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Ebola Virus Outbreak

Spain Working to Bring Home and Treat Priest Who Has Ebola

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Spain is arranging to retrieve a Catholic priest who has tested positive for Ebola in West Africa, which would make him the first patient in the outbreak to be treated in Europe, health officials said Wednesday.

Liberia closed the hospital in its capital city, Monrovia, where the priest and seven hospital staff contracted Ebola. The World Health Organization said that the total number of cases in the outbreak, the worst on record, had grown to more than 1,700, including more than 900 deaths.

Liberia, which has more than 500 suspected cases and almost 300 deaths, is among the hardest-hit countries. Some people who live there have thrown the bodies of family members onto the street to avoid quarantine measures, Reuters reported.

The Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares, 75, was working as a missionary when he tested positive for the virus. A specially outfitted medical place is expected to take him out of Liberia. Spain's health ministry said that Spain was organizing his return according to World Health Organization procedures.

The hospital, St. Joseph’s Catholic, was closed after the hospital director died of Ebola and six other staff members tested positive for the disease.

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— Erin McClam with Reuters