In Spain, Ebola Finds a Country Where Wounds Are Self-Inflicted

A health worker on Sunday at an isolation ward on the sixth floor of the Carlos III hospital in Madrid.
October 14, 2014

MADRID — The scene conveyed a First World precision: An elderly Spanish priest, stricken with Ebola in Liberia, arrived in Madrid on a special military jet. A helicopter buzzed overhead as ambulances transported him for treatment. Expressing confidence in the preparations, a Spanish health official said the risk of the virus spreading was “virtually nil.”

There was just one problem: the city’s infectious disease center had been mostly dismantled as part of a government cost-cutting plan and a temporary Ebola ward would have to be hurriedly constructed.

After the priest died on Aug. 12, the unit was closed again, and the same exercise repeated when a second Ebola-infected priest was airlifted from West Africa in September. He died two days later, and last week an auxiliary nurse who changed his diaper and helped clean his bed was found to have the disease. Read more

Why Blood Transfusions From Ebola Survivor Could Help Patients


Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, pictured here in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 17, 2014, has helped U.S. Ebola patients by donating his blood for transfusions.

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly has donated the plasma in his blood to three patients in the last month, echoing what one of his former patients did for him before he left Liberia.

Brantly was caring for sick Ebola patients with the aid group Samaritan’s Purse in Monrovia, Liberia, when he became the first American diagnosed with Ebola in late July. His condition was worsening before he was flown to the United States in an air ambulance, but before he left, one of his former patients, a 14-year-old Ebola survivor, gave him “a unit of blood” for a transfusion, according to Samaritan’s Purse.

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Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Watch Live: Health Officials Discuss Latest Ebola Battle Plan

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W.H.O. Forecast for Ebola Worsens as Mortality Rate Rises

Video | W.H.O. Update on Ebola Epidemic Dr. Bruce Aylward, the World Health Organization’s assistant director general, said the number of Ebola cases worldwide will rise above 9,000 this week.
October 14, 2014

The World Health Organization reported sobering new figures Tuesday about the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa, saying the mortality rate had risen to 70 percent and that the number of new cases could reach 10,000 per week by December.

The organization had been saying that the number of new cases was about 1,000 per week for the past four weeks, and that the mortality rate for Ebola had been around 50 percent.

The updated figures were provided by Dr. Bruce Aylward, the health organization’s assistant director general, during a telephone news conference from its Geneva headquarters.

He also said that as of Tuesday, the total number of Ebola cases over the course of the epidemic had reached 8,914, with 4,447 deaths. The vast majority are in the three most afflicted countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read more

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Why Can’t We Have More ‘Magic’ Blood for Ebola?

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Ebola death toll ‘rises to 4,447′

Health workers in protective equipment near Rokupa Hospital, Freetown on 6 October 2014.The WHO says a slowdown in the rate of new cases in some areas may be due to behavioural changes

The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak has risen to 4,447, with the large majority of victims in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

WHO assistant director-general Bruce Aylward also said there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week within two months if efforts were not stepped up,

But the rate of new infections in some areas has slowed down, he added. Read more

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Marburg virus disease – Uganda

On 5 October 2014, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Uganda notified WHO of a confirmed case of Marburg virus disease (MVD) in Kampala, Uganda.

The confirmed case was a healthcare worker who had onset of disease on 11 September 2014 while working at Mengo Hospital, Kampala. The case presented to Mpigi District Health Center on 17 September 2014, and transferred to Mengo Hospital, Kampala, on 23 September 2014. On admission the case presented with symptoms including fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea and died on 28 September 2014.

The case reported no history of travel beyond Mpigi, no contact with a person with similar illness. He had not eaten bush meat nor had had contact with bats in the last 4 weeks.

A preliminary result indicating the specimen taken from the patient was positive for Marburg virus disease was received on 3 October 2014, and further confirmed on 4 October 2014 by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Read more

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Ebola virus disease – Spain

On 6 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of the first confirmed autochthonous case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Spain. This case represents the first human-to-human transmission of EVD outside Africa.

The case is a female healthcare worker with no travel history to West Africa but who participated in the medical care of an EVD case in a Spanish citizen, who had been infected in Sierra Leone and evacuated to Madrid, Spain on 22 September 2014 and who died on 25 September 2014. She was in contact with the repatriated EVD case twice; on 24 and 25 September 2014. On both occasions she is reported to have worn appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).

Following the Spanish national protocol for EVD cases, the healthcare worker was considered a low risk contact and monitored accordingly. The female case developed a fever on 29 September 2014 and was admitted into isolation on 6 October 2014 at Alcorcon Hospital in Madrid. The case was then transferred to La Paz-Carlos III Hospital in Madrid and is being treated under isolation. Read more