Spain’s health authorities are monitoring at least 50 people for signs of the Ebola virus after a Madrid nurse became the first person to contract the virus outside of Africa.
Teresa Romero Ramos, 44, had caught the virus while treating two missionary workers who had been repatriated to Spain from Africa, prompting the European Commission to demand an explanation from the Spanish government.
Three other people have also been placed in quarantine, including the nurse’s husband, Javier Limón, a Spanish engineer who had visited Nigeria and another nurse. The other nurse has since been discharged.
The Times says that the rest have not been admitted to hospital, although they are being monitored and have been told to take their temperatures twice a day.
The nurse’s dog has also been destroyed out of fear that it could spread the virus to more humans.
Mr Limón said that his wife was “doing well but serious,” maintaining: “She did everything they told her to do. At no moment was she worried that she could have been infected. She was working normally and followed all her protocols.”
It has emerged today, however, that Ms Romero claims she touched her face with a tainted glove while cleaning up after one of the patients. She told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper that she had followed all other protocols and cannot think of any other way she could have contracted the virus.
He added that she had been in good health until the start of last week, when she developed a fever with a temperature of 100F.
Spanish health minister Ana Mato is now facing calls to resign following accusations that staff at the hospital were not properly trained, leading to a protest from healthcare unions.
“This was not a case of human error, but procedures that have been badly carried out and which have not worked. We are not to blame,” a spokeswoman for the CSI-F union said.