Brussels demands answers from Spain after nurse contracts Ebola

But EC believes the spread of the virus in Europe “continues to be highly improbable”

Health workers in Alcorcón Hospital on Monday.
Health workers in Alcorcón Hospital on Monday.

The European Commission has called for “explanations” from Spain about the circumstances and possible mistakes made by the healthcare system that led to a nurse’s assistant contracting the ebola virus, a spokesperson from Brussels said on Tuesday.

“The European Commission sent a message to the Spanish Health Ministry on Monday to ask for explanations [about the circumstances] that have made this first contagion outside of Africa possible,” explained Frédéric Vincent, who added that they were expecting a response from Spain on Wednesday. “Obviously there is a problem somewhere,” the spokesperson concluded.

However, Vincent added that the commission was not excessively concerned about the case in Spain, given that the spread of the virus in Europe “continues to be highly improbable.”

Brussels called on the Spanish authorities on Monday to confirm that one of the health professionals who came into contact with missionary Manuel García Viejo at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid had contracted the virus. The priest died in September after having been repatriated to Spain from Sierra Leone.

Brussels stated that Spain would have to “provide explanations” about the details of the contagion. EC sources underlined that European hospitals must be “highly equipped” in order to protect their personnel.

Sources consulted by news agency Europa Press explained that the European Union has been “prepared” for some time for the chance that an infection might occur within its borders, but clarified that it would be “nearly impossible” for the disease to spread as it has done in West Africa, where 3,300 people have already died in the latest outbreak.


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