Spain Mystified as to How Nurse Contracted Ebola

She had only entered patient's room twice
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2014 9:02 AM CDT
Spain Mystified as to How Nurse Contracted Ebola
An ambulance with medical staff wearing rompers and gloves arrives at the apartment of a Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Madrid, Spain, on Oct. 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

How did a Spanish nurse get the first case of Ebola contracted outside West Africa? Though she treated a priest who was suffering from the virus, she only entered his room twice, Spain's public health head says—once to change the patient's diaper, and once after he had already died, the Washington Post reports via Bloomberg. She was wearing protective gear both times, but some have suggested the suits at the Carlos III Hospital are subpar; latex gloves, for instance, are simply taped to the outfit, according to pictures staffers showed Spain's El Pais newspaper. Another possible explanation being offered up by a Spanish doctor, as per the BBC: that she touched her face with contaminated gloves.

The nurse herself—one María Teresa Romero Ramos, per Spanish newspaper El Mundo—doesn't have "the slightest idea" how she became ill, though she now feels "a little better." Some experts on the disease are now suggesting that, contrary to official assertions, this strain of Ebola could spread through the air, the Los Angeles Times reports. "We just don't have the data to exclude it," says a researcher. Amid concerns over Spain's handling of the illness and calls for its health minister to step down, officials are keeping an eye on some 50 people for signs of the illness, the New York Times reports. Another cause of controversy centers on the nurse's dog: International Twitter users have banded together to urge authorities not to put it down as planned, the New York Times notes. (More Spain stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.