Today the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares the Ebola outbreak in Spain over and commends the country on its diligence to end transmission of the virus.
On 6 October 2014, the Spanish National Reference Laboratory confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus disease outside Africa in a healthcare worker. The healthcare worker had been part of a team at La Paz-Carlos III Hospital providing medical care for a person with Ebola virus disease repatriated from Sierra Leone on 22 September.
On 21 October the healthcare worker tested negative for the second time and was consequently considered free of Ebola infection. Today, 2 December 2014, marks 42 days since the healthcare worker tested negative. 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.
Spanish authorities identified and monitored 87 people who had been in contact with the healthcare worker. All were actively monitored and 15 high-risk contacts were put under quarantine at La Paz-Carlos III Hospital. All finished the 21-day follow-up period by 31 October 2014.
In addition, 145 hospital employees were in contact with the patient during her stay at the hospital. They were also actively monitored and all completed their 21-day monitoring period without developing Ebola virus disease.
WHO commends Spain for the measures put in place to identify potential cases and prevent further transmission of the Ebola virus. These measures included exhaustive contact tracing of both high- and low-risk contacts, daily active monitoring of all contacts, training in and monitoring of correct use of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers caring for the patient infected with Ebola virus.
Cristiana Salvi, Communications Officer, WHO/Europe
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Tarik Jasarevic: Communications officer, WHO Geneva
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