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Nursing Assistant in Spain Contracts Ebola

Associated Press

Aleteia - published on 10/07/14

Simon described her hospitalized husband as "OK and relatively calm."

He rejected criticism that authorities were slow to react to the case, but about 20 health care workers at the hospital protested outside Tuesday. They called for the resignation of Health Minister Ana Mato amid claims by union officials that Spanish health workers have not received adequate anti-infection training or the most modern Ebola protection equipment.

Rafael Perez-Santamarina, the hospital’s director, said authorities did not know yet how the nursing assistant got infected despite the use of internationally recognized precautions against Ebola.

"When we finish the investigation, we will be able to say," he said.

The nursing assistant also helped to treat 75-year-old Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, who got Ebola in Liberia, flew back to Spain, received the experimental Ebola medicine ZMapp but still died in August.

The other Spanish Ebola patient, Garcia Viejo, who was in charge of the San Juan del Dios hospital in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, was not given ZMapp because worldwide supplies ran out.

The nursing assistant went on vacation after Garcia Viejo died but health officials said she did not leave the Madrid area.
In the U.S., video journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who became infected while working in Liberia, arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. It’s not clear how he was infected, according to his father. Mukpo is the fifth American sick with Ebola brought back from West Africa for medical care. The others were aid workers — three have recovered and one remains hospitalized.

There are no approved drugs for Ebola, so doctors have tried experimental treatments in some cases.

A critically ill Liberian man hospitalized in Dallas with Ebola is getting an experimental treatment, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said.

Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He is receiving an experimental medication called brincidofovir, which was developed to treat other types of viruses. Laboratory tests suggested it may also work against Ebola.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, urged the U.S. government to begin screening air passengers arriving from Ebola-affected nations, including taking their temperatures.

But federal U.S. health officials say a travel ban could make the desperate situation worse in those countries. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was not currently under consideration.

President Barack Obama said the U.S. will be "working on protocols to do additional passenger screening both at the source and here in the United States." He did not elaborate.

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