A Spanish nurse has been diagnosed with Ebola after treating a missionary from Sierra Leone. Maria Teresa Romero Ramos, 44, of Madrid is the first confirmed case of Ebola in Europe. Ramos began feeling unwell on September 30 and was diagnosed with the disease on Monday. Ramos’ husband has been placed in quarantine along with two others; 52 more health workers are under observation.
Ramos was treating Manuel Garcia Viejo, a Spanish missionary recently returned from Sierra Leone in a high-security treatment ward. The European Commission is investigating how the infection spread under the secure conditions of the ward. Spanish officials have not revealed how Ramos became infected. Ramos only visited Garcia’s room twice and was trained in the use of protective clothing.
Ramos’ husband, Javier Limon, said that his wife followed safety procedures while attending to the patient. “She did everything she was told to, and at no time was she concerned that she could have been infected,” he said.
Other hospital workers were less confident in the level of protection they received; several staged a public protest, complaining that the protective equipment and training they were given was inadequate.
European nations are attempting to halt the spread of Ebola by requiring temperature checks before boarding planes bound to Europe from African nations. Some airlines have gone so far as to suspend flights to infected nations altogether. Health officials in Europe say an outbreak is unlikely due to the overall quality of health services in European nations.