Spanish Ebola case fuels fear of European outbreak

Spain was investigating Tuesday how a nurse in Madrid
could have become infected with Ebola, sparking fears of the
first outbreak outside Africa.
The inquiry was launched as the EU demanded answers
from the Spanish authorities about how the disease could
have spread in a specialist Madrid unit where the woman
treated two elderly Spanish missionaries who died from the
virus.
Tests confirmed she has the disease, government officials
said, making her the first person to contract the virus
outside Africa.
The 40-year-old began to feel ill on September 30 while on
leave after treating the two patients in the isolation unit of
Madrid’s La Paz-Carlos III hospital. But she did not go to
hospital until Sunday — five days later — complaining of a
fever, government officials said.
She is now being treated herself in the same unit.
Health officials said they were trying to find out who she
came into contact with, and were moSpanish nurse first to
contract Ebola outside Africanitoring 30 people — including
co-workers and her husband — for Ebola symptoms.
The infection also sparked questions about how safety
procedures were applied when treating the two
missionaries.
“People are freaked out,” a cardiologist at the hospital told
AFP. “We cannot understand how someone who was wearing
a double protection suit and two pairs of gloves could have
been contaminated.” She claimed Spain was not up to
dealing with the hemorrhagic fever and questioned the
decision to repatriate the missionaries.
The nurse had treated Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75,
who was infected with Ebola in Liberia and died on August
12, as well as Manuel Garcia Viejo, 69, who was repatriated
from Sierra Leone and died on September 25.
Pajares was the first patient in the current Ebola outbreak to
be evacuated to Europe for treatment.
Ebola in Liberia and died on August 12, as well as Manuel
Garcia Viejo, 69, who was repatriated from Sierra Leone and
died on September 25.
Pajares was the first patient in the current Ebola outbreak to
be evacuated to Europe for treatment.
The infected nurse is believed to have contracted the virus
six weeks later while caring for Garcia Viejo, whose room
officials said she visited twice, once to treat him and once to
clean the room.
Both missionaries were treated in the isolation unit at the
hospital, and the medical team that cared for them were
closely monitored.
In Brussels on Tuesday an EU spokesman said the European
Commission had written to the Spanish health ministry
demanding an explanation.
The case followed a wake-up call on Ebola from US President
Barack Obama, who warned on Monday that “some large
countries are not doing enough” to tackle the epidemic.
Ebola in Liberia and died on August 12, as well as Manuel
Garcia Viejo, 69, who was repatriated from Sierra Leone and
died on September 25.
Pajares was the first patient in the current Ebola outbreak to
be evacuated to Europe for treatment.
The infected nurse is believed to have contracted the virus
six weeks later while caring for Garcia Viejo, whose room
officials said she visited twice, once to treat him and once to
clean the room.
Both missionaries were treated in the isolation unit at the
hospital, and the medical team that cared for them were
closely monitored.
In Brussels on Tuesday an EU spokesman said the European
Commission had written to the Spanish health ministry
demanding an explanation.
The case followed a wake-up call on Ebola from US President
Barack Obama, who warned on Monday that “some large
countries are not doing enough” to tackle the epidemic.

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