Nurse in Spain gets Ebola, raising global concern

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Nurse in Spain gets Ebola, raising global concern
Teresa Mesa, spokesperson of Ebola patient Teresa Romero, shows to the media a video of Romero's husband, who is in quarantine, in front of the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Spain says a test has shown a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola is now clear of all traces of the virus. A blood test has revealed that Teresa Romero's immune system has eliminated the virus from her body, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office late Sunday. Romero, 44, had treated two patients who died of Ebola at Carlos III hospital. The first, Miguel Pajares, contracted the disease in Liberia and died on Aug. 12 despite having been treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. The second was Manuel Garcia Viejo who died, aged 69, on Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Teresa Mesa, left, spokesperson of Ebola patient Teresa Romero speaks to the media in front of the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Spain says a test has shown a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola is now clear of all traces of the virus. A blood test has revealed that Teresa Romero's immune system has eliminated the virus from her body, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office late Sunday. Romero, 44, had treated two patients who died of Ebola at Carlos III hospital. The first, Miguel Pajares, contracted the disease in Liberia and died on Aug. 12 despite having been treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. The second was Manuel Garcia Viejo who died, aged 69, on Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
An unidentified mother gets ready to take a picture of her daughter in front of the Carlos III Hospital, where Ebola patient Teresa Romero is receiving treatment, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Spain says a test h as shown a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola is now clear of all traces of the virus. A blood test has revealed that Teresa Romero's immune system has eliminated the virus from her body, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office late Sunday. Romero, 44, had treated two patients who died of Ebola at Carlos III hospital. The first, Miguel Pajares, contracted the disease in Liberia and died on Aug. 12 despite having been treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. The second was Manuel Garcia Viejo who died, aged 69, on Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Medical practitioners shout against Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during his visit to the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. A Spanish hospital official says the nursing assistant infected with Ebola is "stable," hours after authorities described her condition as critical. She is the first person known to have caught the disease outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. She contracted the virus while helping treat a Spanish missionary who became infected in West Africa, and later died. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: A group of health workers protest for the support of Teresa Romero in front door of Carlos III hospital where nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the Ebola virus, in Madrid, Spain, on October 10, 2014. 13 people are quarantined as a precaution in hospital following the admission of Spanish nurse Teresa Romero infected with the ebola virus. (Photo by Senhan Bolelli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: A group of health workers protest for the support of Teresa Romero in front door of Carlos III hospital where nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the Ebola virus, in Madrid, Spain, on October 10, 2014. 13 people are quarantined as a precaution in hospital following the admission of Spanish nurse Teresa Romero infected with the ebola virus. (Photo by Senhan Bolelli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Nurses of Carlos III hospital, where nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the Ebola virus, protest as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy leaves the hospital on October 10, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato confirmed nurse Teresa Romero had tested positive after treating two Ebola patients that had been brought back to the country from Africa. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Nurse Teresa Romero's husband Javier Limon looks on behind the floor where medical staff operate wearing protective suits inside Carlos III hospital, where nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the Ebola virus on October 10, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato confirmed nurse Teresa Romero had tested positive after treating two Ebola patients that had been brought back to the country from Africa. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
A medical practitioner wearing protective clothing stands next to an isolated patient on the sixth floor of the the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Two doctors who treated a Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola have been admitted to a Madrid hospital for precautionary observation, bringing to six the number being monitored at the center. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo)
Medical practitioners wearing protective clothing are seen inside an isolated ward on the sixth floor of the the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Two doctors who treated a Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola have been admitted to a Madrid hospital for precautionary observation, bringing to six the number being monitored at the center. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo)
Javier Limon, the husband of the nursing assistant infected with Ebola, looks out of a window during rainfall inside an isolated ward on the sixth floor of the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Two doctors who treated a Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola have been admitted to a Madrid hospital for precautionary observation, bringing to six the number being monitored at the center. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo)
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, center, gives a speech in presence of Madrid’s Regional President Ignacio Gonzalez, left, and Hospital Manager Rafael Perez Santamarina after visiting the Carlos III Hospital where Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola, is treated in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. A Spanish hospital official says the nursing assistant infected with Ebola is "stable," hours after authorities described her condition as critical. She is the first person known to have caught the disease outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. She contracted the virus while helping treat a Spanish missionary who became infected in West Africa, and later died. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A protester wearing a medical mask bearing the words 'Ana Mato, Resignation' shouts during a demonstration outside the Carlos III hospital where a Spanish nursing assistant is undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with Ebola on Monday, in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed thousands of people. The demonstration was against the Health Minister Ana Mato and health authorities in Madrid who have faced accusations of not following protocol and poorly preparing health care workers for dealing with Ebola and for general cuts in the health service. (AP Photo/Paul White)
A man walks past an advertising poster calling for financial help to fight Ebola in Africa on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, in Madrid downtown, Spain. A Spanish hospital official says the nursing assistant Teresa Romero, infected with Ebola, is "stable," hours after authorities described her condition as critical. Romero is the first person known to have caught the disease outside the outbreak zone in West Africa, contracting the virus while helping treat a Spanish missionary who became infected in West Africa, and later died. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
A man walks out of the Alcorcon hospital wearing a mask in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. A Spanish hospital official says the nursing assistant Teresa Romero, infected with Ebola, is "stable," hours after authorities described her condition as critical. She is the first person known to have caught the disease outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. She contracted the virus while helping treat a Spanish missionary who became infected in West Africa, and later died. Romero was first admitted to the Alcorcon hospital and then transferred to the Carlos II hospital. (AP Photo/Paul White)
A woman lights candles outside an apartment complex in honor of the euthanized pet dog of Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero, who contracted Ebola, in Alcorcon, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 . Two doctors who treated her have been admitted to a Madrid hospital for precautionary observation, bringing to six the number being monitored at the center. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A woman walks her dog by flowers and a banner reading 'farewell Excalibur', the euthanized pet dog of Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero, infected with Ebola in Alcorcon, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Two doctors who treated her have been admitted to a Madrid hospital for precautionary observation, bringing to six the number being monitored at the center. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Police guard the main entrance as a firemen enters during the operation in the apartment of the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Three more people were placed under quarantine for Ebola at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected, authorities said Thursday. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
A fireman gestures, bottom right, as workers wearing rompers and gloves come out of the entrance of the apartment building of a Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Three more people were placed under quarantine for Ebola at a Madrid hospital where the Spanish nurse became infected, authorities said Thursday. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Riot police clash with animal rights activists as they stop a vehicle believed to be transporting a dog belonging to a Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.. Three more people were placed under quarantine for Ebola at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected, authorities said Thursday. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
This is an undated image released on Wednesday Oct. 8, 2014 by animal rights organisation PACMA, of Teresa Romero, the nursing assistant who is infected with Ebola in Madrid, with her dog named Excalibur. Officials in Madrid got a court order to euthanize the pet dog of Spanish nursing assistant Romero, because of the chance the animal might spread the disease. At least one major study suggests that dogs can be infected with the deadly Ebola virus without showing symptoms, but whether or how likely they are to spread it to people is less clear. (AP Photo / PACMA)
Firemen stand as worker wearing protective clothing come out ofthe building entrance of the apartment building of the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Three more people were placed under quarantine for Ebola at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected, authorities said Thursday. More than 50 other possible contacts were being monitored. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato arrives to meet regional health advisors to reveal the government's new measures in the fights against ebola virus in Madrid on October 10, 2014. Spain said Friday it was setting up a special government committee to coordinate the national fight against Ebola after a nurse in Madrid became infected with the deadly disease. The health minister and officials from several other ministries will form a 'special committee for the management of the Ebola disease in Spain,' deputy premier Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Doctors, nurses and cleaners protest against the government's handling of the Ebola virus crisis outside La Paz hospital on October 10, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Spanish nurse Teresa Romero is being treated for the Ebola virus at the nearby Carlos III hospital after treating two Ebola patients that had been brought back to the country from Africa. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
A Health worker sporting a surgical mask with the words ' Government resign' stands druing a gathering outside the Carlos III hospital in Madrid on October 10, 2014 where 12 people are in quarantine as a precaution following the admission of Spanish nurse Teresa Romero infected with the ebola virus. Romero was fighting for her life Friday as fears mounted of the deadly disease spreading beyond its west Africa contagion to fuel a global pandemic. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality Ana Mato (C), Spanish Director of Public Health Mercedes Vinues (L) and Community of Madrid's Director General for First Aid Antonio Alemany attend a press conference at the ministry of health in Madrid on October 6, 2014 on what is believed to be the first case of Ebola contracted outside of the African continent since the latest outbreak of the virus hit West Africa this year. An assistant nurse who treated two Ebola patients at Carlos III hospital is infected with the virus herself, health officials said on October 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality Ana Mato (C), Spanish Director of Public Health Mercedes Vinues (L) and Community of Madrid's Director General for First Aid Antonio Alemany attend a press conference at the ministry of health in Madrid on October 6, 2014 on what is believed to be the first case of Ebola contracted outside of the African continent since the latest outbreak of the virus hit West Africa this year. An assistant nurse who treated two Ebola patients at Carlos III hospital is infected with the virus herself, health officials said on October 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical practitioners wearing protective clothing work while Javier Limon, the husband of the nursing assistant infected with Ebola, is seen through a window, down left, while another isolated girl talks on her phone inside an isolated ward on the sixth floor of the the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. A Spanish hospital official says the nursing assistant infected with Ebola is "stable," hours after authorities described her condition as critical. She is the first person known to have caught the disease outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. She contracted the virus while helping treat a Spanish missionary who became infected in West Africa, and later died. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
(FILES) A picture taken on August 7, 2014 shows the entrance to the Carlos III hospital in Madrid where two late Ebola patients had been treated. An assistant nurse who treated two Ebola patients at a Madrid hospital is infected with the virus herself, health officials said on October 6, 2014 in what is believed to be the first time a person has contracted the disease in Europe. AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality Ana Mato (L) and Community of Madrid's Director General for First Aid Antonio Alemany attend a press conference at the ministry of health in Madrid on October 6, 2014 on what is believed to be the first case of Ebola contracted outside of the African continent since the latest outbreak of the virus hit West Africa this year. An assistant nurse who treated two Ebola patients at Carlos III hospital is infected with the virus herself, health officials said on October 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2014 file photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain. A spokeswoman for a Madrid hospital says a Spanish missionary priest who was evacuated from Liberia last week after testing positive for Ebola has died, Tuesday Aug. 12, 2014 in the Carlos III hospital where he was being treated. Spain’s Health Ministry said Monday it had obtained a course of the U.S.-made experimental drug ZMapp over the weekend to treat the priest. (AP Photo/Spanish Defense Ministry, File)
In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Manuel Garcia Viejo, a Spanish priest who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, from a military plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The Spanish priest who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has been flown back to Spain and taken to a Madrid hospital. Garcia Viejo, a medical director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in the city of Lunsar in Sierra Leone, arrived on a medically equipped military plane shortly after 3 a.m. Monday. (AP Photo/Spanish Defense Ministry)
In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Manuel Garcia Viejo, a Spanish priest who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, from a military plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The priest has been flown back to Spain and taken to a Madrid hospital. (AP Photo/Spanish Defense Ministry)
An ambulance transporting Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, leaves the Military Air Base of Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 after his landing in Spain. A priest who has been confirmed as the first Spaniard to be infected by the current outbreak of the ebola virus has been brought back to Spain for treatment. Pajares, a missionary priest based in Liberia, is one of over hundreds reported cases to have been confirmed since March, when the most deadly wave of the condition began. As well as Liberia, where Pajares was based, the epidemic is also affecting Sierra Leone and Nigeria, with hundreds of deaths reported so far. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. A Spanish missionary priest who tested positive for the Ebola virus was in stable condition at a Madrid hospital on Thursday after being evacuated from Liberia, health officials said. (AP Photo/Spanish Defense Ministry)
ALCORCON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: A sanitation worker wearing protective clothing desinfects the hall of the apartment building, the private residence for Spanish nurse Teresa Romero several days after she was tested positive for the Ebola virus on October 10, 2014 in Alcorcon, near Madrid, Spain. Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato confirmed nurse, Teresa R. R had tested positive after treating two Ebola patients who had been brought back to the country from Africa. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) - In a case underscoring the perils of caring for Ebola patients, a nurse in Spain who cared for an Ebola patient has come down with the disease - the first known transmission outside West Africa during the current epidemic.

Her husband and a second nurse who treated the patient are now in quarantine, Spanish officials said Tuesday.

A man who arrived on a flight from Nigeria has also been quarantined, they said.

Public Health Director Mercedes Vinuesa told Parliament that authorities were making a list of other people who may have had contact with the nurse, who has not been publicly identified. The couple has no children.

The Health Ministry's chief coordinator for health alerts and emergencies, Fernando Simon, told Cadena SER radio that the nurse was in stable condition and her life not in any immediate danger. Health officials said she had no symptoms besides the fever.

News reports said she was 44. Simon said her husband was "OK and relatively calm."

There was a low risk that some people in contact with the nurse could develop Ebola, Simon said, but he insisted this did not represent a public health threat. He disputed critics who said authorities were slow to react to the case.

The nurse, was hospitalized on Sunday, had helped treat Manuel Garcia Viejo, a Spanish priest returned from Sierra Leone who died Sept. 25 in another Madrid hospital designated for treating Ebola patients. She had changed a diaper for the patient and collected material from his room following his death. She then went on vacation.

Vinuesa said Spain had several therapies available and began applying them Monday, but gave no further details.

She had also assisted treating 75-year-old Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, also flown back to Spain from Liberia. He died after being treated with the experimental Ebola medicine ZMapp.

Garcia Viejo, who was in charge of the San Juan del Dios hospital in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, was not given the treatment because worldwide supplies ran out.

The virus that causes Ebola spreads only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms.

The nurse's illness illustrates the danger that health care workers face not only in poorly equipped West African clinics, but also in the more sophisticated medical centers of Europe and the United States, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.

"At greatest risk in all Ebola outbreaks are health care workers," he said.

The unprecedented Ebola outbreak this year has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization estimates, and it has become an escalating concern to the rest of the world. More than 370 health-care workers in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have died.

In the U.S., video journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who became infected while working in Liberia, arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where another Ebola patient had been treated. It's not clear how he was infected. It may have happened when he helped clean a vehicle someone died in, said his father, Dr. Mitchell Levy. On Monday, his symptoms of fever and nausea still appeared mild, Levy said.

Mukpo is the fifth American sick with Ebola brought back from West Africa for medical care. The others were aid workers - three have recovered and one remains hospitalized.

There are no approved drugs for Ebola, so doctors have tried experimental treatments in some cases.

The critically ill Liberian man hospitalized in Dallas is also getting an experimental treatment, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said Monday. Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.; he was admitted to the hospital Sept. 28.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged the U.S. government to begin screening air passengers arriving from Ebola-affected nations, including taking their temperatures.

The hospital said Duncan was receiving an experimental medication called brincidofovir, which was developed to treat other types of viruses. Laboratory tests suggested it may also work against Ebola.

Two other experimental drugs developed specifically for Ebola have been used, though it's unclear whether they had any effect. The small supply of ZMapp was exhausted after being used on a few patients, though government officials say more should be available in the next two months. A second drug, TKM-Ebola from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, has been used in at least one patient.

Federal health officials say a travel ban could make the desperate situation worse in those countries, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was not currently under consideration.

President Barack Obama said the U.S. will be "working on protocols to do additional passenger screening both at the source and here in the United States." He did not outline any details or offer a timeline.

___

Associated Press writers Jorge Sainz in Spain, Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska, and Connie Cass, Lauran Neergaard, Matthew Perrone and Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.

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