EBOLA IN SPAIN

Number of patients being monitored for Ebola symptoms rises to 100

As well as 15 high-risk contacts, a further 83 are under “active vigilance”

One of the rooms where a patient is under observation for Ebola symptoms at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.
One of the rooms where a patient is under observation for Ebola symptoms at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERS

The number of people currently under observation after having come into contact with Spanish Ebola patient Teresa Romero has risen to 100. All of these people interacted with the nursing assistant during the six days that she was presenting symptoms of the virus, which is when contagion can occur.

As well as the 15 people currently admitted to the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, considered “high-risk contacts,” there are a further 83 that are being monitored, EL PAÍS has determined. The last official figure supplied was 52.

Among this group is the ambulance crew that took Romero to the emergency room at Alcorcón Hospital

These 83 people are in their homes for now, and are subject to what the experts call “active vigilance” – i.e., they are being called by Madrid regional public health personnel twice a day to ensure that they are taking their temperature and to find out the results. This kind of passive observation is the same process used with people at risk, as was the case of Romero, who became infected with Ebola while treating two Spanish missionaries with the virus who had been repatriated from West Africa.

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Among this group is the ambulance crew that took Romero from her house to the emergency room at Alcorcón Hospital, and the seven patients who were subsequently transported in the same vehicle. The ambulance, which was not prepared for the transport of infectious patients, remained in service without being decontaminated during the 12-hour shift of the team.

The remainder of the list of people being monitored is made up of residents who live in the same block as Romero in Alcorcón; her husband, Javier Limón; patients from the health center Romero visited on September 30, when she already had a fever; and other health professionals, who, while not having had direct contact with the nursing assistant, work in the centers where she was treated.

None of the 100 people currently being monitored are presenting symptoms.

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