Cuban health worker in Africa to fight Ebola dies of malaria

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2015 10:47 PM

HAVANA (AP) — A Cuban health worker sent to Sierra Leone as part of a team to help fight Ebola has died of malaria.

Cuban state television said Reinaldo Villafranca died Sunday in a hospital in Sierra Leone's capital. The 33-year-old Villafranca had a degree in nursing.

He showed symptoms of an illness on Jan. 17. Tests came up negative for Ebola but positive for malaria. State television said his condition deteriorated on Sunday.

Villafranca is the second Cuban health worker to die of malaria in West Africa. The first, Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, died last Oct. 26 in Guinea. Dr. Felix Baez fell ill with Ebola in Sierra Leone in November, but recovered.

In response to a U.N. call, Cuba said it would send 461 health workers to Africa to fight Ebola.