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Second Spanish missionary dies of Ebola

Manuel García Viejo, who was being treated in Spain, became infected in Sierra Leone

A photo of Manuel García Viejo in Sierra Leone in 2013.
A photo of Manuel García Viejo in Sierra Leone in 2013. AP

Spanish missionary Manuel García Viejo died on Thursday evening in Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, where he had been receiving treatment since being brought back from Sierra Leone in the early hours of Monday morning. He had contracted the Ebola virus in Lunsar, where he worked as the medical director of a hospital.

He was from the same religious order as Miguel Pajares, who was the first European to contract Ebola to be repatriated to his country. Pajares died on August 12, five days after he had been flown back to Madrid.

García Viejo, who was 69, had been in a serious condition since he arrived in Spain, but had deteriorated in the hours prior to his death.

The missionary had spent 30 years working in Africa, and had been the medical director of the hospital for 12 years

The missionary had spent 30 years working in Africa, and been medical director of the hospital for the last 12. The center had been placed in quarantine as a result of the Ebola epidemic affecting West Africa.

No autopsy will be carried out on the body of the missionary, which will be cremated in a hermetically sealed coffin. Health workers who have been in contact with him will be placed under observation for 21 days.

“We are very grateful for the care and affection that has been given to our uncle and to us in recent days,” his niece, Edi García, said in a brief phone conversation. “We are all very upset.” His religious order, San Juan de Dios, also gave thanks for the support received, and expressed its sorrow over the “sad news.”