The nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside of West Africa is making ‘giant steps towards recovery’, according to hospital sources in Madrid.
The results suggest Romero, 44, is no longer infected, although a final third test is required to declare her free of Ebola. Madrid health authorities predict to announce the final results on Monday.
She is said to have gotten out of bed yesterday for the first time since she was admitted.
The nurse tested positive for the virus on 6 October, after touching the face of the Spanish missionary she was treating. However, she does not recall doing this. She is reported to have told her husband: ‘if something like that had happened I would have told you’.
Romero is being held at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid and has been treated with a combination of serum made up of antibodies extracted from Ebola survivors and anti-viral drugs. Head of microbiology, Juan García de Lomas, explained that ‘they are complementary treatments’.
Experts have warned the public that the antiviral is experimental and has only ben tested on mice. The possible side effects on humans are not known.
With the death toll rising and the disease spreading fast, health authorities are desperately trying to find a treatment for Ebola and prevent it from spreading as far as they can.
It is a well-known fact that anyone treating an Ebola patient should wear personal protective equipment, including gloves, eye protection and head coverings. However, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said: ‘but in fact, by putting on more layers of gloves and other protective clothing, it becomes much harder to put them on, it becomes much harder to put them off, and the risk of contamination during the process of taking these gloves off, it gets much higher’.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to issue a new, clearer guideline after learning that nurses in Dallas did not know how to protect themselves from a patient infected with the Ebola virus.