Fears of Ebola virus shut down a hospital in Liberia
Brother Miguel Pajares, a 75-year-old Spanish cleric who is a member of the Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God remains in isolation at St. Joseph Hospital in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. According to Spanish media reports on August 4, he is one of a number of medical workers at the hospital who have been stricken by the deadly Ebola virus. On August 3, the director of the hospital, Brother Patrick Nshamdze, succumbed to the disease. Besides Brother Miguel, there are four other Catholic religious in isolation at the hospital, which is now closed. Among those being treated are three missionary medical sisters, one of whom is Spanish, as well as a Ghanian administrator.
Brother Miguel has had an elevated temperature, among other Ebola symptoms, since last week. His order has asked that tests be conducted to determine whether he has contracted the virus. The NGO that operated the hospital in Monrovia is asking for resources from the Liberian government to fight the disease. Should Brother Miguel prove to have been infected by the Ebola virus, his order is asking for volunteers to enter the hospital to provide care for Miguel and the other stricken religious.
On August 1, the organization flew in 1,400 pounds of medical materials from Spain to aid in isolating stricken patients. Currently, only members of Liberia’s health ministry may enter the shuttered hospital, due to the risk of further contagion. Members of the Juan Ciudad NGO, the foundation that is staffed by the Hospitallers, have come to the aid of the family of Brother Patrick, as well as the co-workers and friends of the aid workers now languishing in St. Joseph Hospital. The Brothers Hospitallers is a Catholic order that was founded in 1572.
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