Six More Patients Checked in Spain Over Ebola Fears

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  October 17, 2014 at 5:08 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
Six more cases of possible Ebola infection have been identified by Spanish doctors on Thursday while a nurse being treated for the disease showed signs of improvement, said the officials.
 Six More Patients Checked in Spain Over Ebola Fears
Six More Patients Checked in Spain Over Ebola Fears

Among the new suspect cases was a Spanish missionary recently returned from one of the countries worst hit by the outbreak, Liberia, who has shown signs of fever, the government said.

He was due to be hospitalized at the specialist disease unit in Madrid's Carlos III hospital, the government's emergency committee on the Ebola outbreak said in a statement.

Two other people were also admitted to that hospital on Thursday, it added: a person who came close to the infected nurse, and a traveler who arrived in Madrid on an Air France flight from Paris.

Separately, on Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands, a Red Cross worker who had traveled from another affected country, Sierra Leone, was hospitalized, the organisation said.

Health officials in Tenerife said they had hospitalized the man in isolation when he complained of a fever on Thursday after arriving on the island on October 12 from Sierra Leone via Brussels and Madrid.

The man underwent tests which have been sent to Madrid for analysis. He had not shown symptoms before Thursday 16.

They also put in isolation in hospital as a precaution two people who live with that man but who are not displaying any Ebola-like symptoms, said a Canary Islands health official who asked not to be named.

- Missionaries, nurses, travelers -

The missionary is a member of the Hospital Order of San Juan de Dios, a Roman Catholic group that runs a charity working with Ebola victims in west Africa, the government said in a statement.

Two elderly Spanish missionaries from the same order were diagnosed with Ebola in west Africa in August and September and flown home to Spain for treatment, but they both died shortly afterwards.

Teresa Romero, a 44-year-old Spanish nurse at Madrid's Carlos III Hospital where they were cared for, was on October 6 herself diagnosed with Ebola, the first person known to have become infected with the virus outside Africa.

She remains in stable condition at Carlos III, the government's health emergencies coordinator, Fernando Simon, told a news conference earlier on Thursday.

The level of Ebola virus in her body is declining, he added.

"She talks slowly but is perfectly lucid," said a hospital source.

The person who came in contact with Romero and was hospitalized on Thursday is among 68 people considered as having had "low-risk contact" with the infected nurse. They have been monitored at home since Romero was diagnosed with Ebola on October 6.

The unidentified "contact" developed a fever on Thursday morning, Simon said. The person was transferred to Carlos III and the result of the Ebola test was due later, he said.

A passenger who arrived in Madrid from Nigeria via Paris on an Air France Flight who had started shaking during the flight was also taken to the hospital, the airline and Spanish airports operator Aena said.

Nearly 4,500 people have died so far this year from Ebola, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Health officials warn many more will die if the outbreak continues at its current pace.

Source: AFP

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