Four people have been hospitalized in Spain in local authorities’ attempt to stop the spread of the deadly Elbola virus after a Spanish nurse became the first person in the world known to have contracted the virus outside of Africa.
The nurse, who was proved to have Elbola on Monday, her husband, who is showing no symptoms of the terrible disease, and two more people are being closely monitored in hospital, local health officials reporterd during a press conference in Madrid.
One of those who are under medical examination is a health worker who has diarrhea but shows no signs of fever. The other one is a Spaniard who traveled from Nigeria, said Rafael Perez-Santamaria, head of the Carlos III Hospital where the infected nurse treated two Spanish missionaries who contracted the disease in Africa.
“With concerns growing around the world of the Ebola pandemic spreading beyond West Africa, the Spanish officials sought to reassure the public that they were tackling the threat,” Reuters reports. “Twenty-two people who came into contact with the nurse are being monitored, Perez-Santamaria said. They have not been isolated but they are having their temperature taken twice a day to check for signs of infection.”
Local mediacal authorities revealed that were still trying to figure out how the nurse was infected. She went on holiday after the second of the missionaries she had been caring for died on Sept. 25, although, they stressed, she had not left Madrid.
She began feeling ill on Sept. 30 and was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday. “This has taken us by surprise,” said Perez-Santamaria. “We are revising our protocols, improving them.”
A spokesman for the European Commission promised that the case would be thoroughly discussed at an EU Health Security Committee meeting on Wednesday.
“The priority remains to find out what actually happened,” he said.
Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at Britain’s University of Nottingham, said the nurse should not have contracted the deadly disease if appropriate containment and control measures had been taken.
“It will be crucial to find out what went wrong in this case so necessary measures can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he told Reuters.
The nurse is being treated with antibodies from previous infected patients, Perez-Santamaria said.
The news comes a few days after four people with the symptoms similar to Elbola virus’, were quarantined in Dallas.
Four people were quarantined in a Dallas appartmet with all the items used by the man sealed in plastic bags, while health athorities widened their search for others who had direct or indirect contact with the first Elbola infected U.S. citizen.
In Liberia, an American freelance television cameraman who works for NBC News in Liberia has got contracted Ebola, the fifth American citizen infected with the virus that has already claimed lives of at least 3,300 people in the current outbreak in West Africa.
The 33-year-old man cameraman, whose name wasn’t revealed to reporters, will be directed to the United States for treatment, the network revealed on Thursday.