7 October 2014

Spaniard becomes first to catch ebola outside africa



 A nurse's assistant in Spain is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa in the current outbreak.
Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday that a test confirmed the assistant has the virus.
The woman helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa. Both died after returning to Spain.
Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was not hospitalized until this week. Her only symptom was a fever.



"We are working in coordination to give the best care to the patient and to guarantee the safety of all citizens," the health minister said.
An investigation is under way to find everyone the assistant may have had contact with while contagious. So far, there are no other known cases.
The assistant was one of about 30 health professionals in Spain who helped to treat the Ebola patients.
The news came amid growing fears in the United States that the disease could spread.
"As I've said from the start of this outbreak, I consider this a top national security priority. This is not just a matter of charity ... This is an issue about our safety," President Barack Obama told reporters Monday.
He called for protocols to help stop the spread of the disease, while downplaying the risk of an epidemic in the United States.
"We're also going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening, both at the source and here in the United States," he said. "Here in the United States, at least, the chances of an outbreak -- of an epidemic here -- are extraordinarily low."
Texas Gov.: Quarantines at borders
To avoid an outbreak, the federal government should start enhanced screening and quarantines at borders, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said earlier Monday.
"There's only so much that a state can do," said Perry, whose state is the first to have a patient diagnosed with the disease inside the United States.
Thomas Eric Duncan flew into the United States last month from Liberia, the country hit hardest by the epidemic. He was coming to visit family and friends. After his Ebola diagnosis at a Dallas hospital, Duncan now lies in an isolation unit in critical condition.
He is receiving brincidofovir, health officials said Monday. The experimental antiviral drug was originally developed to treat life-threatening viruses including smallpox. But antiviral drugs can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases.
"We appreciate and we applaud the assistance we've received from the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies we've worked with," he said. But, he added, "Washington needs to take immediate steps to minimize the dangers of Ebola and other infectious diseases."
Customs and Border Protection "should immediately be directed to conduct enhanced screening procedures, obtaining more information about people who are coming from affected areas," and taking "appropriate steps" as simple as taking a person's temperature, Perry said at a news conference.

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