Cuban doctor Felix Baez Sarrias, who contracted Ebola last November 16 in Sierra Leone, arrived in the evening hours of Thursday (2300 GMT) in Switzerland to be treated at the University Hospital of Geneva, facility specialized in management of these cases of high transmissibility, as reported by international news agencies.
Baez was sent to Switzerland on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and according to recent press dispatches, he has begun to receive today an experimental treatment called Zimapp, “given in recent months to other international patients who were infected with the virus in Africa with results are considered encouraging, “reports EFE.
According to that news agency, the “Chief of Intensive Care of the Cantonal Hospital of Geneva, Dr. Jerome Pugin, confirmed that he has chosen this treatment that creates antibodies in the body,” and added that he plans to “combine the antiviral of wide favipiravir spectrum and if the patient’s condition eventually worsens, he could enter treatment with serum obtained from patients who have overcome the disease.”
Zimapp is a serum “created by the Californian company Mapp Biopharmaceutical,” reported the newspaper El Mundo, adding that “it is a cocktail of various serum antibodies obtained from mice exposed to Ebola, processed and cultivated in tobacco plants, and already has shown efficacy in monkeys exposed to the virus. ”
This treatment although even without phase IV trials, where “the optimum dose of the drug, duration of therapy, side effects, etc.” is determined has begun to be used uniquely by the recent epidemic of Ebola and hitherto has been successful.
After Felix Baez arrived, Pugin told reporters that Baez “is stable, but very tired after the journey from Sierra Leone.”
The hospital where the Cuba was taken to has state-of-art technology for treatment, with safety standards higher than those required by the WHO.
Baez, 43, is one of the 165 health staff members of the International Contingent “Henry Reeve” that is in a medical mission in Sierra Leone.
Since October, about 250 Cuban doctors and nurses left voluntarily for Africa and are spread across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the three countries most affected by Ebola in West Africa.
According to the media of the island, the specialists who treat the Cuban are in constant communication with the Cuban health authorities.