In what is believed to be the first infection outside of Africa, an assistant nurse at a Madrid hospital where two Ebola patients died has contracted the virus herself, health officials said Monday.
“Two tests were done and the two were positive,” a spokesman for the health department of the regional government of Madrid told AFP.
The woman works at Madrid’s La Paz-Carlos III hospital where two missionaries who were repatriated from Africa with Ebola died from the disease, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.
“We do not know yet if she treated any of the two missionaries,” the spokeswoman told AFP.
Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, was infected with Ebola in Liberia and died at the hospital on August 12.
Another Spanish missionary, Manuel Garcia viejo, 69, was repatriated from Sierra Leone and died at the hospital on September 25.
The Ebola epidemic that has been raging in west Africa has so far claimed almost 3,500 lives, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone worst hit.
There is no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola. Of several prototype treatments in the pipeline, one dubbed ZMapp has been fast-tracked for use, developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical in California, in conjunction with the US Army.