Six people are in quarantine in a Madrid hospital and another 84 are being monitored for any signs of Ebola, health authorities said on Thursday.
Those in isolation include Teresa Romero Ramos, the Spanish nurse who on Monday became the first known person to contract Ebola outside west Africa. Her husband, who has not shown any symptoms, remains in isolation as a precautionary measure.
Two doctors were admitted to the Carlos III hospital, a specialised hub for attending to potential Ebola patients in Madrid, on Wednesday evening. Both had treated the Spanish nurse when she arrived at the hospital in Alcorcón on Monday with a fever and fatigue.
In a letter to his superiors published by several media outlets, one of the doctors described the 16 hours he spent on Monday treating the nurse. For much of that time, Juan Manuel Parra Ramírez and the nurses treating Romero Ramos wore just an impermeable gown, double gloves, a hat and a mask to protect themselves.
The letter followed earlier complaints from health workers that they had been given insufficient training to deal with a potential outbreak.
As the nurse’s state worsened, the health workers changed into more protective clothing. The patient was suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and coughing, said Parra Ramírez, complaining that his protective equipment was ill-fitting. “The sleeves were too short,” he wrote.
Despite being on the frontline of treating the nurse, he was not updated when her test results proved positive, he said. “I learned of the results from journalists rather than the relevant authority.”
On Wednesday, a nurse who was part of the same team as Romero Ramos and treated the two Ebola patients repatriated to Spain, was also admitted to the Carlos III hospital.
She was placed in quarantine as three others were released from the hospital. Two of the nurses from the same team as Romero Ramos and an engineer who had travelled from Nigeria to Spain all tested negative for Ebola.