MADRID (AP) — A Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola after treating missionary priests with the disease repatriated from West Africa has managed to beat it after nearly two weeks of treatment in Madrid and has no traces of the virus in her bloodstream, according to test results released Sunday night by Spain's government.
Romero, 44, is believed to be the first person to have caught Ebola via
transmission outside of West Africa in the current outbreak. Two nurses
in the U.S. later contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian man who
died at a Dallas hospital.
Romero was among Spain's team of health
care workers caring for the priests in August and September and told
officials she remembered touching a glove to her face after leaving the
hospital room of Father Miguel Pajares, who died Sept. 25. She entered
his room twice — once to change his diaper and another time after he
died to retrieve unspecified items.
Romero, who remains quarantined at Madrid's Carlos III hospital, must
undergo another Ebola test to make sure she is virus free after testing
positive on Oct. 6.
The second Ebola test is usually performed
within two to three days and Spain's committee dealing with the
country's Ebola crisis said in a statement that the confirmation test to
make sure Romero no longer has Ebola would happen in "coming hours."
husband, Javier Limon, is among 15 people who came into contact with
Romero after she started feeling feverish after treating Pajares and
stayed mostly at home in the Madrid suburb of Alcorcon before being
hospitalized. Spanish authorities said none of them — including Limon —
have shown symptoms of Ebola so far.
"I am very happy today,
because we can now say that Teresa has vanquished the disease," Limon
said Sunday night in a video showing him sitting on his hospital bed
that was released to reporters by his spokeswoman, Maria Teresa Mesa.
told reporters outside the hospital Sunday night that Romero was "doing
spectacularly well" and is eager to leave the hospital as soon as she
"She's capable of getting out of bed and eating practically
anything," said Mesa, adding that Romero told her: "I shouldn't have to
die, I'm too young." Mesa has also contradicted Spanish officials'
accounts on how Romero might have been infected by saying she followed
all protocols and does not remember the incident with the glove.
was treated with blood plasma from people who have been infected with
Ebola, but Spanish authorities have not released more details of how she
was cared for because she requested that no details be released about
her treatment program.
The nursing assistant still does not know
that Spanish health authorities approved the killing of the couple's
mixed breed dog named Excalibur on Oct. 8 instead of isolating the pet,
unlike U.S. authorities who quarantined the King Charles Spaniel
belonging to one of the infected Dallas nurses.
On Sunday, there
was a shrine with flowers and sympathy notes to Excalibur outside the
Alcorcon apartment complex where Limon and Romero live.
Romero's test result was released Sunday, hundreds of Madrid health care
workers protested demanding the ouster of Spanish Health Minister Ana
Mato, saying she should resign for the country's handling of Romero's
infection and blaming government austerity cuts to national health care
for allowing it to happen.
Health care unions have claimed they
were badly prepared for the Ebola crisis in Spain and received
substandard protective gear and training for putting the suits on and
taking them off when dealing with suspected Ebola cases.
regional Madrid health official came under harsh criticism for
suggesting that Romero lied about her posing a risk to Spaniards because
she did not tell the first doctor she saw after she felt sick that she
had been among those treating Ebola patients.
The government has
denied botching Ebola preparations, but changed protocols for dealing
with the disease after Romero was infected. To comply with World Health
Organization guidelines, Spanish health care workers must now be
monitored while getting in and out of protective gear when dealing with
suspected Ebola cases.
The government also announced new Ebola
protective gear training to ensure workers learn how to put on and take
off the gear themselves instead of relying on someone else to watch them
Over the weekend, Spain accepted a request by American
authorities to allow the U.S. to use two military bases in the country
to support its efforts to combat Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
deal allows U.S. forces to use an air base at Moron de la Frontera near
Seville and the naval station at Rota on Spain's Atlantic coast to
transport personnel and materials to and from Africa, Spain's Defense
Ministry said in a statement.
It was reached after Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes met with his U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington.
Culled from huffingtonpost.