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PATIENT

Italy’s Ebola patient is getting better

An Italian doctor who contracted Ebola in west Africa is recovering but is still in an isolation unit, the specialist clinic in Rome treating him said on Monday.

Italy's Ebola patient is getting better
The Italian doctor is being treated at Rome's Spallanzani Institute. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The Spallanzani Institute said on Twitter that the 50-year-old medic – who has not been named – was in a "good condition" and was "recovering in isolation".

The father of two was repatriated in November from Sierra Leone with a fever and given an experimental drug to try to combat the often-deadly virus.

The doctor – who became the first Italian to be infected with Ebola while volunteering for an Italian medical charity fighting the epidemic – can now breathe, walk and eat unassisted.

Ebola, a disease transmitted through the bodily fluids of infected people, can result in death from uncontrollable bleeding and organ failure.

The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa – the worst ever recorded – has so far killed around 7,350 people.

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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