Four suspected Ebola cases in Spain test negative

17th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain have tested negative in a first round of tests, the government said Friday.

They include three men who arrived recently from badly affected African nations and were all hospitalised on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz Santamaria.

All four will be tested a second time in the coming days, she added.

The suspected cases comprise a passenger who arrived in Madrid on Thursday from Nigeria via Paris who had started shaking during the trip, and a missionary who came recently from Liberia.

A Red Cross worker who had travelled from another badly-affected country, Sierra Leone, also tested negative at a hospital on Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands.

Two people who live with Red Cross employee were quarantined as a precautionary measure although they did not display any symptoms and were not tested.

The fourth person to test negative was a man who was transported in the same ambulance used to hospitalise a Spanish nurse infected with Ebola, Teresa Romero.

The nurse caught Ebola while caring for two infected missionaries who were repatriated from west Africa, and who died from the virus shortly after arriving in Spain.

Romero, 44, is the first person known to have become infected with Ebola outside of Africa.

She remains in stable but serious condition at a Madrid's Carlos III Hospital, which Spain has designated to treat Ebola patients.

"With the drop in the viral load which we have observed, we can say with much certainty that the infection is being eliminated," the hospital's chief virologist, Jose Manuel Echevarria, told radio Cope.

"From an epidemiological point of view she is heading towards being cured," he said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the health crisis sparked in Spain by Romero's infection was "on track" to being resolved.

"What health professionals tell us is that we are heading in the right direction," he told a news conference in Milan.

Nearly 4,500 people have died so far this year from Ebola, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Health officials warn many more will die if the outbreak continues at its current pace.

© 2014 AFP

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