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Spanish Nurse Says She Reported Her Ebola Symptoms Several Times

Spanish police block animal rights activists protesting outside the apartment building of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in the city of Alcorcon, outside Madrid, on Wednesday.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov
Spanish police block animal rights activists protesting outside the apartment building of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in the city of Alcorcon, outside Madrid, on Wednesday.

Hospital workers attend a prayer vigil outside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, on Tuesday.
LM Otero AP
Hospital workers attend a prayer vigil outside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, on Tuesday.

Here's a roundup of the latest developments on Ebola. We'll update this post as news happens.

In Spain, Teresa Romero Ramos, the nurse who was admitted to a hospital in Madrid after caring for an infected priest who'd returned from West Africa, reportedly told health authorities three times that she had a fever before she was placed in quarantine.

The Guardian newspaper cited the Spanish paper El Pais as saying that she first contacted health authorities on Sept. 30. The Guardian writes:

"[When] she complained of a slight fever and fatigue. Romero Ramos called a specialised service dedicated to occupational risk at the Carlos III hospital where she worked and had treated an Ebola patient, said Antonio Alemany from the regional government of Madrid. But as the nurse's fever had not reached 38.6C, she was advised to visit her local clinic where she was reportedly prescribed paracetamol [aspirin]."Days later, according to the El País newspaper, Romero Ramos called the hospital again to complain about her fever. No action was taken."On Monday, she called the Carlos III hospital again, this time saying she felt terrible. Rather than transport her to the hospital that had treated the two missionaries who had been repatriated with Ebola, Romero Ramos was instructed to call emergency services and head to the hospital closest to her home. She was transported to the Alcorcón hospital by paramedics who were not wearing protective gear, El País reported."

Reuters quotes Spanish health authorities as saying today that another person being monitored in Madrid for Ebola had tested negative for the disease:

"The man, a Spaniard who had travelled from Nigeria, was one of several people hospitalised after authorities confirmed on Monday that a Spanish nurse had caught the disease in Madrid. A second nurse was also cleared of Ebola. A third nursing assistant was hospitalised late on Tuesday for monitoring, a source at La Paz hospital said - bringing the number of people examined in hospital for Ebola to five, two of whom tested negative."

On another note, the husband of the infected nurse has launched an online campaign to save the couple's dog, which authorities had sought to euthanize as a precaution.

The Guardian says:

"In a note distributed on social media by several animal protection organisations, Javier Limón Romero said health officials had asked for his consent to put down the dog Excálibur. " 'I said no. And they told me that they would ask for a court order to enter my house and put him down,' Romero said in the note. "The appeal was sent from Limón Romero's isolation ward in the Carlos III Hospital where his wife, Teresa Romero Ramos, is also in quarantine."

In Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who traveled from Liberia and was diagnosed with the disease in the United States, remains — at last report — in critical condition. He is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with an experimental drug called brincidofovir.

Meanwhile, health officials are watching a group of people who had contact with Duncan after he developed symptoms of the disease but before he was placed in isolation at the hospital.

Duncan first sought hospital care on Sept. 25 and was admitted on Sept. 28. Before his hospitalization, 10 of the 48 people being monitored had close contact with him and are being most closely watched. Since the first symptoms of the disease can begin in eight to 10 days after exposure, "this is a very critical week," said Dr. David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner. "We're at a very sensitive period when a contact could develop symptoms. We're monitoring with extreme vigilance."

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, burial teams reportedly refused to collect bodies of Ebola victims in the capital and went on strike, apparently demanding more money, though officials there told The Associated Press that the situation has been "resolved."

The AP says: "In neighboring Liberia, health workers said they planned to strike if their demands for more money and safety equipment were not met by the end of the week."

And, in Geneva, the World Bank issued an estimate of the projected cost of the Ebola outbreak, saying it could reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if it spreads significantly beyond worst-hit West Africa.

"The enormous economic cost of the current outbreak to the affected countries and the world could have been avoided by prudent ongoing investment in health systems-strengthening," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.