Spanish priest becomes first man to die of Ebola in Europe

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The first European infected by a strain of Ebola, Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, has died in hospital, Reuters reported, citing a spokeswoman for Madrid health authorities.

Pajares, 75, was airlifted from Liberia on August 7 after contracting the disease. The priest worked for a non-governmental organization in the African country. Co-worker Juliana Bohi, a nun who was also repatriated, has tested negative for the disease.

The Spanish priest was one of the first to receive doses of the experimental drug ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies designed to recognize Ebola and attach itself to infected cells so the immune system can destroy them.

A team of medical personnel donning protective suits cared for the Catholic priest on his journey back Spain on a specially-adapted Airbus plane from Liberia in west Africa.

The Madrid hospital where Pajares died refused to confirm if he had been treated with ZMapp at the time of his death.

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