The condition of the Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola has worsened in the last few hours. Teresa Romero, 44, has been in isolation at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid since October 6, after being diagnosed with the virus.
Her brother, José Ramón Romero, told reporters on the steps of the hospital that “her condition has got worse.” Romero had come to the health center – where Teresa’s husband, Javier Limón is also under observation but is yet to present symptoms – after doctors told him to make an urgent visit. He was visibly upset when he left the hospital, after hearing that her condition had deteriorated.
Doctor Yolanda Fuentes confirmed the news to reporters at 1.30pm, but said she was unable to give any further information on express request of the patient.
Romero’s brother, José Ramón, told Spanish TV channel La Sexta that Teresa had been intubated and was experiencing pulmonary problems. She was, he explained, being treated by 14 doctors, and would be administered a different drug in an attempt to improve her condition. However, Dr Fuentes later denied that the patient had been intubated.
As well as the nursing assistant, a further six people are under observation after having come into contact with her. Among them is her husband, as well as the doctors who treated her before her diagnosis was confirmed.
A total of six people are under observation after having come into contact with Teresa Romero
A further 50 or so people are being monitored in their homes after coming into close contact with Romero, and are having their temperatures checked twice a day.
Romero was part of a medical team that treated two Spanish missionaries with Ebola, who had been brought back to Spain from Sierra Leone and Liberia. Both died in the hospital. Romero is reported to have entered into the room of one of the missionaries, Manuel García Viejo, on two occasions: once to change his diaper and sheets, and again to clean up the room after he had died.
Romero explained to EL PAÍS on Wednesday that the infection could have been caused when she removed her protective suit after she entered the room the first time. She has since told her doctors that she may have touched her face with a glove after taking her suit off.