The doctor who treated Spanish Ebola patient Teresa Romero during the time she had not yet been confirmed to be carrying Ebola sent a scathing internal letter to superiors at his hospital, alleging that he only found out about her positive diagnosis in the media and was not properly equipped to protect himself.
In an internal letter released to several Spanish outlets, Dr. Juan Manuel Parra Ramírez alleges that he was not provided with adequate protection upon suspicions arising that Romero had contracted Ebola. He notes that he was around her after being informed of the possibility that she was suffering from Ebola and provided with what should have been a “second protective suit of a higher level [of security],” but that “the sleeves were short on me at all times.”
Dr. Parra treated Romero from her initial entry into a different hospital in another sector of Madrid, though Romero works as an auxiliary nurse for Carlos II Hospital and eventually was transferred there. He is believed to be the only doctor to treat her during the time in which her condition had yet to be confirmed. Upon hearing of Romero’s positive diagnosis, Parra interned himself at the hospital and entered isolation voluntarily, despite not exhibiting symptoms of having contracted the virus.
Romero herself remains in delicate condition. News outlets reported this morning that Romero’s condition has worsened overnight, according to her brother, who visited her in her isolation ward. In addition to the telltale symptoms of Ebola– diarrhea, vomiting, and high fever– Romero reportedly exhibited signs of lung problems. As recently as earlier this week, Romero appeared healthy enough to speak to the press, though telling a reporter who called her in the hospital that she would rather not speak: “it tires me.”
Spain is on high alert for subsequent contaminations since Romero contracted the disease from a Spanish missionary she helped care for at the hospital, who was returned to Madrid after testing positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone. Seven individuals are reported to currently be under quarantine; in addition to her husband, Javier Limón, two beauticians who served Romero recently and several other health workers are currently being held in the hospital.
It is not yet clear how Romero contracted the virus despite high security measures. While Romero herself has said she has “no idea” how she got sick, health officials have announced they believe that Romero accidentally touched her face while wearing Ebola-infected gloves during protective gear removal procedures.