SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A Spanish nurse who treated an Ebola victim in Madrid has become the first person in the world to contract the deadly virus outside of Africa.
The 44-year-old is said to have spent the last 15 years working at Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital, where the two Spanish missionaries infected with Ebola died.
The woman, who is married, was part of the team that treated Spanish priest Manuel Garcia Viejo, who was brought back from Africa last month so that he could be treated for the deadly virus.
Two separate tests confirmed that the woman, who has yet to be named, had contracted the disease.
Colleagues tonight expressed their surprise at news that the nurse, from Galicia in northwest Spain, had caught the virus, saying that there had been ‘extreme’ measures in place to protect staff.
One told Spanish daily El Pais that nurses were equipped with two protective overalls, two pairs of gloves and glasses.
All medics had to use a special card to access the hospital’s sixth floor – where the two men were treated.
The Carlos III Hospital was evacuated before the arrival of the first missionary, Miguel Pajares, who contracted the disease in Liberia, but not for Mr Viejo as the sixth floor had already been hermetically sealed.
Mr Pajares, the first person in Europe to be treated for Ebola, died at Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital in August despite receiving experimental drug ZMapp after he returned.
Mr Viejo died at the hospital the following month after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone.
Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the virus and the only way to stop an outbreak is to isolate those who are infected.
The current outbreak in west Africa, the worst ever, has infected nearly 7,500 people and caused more than 3,400 deaths.
The Spanish nurse is understood to have tested positive for Ebola in a first analysis after going to hospital in Alcorcon near Madrid with a high fever early this morning.
Doctors isolated the emergency treatment room.
A Ministry of Health source told respected daily El Mundo: ‘She arrived at the University Hospital Alcorcon Foundation with fever and has undergone tests. The first test has come back positive.’
Spain’s Health Ministry today held a crisis meeting as they awaited for the results to be confirmed.
British nurse William Pooley, 29, who was infected with the virus while working in Sierra Leone, recovered last month after being flown back to London for treatment.
He later jetted to the US to give blood to an American battling the disease.
Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed in the west with the disease, contracted Ebola last month in Liberia and is now ‘fighting for his life’ at a hospital in Dallas after flying to the US to visit his fiancee.
Leading charity Save the Children warned recently Ebola is spreading at a ‘terrifying rate’ with the number of recorded cases doubling every week.
Speaking at a conference in London co-hosted with Sierra Leone last week, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called for more financial aid, doctors and nurses.
Scientists have warned that the deadly virus could spread across the world infecting people from the U.S. to China within three weeks.
There is a 50 per cent chance a traveller carrying the disease could touch down in the UK by October 24, a team of U.S. researchers have predicted.
Using Ebola spread patterns and airline traffic data they have calculated the odds of the virus spreading across the world.
They estimate there is a 75 per cent chance Ebola will reach French shores by October 24.
And Belgium has a 40 per cent chance of seeing the disease arrive on its territory, while Spain and Switzerland have lower risks of 14 per cent each.
Professor Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern University in Boston, who led the research, said: ‘This is not a deterministic list, it’s about probabilities – but those probabilities are growing for everyone.
‘It’s just a matter of who gets lucky and who gets unlucky.
‘Air traffic is the driver.
‘But there are also differences in connections with the affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), as well as different numbers of cases in these three countries – so depending on that, the probability numbers change.’
Source: Daily Mail