HEALTH

Cuban healthcare worker fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone dies of malaria

MONROVIA, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 17:  A health worker carries Benson, 2 months, to a re-opened Ebola holding center in the West Point neighborhood on October 17, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The baby, her mother and grandmother were all taken to the center after an Ebola tracing coordinator checked their temperature and found they all had fever. A family member living in the home had died only the day before from Ebola. The West Point holding center was re-opened this week with community support, two months after a mob overran the facility and looted it's contents, many denying the presence of Ebola in their community. The World Health Organization says that more than 4,500 people have died due to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa with a 70 percent mortality rate for those infected with the virus.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MONROVIA, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 17: A health worker carries Benson, 2 months, to a re-opened Ebola holding center in the West Point neighborhood on October 17, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The baby, her mother and grandmother were all taken to the center after an Ebola tracing coordinator checked their temperature and found they all had fever. A family member living in the home had died only the day before from Ebola. The West Point holding center was re-opened this week with community support, two months after a mob overran the facility and looted it's contents, many denying the presence of Ebola in their community. The World Health Organization says that more than 4,500 people have died due to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa with a 70 percent mortality rate for those infected with the virus. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

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.

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