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Africa

French nurse receives experimental Ebola treatment in Paris hospital

media The Bégin hospital at Saint-Mandé where the French nurse is being treated Reuters/Charles Platiau

A French nurse who has contracted Ebola was receiving “experimental treatments” in a French military hospital on Friday after Health Minister Marisol Touraine took the exceptional step of authorising their use.

The nurse, who has not been named, was flown to a French military airport overnight from Liberia, where she had contracted the virus while was working with the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) NGO.

Touraine, who visited the Bégin hospital at Saint Mandé just outside Paris on Friday morning as a sign of “solidarity” with staff caring for the patient, said that the drugs were administered “as soon as she arrived”.

"She was immediately transferred to the hospital in conditions of absolute security and immediately taken into care," the minister said, adding that she is in a “confinement chamber” and being treated by special staff.

The health ministry on Friday lifted restrictions on the import and use of three treatments for Ebola that are still at the experimental stage - Favipiravir from Japan, ZMapp from the US and TKM-100-802 from Canada.

The case is the first recorded among French nationals in the west African countries affected by the virus.

She had been doing voluntary work for “several years” and her morale is good, her grandmother told RTL radio.

The risk of death for an Ebola patient is 20 per cent in a European hospital, compared to 50 per cent in Africa, virologist Bruno Lina told Friday’s Metronews freesheet.

There is no risk for the rest of the French population, he said.

Two other Ebola patients have already been brought to Europe.

One, a 75-year-old missionary who was repatriated to Madrid from Liberia at the beginning of August, died.

The other, a British man who lived in Sierra Leone, survived after 10 days treatment in the UK.

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