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Spanish Nurse Becomes First Infected with Ebola in Europe

October 7, 2014
Public Health

hospitalA nurse who helped to treat two Ebola patients in Madrid has become the first person to contract the virus outside West Africa. She was part of the team that provided care to Spanish priests Manuel Garcia Viejo and Miguel Pajares who both died from the infection in September.

Antonio Alemany, head of Madrid’s primary health care service, said, “At the moment we are investigating the way in which the professional was infected; we have started studying all of the contacts the patient had since her symptoms began, including the health professionals who have been treating her.”

The nurse, who is said to be in a stable condition, was initially treated for fever symptoms in Alcorcon before being moved to the Carlos III hospital in Madrid. The case comes after scientists tracking the virus and analysing air traffic data predicted a high risk of a case being inadvertently imported into Europe by the end of the month.

Last week, Save The Children claimed cases of Ebola in West Africa were increasing at a ‘terrifying rate’ after it was revealed that five new cases were occurring every hour in Sierra Leone. The death toll in West Africa is over 3,000 with more than 7,100 confirmed cases in the region. The first case of Ebola on US soil was diagnosed last week after a Liberian man was hospitalised in Dallas. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state health officials are now trying to trace contacts of the man, who arrived in the US on September 20th.