She said the patient had told doctors he had arrived in Spain: “a few days ago”…Online news site Alicante Actualidad reported the patient spent six hours in the emergency room of the first hospital before being transferred to the second.”
Spanish health authorities in the eastern Valencia region of Spain activated alert protocols on Saturday night over a new possible case of Ebola after a young Nigerian man was admitted to a hospital in the city of Alicante with fever and “several other symptoms” of the disease.
If confirmed, this would be the first case of Ebola virus reported in Spain. Father Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest, died last week in a Madrid hospital after being repatriated from Liberia where he was infected with the disease.
The Nigerian patient’s partner, without visible symptoms, was also present at the hospital but had not been admitted, a spokesman for St. John’s Hospital told The Spain Report by telephone.
“An alert protocol has been activated preventively due to a suspected Ebola virus case”, said the spokeswoman: “the patient has been admitted, and is clinically stable in an isolated area. He was initially admitted to the General Hospital and then brought here. Both his clinical and epidemiological symptoms suggest it might be Ebola. He has a temperature above 38.3ºC and has been vomiting”.
She said the patient had told doctors he had arrived in Spain: “a few days ago”.
Samples have been taken from the patient and are being sent tonight to Spain’s National Microbiology Centre near Madrid for analysis. The spokeswoman could not confirm when the results are expected.
The Center for Disease Control in the United States defines clinical symptoms for Ebola Virus Disease as: “fever of greater than 38.6 degrees Celsius […] severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage”, and epidemiological symptoms as: “contact with blood or other body fluids or human remains of a patient known to have or suspected to have EVD; residence in—or travel to—an area where EVD transmission is active; or direct handling of bats, rodents, or primates from disease-endemic areas”, within the past 21 days.
Doctors at the city’s General Hospital sent the patients to the St. John’s Hospital as this is the designated health centre in the city for dealing with Ebola cases.
St. John’s hospital would not confirm news that the man had been admitted at 7 p.m.
Police escorted the young Nigerian, in his thirties, between the two hospitals in a medicalised ambulance. His partner was transported in the small convoy but in a normal ambulance. The patient originally refused to be moved between the two hospitals without his partner, so she was brought along in a second ambulance.
Online news site Alicante Actualidad reported the patient spent six hours in the emergency room of the first hospital before being transferred to the second.
Health workers were wearing protective gear, and regional newspaper La Verdad reported a special containment unit had been set up in the emergency room of St. John’s Hospital.
Diario Información reported on Wednesday that trade unions had warned St. John’s hospital in Alicante was not ready to deal with Ebola cases, but the spokeswoman for the hospital said this was untrue: “obivously the hospital is prepared. A vigilance committee has been meeting since April and we have two isolation units in the emergency room, three on the south ward and a couple in intensive care”.
On August 8, the World Health Organisation declared the West African Ebola outbreak to be a: “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, adding that: “the possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus”.
Alicante is a major tourist destination in the south-east of Spain. In 2013, the province welcomed 4.2 million tourists, who spent €3.7 billion.