Ebola: 3 more people under observation in Spain


MADRID (AP) – Three more people were under observation for Ebola in a Madrid hospital, boosting the number being monitored for symptoms to 16. A nursing assistant infected with the virus remained in serious but stable condition Saturday.

The latest three are a nurse who came into contact with nursing assistant Teresa Romero, a hairdresser who attended to her and a hospital cleaner, all of whom were admitted to Madrid’s Carlos III hospital late Friday.  

A government statement said none of the 16 in quarantine, who include Romero’s husband, five doctors and five nurses, have shown any symptoms.

A later government statement said one of the five nurses has tested negative for Ebola, but will remain under “passive observation.”

Romero, 44, the first person known to have contracted the disease outside West Africa in the current outbreak, had cared for two Spanish priests who died of Ebola at the hospital, one in August and the other on Sept. 25.

At the hospital, some of those in quarantine on the fifth floor of the building could be seen leaning out of windows and giving victory signs to journalists below.

Thousands of people gathered in more than 20 cities throughout Spain to show their solidarity with Romero and to protest against how Madrid authorities had euthanized her pet dog named Excalibur on Wednesday instead of placing it in quarantine.

Some had painted Excalibur’s name onto their faces and many carried placards saying “We are with you Teresa,” ”You are not alone” and “We are all Excalibur,” and called on Health Minister Ana Mato to resign.

State broadcaster TVE showed in its newscast an interview with Maria del Carmen Rellan, Romero’s cousin, saying she had heard there had been a slight improvement in the patient’s condition.

The broadcaster also showed journalists asking Jesusa Ramos, Romero’s mother, if her daughter was making any improvements.

“She seems to be,” said Ramos, leaning out of a first floor window in her hometown of Becerrea in northwestern Spain.


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