3 more people isolated in Spain as fears grow of European Ebola outbreak
Fears grew on Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic was spreading outside Africa.
Three more people were isolated in Spain following the infection of a nurse in a Madrid hospital.
The European Union demanded answers about how the disease could have spread in Spain’s most specialist unit treating Ebola.
The nurse cared for two elderly Spanish missionaries who died from the virus after being flown home from west Africa.
Tests confirmed that the 40-year-old nurse is the first person to contract the virus outside Africa.
Doctors said her husband was at “high risk” and has been admitted to the La Paz-Carlos III hospital, where the nurse worked.
Another “suspect case” – a man recently returned from abroad – is also being monitored there.
One of the nurse’s colleagues, who has been suffering from diarrhoea, has also been taken in for observation.
The infected nurse began to feel ill on Sept 30 while on leave after treating the two priests in the hospital’s isolation unit.
But she did not go to hospital until Sunday – five days later – complaining of a fever, government officials said.
She is now being treated in the same unit.
Health officials said they were trying to find out who she came into contact with, and were monitoring 30 people – including co-workers – for Ebola symptoms.
The infection also sparked questions about how safety procedures were applied when treating the two missionaries.
Health workers attend a protest outside La Paz Hospital calling for Spain's Health Minister Ana Mato to resign.
“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.