Spanish Missionary Dies of Ebola, WHO Supports Giving Untested Drugs to Sick

Abena Agyeman-Fisher August 12, 2014

Miguel Pajares

Seventy-five-year-old Spanish missionary Miguel Pajares (pictured right) reportedly died Tuesday morning, after returning to his homeland from Liberia last Thursday to receive treatment — which was supposed to include the untested drug ZMapp — for the Ebola virus, according to the Guardian.

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Miguel Pajares

Miguel Pajares being transported to the hospital once he arrived in Spain.

Last week, Pajares was reportedly said to be in “stable condition” once he was transported to Carlos III hospital in Madrid. However, things clearly took a turn for the worse with his quick passing.

With the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization threw their support behind the administering of experimental, untested drugs to anyone who contracts the Ebola virus, after meeting with a number of medical experts in Switzerland on Monday:

“In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.”

While the WHO warned that they have a “very limited supply” of the drugs, their announcement did little to quiet the criticism that Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the manufacturer of ZMapp, had initially only provided the treatment to two U.S. citizens along with Pajares.

Miguel Pajares

Either way, Mapp Biopharmaceutical released a statement that they have already run out of their product, because they reportedly gave it away to an unnamed West African country.

Meanwhile, before falling ill with the virus, Pajares worked at San Jose de Monrovia, which is part of the Catholic humanitarian San Juan de Dios hospital order, in Liberia. Two other missionaries and colleagues of Pajares (from Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively) also died from the virus just days ago.

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