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Spanish nurse tests negative for Ebola (Updated)

By Anne Sewell     Oct 20, 2014 in Health
Madrid - Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse who was thought to be the first person to catch Ebola outside of Africa, has tested negative for the virus. A further test within the next 48 hours was to confirm the diagnosis. Latest update: Romero is clear of Ebola.
UPDATE: According to Dr. Jose Ramon Arribas, head of the infectious diseases unit at the Hospital Carlos III in Madrid, "The criteria set by the World Health Organization for curing the Ebola virus have been fulfilled... She is now cured."
Arribas said at the media conference that Romero's "physical and mental strength" had been key in her ability to beat the infection. He added that it was not possible to know if the experimental drugs used in her treatment had been effective, as there were no control groups.
However, the latest news is that Teresa Romero is officially clear of Ebola.
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According to the government, Romero, who was first hospitalized with Ebola on October 6th at the Carlos III Hospital in Spain's capital, Madrid, appears to have fought off the virus and according to a statement from government sources, her "health was... developing favorably".
On October 6th, Romero was found to be the first to have become infected with Ebola outside Africa, after the 44-year-old cared for two Spanish missionaries infected with the virus in West Africa, who were repatriated to Spain and later died.
The special committee monitoring Ebola in Spain said in a statement that she would receive another test within 48 hours. However, even if the test continues to show she is clear of the virus, Romero will remain hospitalized for three weeks, in order to ensure there is no recurrence. At the end of those three weeks, without a further recurrence, she will be considered to be cured. Romero had received two experimental treatments simultaneously (plasma of a patient who overcame the disease together with an antiviral).
Friends and family members have been able to visit Romero under strict quarantine conditions. Teresa Mesa, a spokeswoman for the family, told the media that Romero "is very excited and bouncy and is eager to leave the hospital."
The government statement continued that two other persons, including a person who had been in "low risk" contact with Romero and an passenger on an Air France flight from Paris to Madrid, who was experiencing Ebola-like symptoms, had also tested negative after the second round of testing. The statement added that the fifteen persons, including her husband, who had been in contact with Romero prior to her diagnosis have shown no symptoms, but continue to be kept under observation at the hospital.
The recent Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, has seen more more than 9,000 cases, of which 4,500 have died of the deadly virus. It was reported recently that if no new cases arose, Spain will be free of Ebola by October 27th.
Spanish sources:
El Pais
La Vanguardia
The Local
More about Teresa Romero, Madrid, Spain, Ebola, Carlos III Hospital
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