the virus.

He died of cerebral malaria on Sunday, the Guinean government and Cuban officials said.

His funeral in the capital Conakry was attended by work colleagues and aid workers, as well as Cuban and Guinean officials, according to an AFP journalist at the ceremony.

“We will always remember him and we pray for the repose of his soul because he died on the soil of Cuba’s friend, Guinea,” government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said.

Cuba’s health ministry says Rodriguez had not been in contact with Ebola patients, but he was given two tests for Ebola, both of which were negative.

He was initially treated for diarrhoea, a symptom of both malaria and Ebola, before his health rapidly deteriorated and he suffered multiple organ failure.

The economist, from Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba, travelled to Guinea on October 6 and began showing signs of illness on October 22.

Cuba has sent around 250 doctors and nurses to Ebola-stricken west Africa — some 165 of them to Sierra Leone — help combat the spread of Ebola.

The virus has already killed almost 5,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year, mainly children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Both ailments have similar symptoms, including fever, aches, vomiting and diarrhoea. While Ebola is passed by contact with bodily fluids, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Cuba’s response to the Ebola epidemic has won plaudits from humanitarian workers who say the international community’s reaction has been lacking.

Eventually, Cuba plans to deploy more than 450 medical personnel to west Africa.

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One Comment

  • Heroes who died in an effort to make us safe from our disease enemies
    need to have their life stories told who are Jorge Juan Guerra
    Rodriguez’s relatives? Were there any church survives back in Cuba?

    If Ebola enters tribal Pakistan where extremists already behead medical
    workers fighting Polio the US trying to stop it may lead to more deaths
    instead, the same with the other NATO countries as well, and for
    different reasons India, and tribal rebels consider the relationship
    between China and Pakistan closely similar to the US relations with
    Israel. Cuba has a whole lot of work to do in fighting our disease
    enemies, some of it only Cuba is capable of doing.

    Is there a chance that Cuba can help survivors take care of the sick without masks
    and gloves as the UN is already doing with sick infants?

    I am terrified of the way poor health care for the uninsured in the US lead
    to a Republican victory to make it worse. But when it comes to hindering
    our Cuban friends from fighting our world’s disease enemies,
    Republicans are no worse than Democrats.

    Ebola Pakistan, a Real Reason to Panic, Instead of Ebola Hype

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