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Cuban health worker dies of malaria in Guinea

Havana, Oct 27 (EFE).- One of the Cuban volunteers who went to Guinea as part of the medical brigade sent to that African country to fight the Ebola epidemic died on Sunday of “malaria with cerebral complications,” officials in Havana said Monday.

He was Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, a graduate in economics who arrived in Guinea last Oct. 6, a note from the Public Health Ministry,or Minsap, said.

On Oct. 24 he began to show “signs and symptoms…that indicated malaria, for which he was given anti-malaria treatment and was admitted to the Pasteur Clinic, where the diagnosis was confirmed,” the official note said.

The Cuban volunteer’s health deteriorated before dawn on Sunday, Oct. 26, “evolving into multiple organ failures, and he died in the afternoon,” it said.

Guerra Rodriguez worked for more than 30 years in the Direction of Health in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spiritus, had served in Mali and then volunteered to go with the group of health workers leaving for West Africa to fight Ebola.

In early October a group of 165 medical volunteers reached Sierra Leone, while another brigade of 83 doctors and nurses went last week, 49 of them to Liberia and another 35 to Guinea.

Cuba’s contribution to the fight against Ebola has been praised by the World Health Organization and by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who called the aid effort an “extraordinary response.”

The number of Ebola cases has risen to 10,141 in the eight affected countries, and of those, 4,922 have died, according to the lastest report from the World Health Organization on the state of the Ebola epidemic.