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Spanish nurse gets Ebola — it's the first infection outside of Africa

Residents of an Ebola affected township wait in line before dawn to receive family and home disinfection kits in New Kru Town, Liberia.
Residents of an Ebola affected township wait in line before dawn to receive family and home disinfection kits in New Kru Town, Liberia.
John Moore/Getty Images

A Spanish nurse who had been treating an Ebola victim in Madrid has tested positive for the disease, according to the Spanish health minister.

This is the first case of Ebola contagion outside of West Africa during this epidemic, and it raises questions about whether even the most developed health systems can prevent the spread of disease as so many health officials have promised. 

The nurse contracted Ebola while caring for a repatriated priest at the Madrid hospital Carlos III. The priest, Manuel Garcia Viejo, died on September 25, 2014.

The nurse entered Viejo's room only twice, including once after his death, the New York Times reports.

According to the BBC, the nurse was admitted to a hospital outside of Madrid with a high fever and put in isolation on Monday October 6. The other 30 workers who had been caring for the priest are now being checked daily for symptoms.

Other Ebola patients have been flown to their home countries outside of West Africa for treatment, although until now, those cases haven't yet resulted in secondary spread.

Ashoka Mukpo, a
freelance cameraman who was covering the epidemic with NBC in Liberia, just arrived at Nebraska Medical Center to receive care. Three other American missionaries — Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol, and Richard Sacra — were all treated in the US after getting the disease in Liberia.

Learn about how the Ebola virus spreads, why the situation in West Africa is worse than anyone knows, and  Ebola in the US.

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