In a follow up to yesterday’s report (see Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain) we are seeing more details emerge, including demands from the EU for clarification on how this infection could have occurred (see AFP article EU demands explanation from Spain on Ebola case) in a modern hospital that knew they were receiving and treating an Ebola case.
ABC News is reporting that Spain Places Husband of Ebola Nurse in Quarantine – a reasonable precaution given his risks of exposure – and that the MOH is drawing up a list of others who may have had contact with this nurse so that they can be monitored.
Although we know how to protect against infection with the Ebola virus, the reality is, no system of infection control is infallible. There are reports overnight in the media of complaints over `substandard PPEs’ provided by the Spanish hospital, although authorities are still insisting all proper infection control procedures were followed.
Quickly getting to the bottom of how this exposure occurred – and making adjustments to prevent it from happening again - will be paramount to prevent a crisis of confidence in the ability of modern hospitals to take in, and care for Ebola cases, without endangering their staff.
For now, the Spanish MOH is being circumspect on releasing details of this nurse’s contacts, or travel history, during the six days after she began to feel unwell, but was not isolated. A tactic that, unfortunately, may lead to more intense speculation online and in the media.
While it isn’t currently visible from the front page of Spain’s Ministry of Health website, there is now a brief press release posted under the Actualidad (news) banner.
The patient was isolated at the Hospital La Paz Carlos III
The patient is a member of the medical staff who treated Manuel García Viejo
The Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, sends a message of calm and highlights the absolute coordination with health authorities both nationally and internationally
6 October 2014 The Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, today reported the detection of a secondary case of Ebola virus infection in our country. The minister, who appeared together with the Director General of Public Health, Mercedes Vinuesa, Director of Primary Care, Community of Madrid, Antonio Alemany and healthcare professionals of the Community, explained that this is a medical technician who treated the Manuel García patient Viejo. After the symptoms have been detected and confirmed infection, remains hospitalized in isolation at the La Paz Hospital Carlos III.
The minister explained that the Ministry and the public health authorities of the Community of Madrid are working in a coordinated and are taking every step to give the best care to the patient and to ensure the safety of the population and health personnel . It has also indicated that it is investigating the source of infection.
He also stressed the absolute international coordination and recalled that Spain collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO). Finally, you have moved a message of reassurance to all citizens.