A second nursing assistant was admitted to hospital in Madrid on Tuesday night showing symptoms that could correspond to infection with the Ebola virus. The woman formed part of the medical team that treated two Spanish missionaries with Ebola, who were repatriated from Africa and later died in care. Another nursing assistant from the same team, Teresa Romero, was confirmed to have contracted Ebola on Monday and is being treated in Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, where this second woman has also been admitted.
According to a spokesperson from the La Paz and Carlos III hospitals, the suspected victim is running a fever, and is under observation. No further information was given, and it is not known whether the nursing assistant advised the medical authorities of her temperature, or whether she is one of the 50 or so people being monitored by doctors. Most of these formed part of the team who took care of the missionaries, and the remainder are medical staff who came into contact with Romero on Monday before she was placed in isolation.
The second potential victim was “very frightened” given that she is “a friend” of Romero
The second potential victim was “very frightened” given that she is “a friend” of Romero, said hospital sources. The woman worked the morning shift on the team that cared for missionaries Miguel Pajares and Manuel García Viejo, who both died several days after being brought back to Spain. “They have told us that she is fine, but they have admitted her just in case,” the same sources added.
Five patients are now in isolation and under observation as a result of the risk that they may have contracted Ebola. The other 30 or so medical staff who treated the missionaries will have their temperature checked twice a day until 21 days since the death of García Viejo, who died on September 25, have passed – the incubation period of the virus.
Hospital staff added that some of their colleagues have suffered “anxiety attacks” and had to be sent home on Tuesday. “All of my colleagues were crying when I arrived,” explained a member of staff. “We are all suffering from low morale,” she added. “Everyone is hugging each other. There is no way to console some people.”
As well as the two nursing assistants, the husband of Teresa Romero is also in Carlos III in isolation, as well as a Spanish engineer who recently returned to his home country from Nigeria, who is said to be doing well. Another nurse who was exposed to the virus is being treated in isolation, but has so far tested negative for Ebola in the two tests she has undergone. She is expected to be discharged from hospital today.