Spanish health officials have confirmed that a nurse at a Madrid hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the Associated Press reports.
The woman, 44, whose name remains unknown, helped treat infected Spanish missionary Manuel García Viejo, who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone and returned to Spain for treatment. The missionary later died at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital.
Spain’s El Pais newspaper reports that the infected nurse took what were considered “extreme” protective measures while treating the patient. The infection is believed to be the first confirmed case of Ebola transmitted outside the continent of Africa. (The first case diagnosed in the US last week was acquired in Liberia.)
The first Ebola patient transported to Europe for treatment during the current outbreak, Miguel Pajares, “prompted concern among health professionals who said that Spanish hospitals were not adequately equipped to handle the Ebola outbreak,” The Guardian noted.
The president of a union of Spanish physicians pointed out that while the US has “10 hospitals with the highest level of biosafety possible… Spain, in contrast, has just one suitable hospital with biosafety levels that are much lower,” according to The Guardian.
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