Brother of first known person to contract Ebola outside west Africa, Teresa Romero Ramos, tells reporters her state has deteriorated
The condition of Teresa Romero Ramos – the Spanish nurse who is the first known person to contract Ebola outside west Africa – has worsened, according to relatives.
On Thursday afternoon, her brother José Ramón Romero told reporters at the Carlos III hospital that her state had deteriorated and she was now intubated. In a television interview with La Sexta he said she was having lung problems.
Four more people have been put in quarantine in the Carlos III hospital in the past day, bringing the total to seven. Another 80 or so are under observation, including health workers who treated Romero Ramos, and two employees at the hair salon where the nurse went for an appointment a week and a half ago.
Her husband, who has not shown any symptoms, remains in isolation as a precautionary measure.
On Wednesday the nurse gave several phone interviews to Spanish media outlets, sounding exhausted as she offered answers that ranged from monosyllabic to a 12-minute conversation. The doctor attending to her told reporters that he had spoken to her in an effort to retrace her steps as part of the investigation into how she contracted the disease.
The doctor, Germán Ramírez, said the nurse believed she might have touched her face with her gloves as she was taking off her protective equipment after attending to the second Ebola patient repatriated to Spain. Later in an interview with the Spanish television network Cuatro, the nurse said her training in how to get into and out of the suit had lasted “a short time”.
On Thursday more details emerged regarding the handling of Romero Ramos’s case, reinforcing health workers’ claims that this was an improvised response, lacking in top-down guidance.
One of the doctors who treated the nurse when she arrived at the hospital in Alcorcón on Monday described the 16 hours he spent treating the nurse in a report to his superiors. Published by several media outlets in Spain, the report said the team treating Romero Ramos initially wore impermeable gowns, double gloves, hats and masks to protect themselves.
As the nurse’s state worsened, the health workers changed into more protective clothing. The patient was suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and coughing, the doctor said. His protective equipment was ill-fitting. “At all times the sleeves were too short,” he wrote, leaving his skin exposed.
Despite being on the frontline of treating the nurse, he was not updated when her test results proved positive, he said. “I learned of the results from journalists rather than the relevant authority.” The doctor is now one of the seven people in quarantine.
Other lapses emerged, including the fact that the ambulance that initially brought Romero Ramos from her home to the Alcorcón hospital carried seven other patients after her before it was sterilised.
Speaking to journalists at a conference on youth employment in Milan on Wednesday, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said European colleagues thought Spain was managing the Ebola case “very well”.
At a conference that included the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, Rajoy said many leaders had expressed interest in what was happening in Spain. “My colleagues are telling me that we’re doing things very well,” he assured the journalists.
via the guardian