The 50-year-old from Sicily, who has not been named, has been in isolation at Rome's Spallanzani institute since he was evacuated from Sierra Leone in mid-November.

Doctors reported ten days ago that he could breathe walk and eat unassisted.

Since then he has reportedly made further progress and a press conference has been called for Friday at which it is expected to be confirmed that he is moving into a convalescence stage of his recovery and will be able to leave his isolated room at the clinic that specialises in infectious disases.

The doctor had been working for Italian charity Emergency in Sierra Leone when he contracted the disease.

Emergency President Cecilia Strada and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin are expected to attend today's press conference.

A British nurse who contracted Ebola working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone is also being treated with an experimental anti-viral drug and the blood plasma of someone who survived the virus.

Pauline Cafferkey is being treated at the Royal Free hospital in London, which has the only isolation ward in Britain equipped for Ebola sufferers.

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