By Chris Carrington
The nurse was moved to Carlos III hospital in Madrid in the early hours of Tuesday. Getty Images.
Spain has the dubious distinction of being the country who has the first Ebola patient to contract the disease outside of West Africa. A nurse who assisted with the care of both missionaries who were flown back from West Africa for treatment, has tested positive for the disease.
Questions are being asked about how this could have happened, as she is said to have had ‘ minimal contact’ with both of the men, and the contact she did have was apparently conducted in full barrier gear according to hospital protocols.
From the BBC:
The Spanish auxiliary nurse, a 40-year-old woman who has not been named, was one of about 30 staff at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid who had been treating priests Manuel Garcia Viejo and Miguel Pajares, officials say.
Mr Garcia Viejo, 69, died at the hospital on 25 September after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone. Miguel Pajares, 75, died in August after contracting the virus in Liberia.
The nurse had twice gone into the room where Mr Garcia Viejo had been treated – to be directly involved in his care and to disinfect the room after his death. Both times she was wearing protective clothing.
Madrid health care director Antonia Alemany told reporters that according to the information available: “The nurse went into the room wearing the individual protection gear and there’s no knowledge of an accidental exposure to risk.”
Shortly afterwards the nurse went on holiday, a hospital spokesman said, but fell ill on 30 September and was admitted to Alcorcon hospital in south-west Madrid on Sunday after being tested positive for Ebola.
Early on Tuesday she was moved under police escort to Carlos III hospital in the capital and is said to be in a stable condition.
Her husband has been placed under quarantine in hospital, public health director Mercedes Vinuesa told parliament on Tuesday, and a list of people she may have had contact with was being drawn up so they could be monitored.
It has not been stated where the 40 year old and her family went on holiday. She left for her vacation on September 25th immediately after the death of Miguel Pajares and started to feel unwell on September 30th. She was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday, October 6th.
According to the assurances we are constantly given that Ebola is not contagious until the symptoms show themselves. This woman has been wandering around for six days after becoming symptomatic. Let’s hope they spend less time asking how this has happened and more time finding all those she came into contact with during those vacation days.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!