Spain officially free of Ebola (Update)

November 29, 2014

The World Health Organization on Tuesday declared Spain free of Ebola after going a month and a half with no new cases since an infected nurse successfully beat the disease.

Forty-two days—or two incubation periods—have passed since Spanish nurse Teresa Romero tested negative for the virus, it said.

"There have been no further cases since the healthcare worker was confirmed to be negative for Ebola virus, so today the outbreak is over in Spain," WHO said in a statement.

"On 21 October the healthcare worker tested negative for the second time and was consequently considered free of Ebola infection," it said.

Romero was the first person to catch the disease outside Africa in the current outbreak which has killed nearly 6,000 people, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The 44-year-old was one of the nursing staff at Madrid's Carlos III hospital who volunteered to treat two elderly Spanish missionaries who caught the disease in Africa and died in August and September.

She showed the first symptoms of the disease on September 30 but was only hospitalised six days later, fuelling fears that she may have spread the virus to people who were in close contact with her during this period.

Doctors found no trace of Ebola in Romero on October 21 and she left hospital on November 5.

WHO on Tuesday hailed Spain's exhaustive efforts to track down and monitor everyone who had been in contact with the nurse, and to ensure that everyone caring for her used protective gear properly.

Spanish authorities had identified and monitored 87 people who had been in contact with Romero, and 15 of them were placed in quarantine.

A full 145 hospital employees who came into contact with the patient during her treatment had also been actively monitored for 21 days, and no one had developed the disease, WHO said.

Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.

People caring for the sick or handling the dead from Ebola are especially exposed.

Health workers have been among the worst hit, with 340 deaths out of 592 cases.

Explore further: Global Ebola toll rises to 5,689: WHO

Related Stories

Global Ebola toll rises to 5,689: WHO

November 27, 2014
The World Health Organization said Thursday that the global death toll from the Ebola virus had increased to 5,689 out of a total of 15,935 cases of infection, mainly in western Africa.

Ebola death toll rises to 5,420: WHO

November 19, 2014
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that 5,420 people had so far died of Ebola across eight countries, out of a total 15,145 cases of infection, since late December 2013.

Ebola death toll hits 4,960: WHO

November 7, 2014
The World Health Organization said Friday that 13,268 people had been infected with Ebola across eight countries, and 4,960 of them had died.

Ebola death toll rises to 5,177: WHO

November 14, 2014
The World Health Organization said Friday that 5,177 people had so far died of Ebola across eight countries, out of a total 14,413 cases of infection, since late December 2013.

WHO reduces Ebola death toll to 4,818

November 5, 2014
The World Health Organization on Wednesday reduced its Ebola data, showing a smaller death toll in eight countries than earlier indicated as some cases recorded previously turned out to have arisen from other factors.

WHO revises Ebola toll

November 1, 2014
The World Health Organization Friday revised its figures showing more people killed by the deadly Ebola virus, but the number of cases of the disease was slightly lower.

Recommended for you

Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered

July 19, 2018
With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community ...

New guidelines to diagnose, manage rare endocrine disorders

July 19, 2018
International guidelines have been published for the first time to help doctors around the globe diagnose and manage patients with a very rare set of endocrine diseases known as pseudohypoparathyroidism and its related disorders, ...

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

July 18, 2018
Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows.

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Why men might recover from flu faster than women

July 17, 2018
Men may recover more quickly from influenza infections because they produce more of a key lung-healing protein, a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.