THE SOONER YOU ACT ON THIS STUFF, THE BETTER OFF YOU ARE: After Its First Ebola Case, Spain Seeks to Prevent Spread of Virus.
Spain intensified efforts on Tuesday to contain any spread of Ebola from an infected health worker as the government came under increased pressure from the political opposition and the European Union.
The health worker, a nurse who has not been identified, was described as being in a stable condition. Her husband was quarantined, and monitoring was extended to medical staff who came into in contact with her. The nurse contracted the illness while treating a Spanish missionary who was infected in Sierra Leone and flown to Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.
Opposition politicians said Tuesday that Ana Mato, the health minister, needed to explain any safety lapse, while some called for her immediate removal. Caridad García Álvarez, a lawmaker from the United Left party, wrote on Twitter that Ms. Mato needed to resign after ignoring warnings from health workers about inadequate safety measures. . . .
Carlos III Hospital had been specifically selected by Spain to welcome repatriated Ebola patients, and Yolanda Fuentes, a deputy director of the hospital, said Monday that the protective suits worn by health workers “comply perfectly with the protocol and the required protective measures for this disease.”
The European Commission wrote to the Madrid government requesting an explanation of how the nurse was infected, Agence France-Presse reported, citing Frédéric Vincent, a spokesman for the commission. A European health safety committee is set to meet on Wednesday to review the situation. Still, Mr. Vincent said it was “highly improbable” that the virus would spread further across Europe.
As an assistant nurse, the woman who became infected had only twice entered the room of Manuel García Viejo, a priest who died of Ebola, including once after his death, according to Antonio Alemany, a health official from the regional government of Madrid.
It’s not clear to me that the infection-control precautions for Ebola are sufficient to protect health workers, given how many of them have been infected.
Related: Treat Ebola like smallpox? It would help to have a vaccine.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ebola in Spain raises questions about protection. “Three more people were under quarantine Tuesday for possible Ebola at a Madrid hospital after a Spanish nursing assistant became infected there, authorities said. More than 50 others were being monitored as experts pressed to figure out why Spain’s anti-infection practices failed. Health authorities were investigating how the nursing assistant, part of a special team that cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola last month, became infected. She was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and sparked social unrest. . . . Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said her case shows that health workers can be at risk not only in West Africa but in the sophisticated medical centers in Europe and the United States. . . . Rafael Perez-Santamarina, the hospital’s director, said authorities did not know yet how the nursing assistant got infected despite the use of internationally recognized precautions against Ebola.” Yes, the whole “we’re safe because Africans don’t have our sophisticated health care” argument isn’t looking exactly bulletproof.
Also: Ebola Is Bad But Flu Is Worse. I dunno. I’ve had my flu shot, but Walgreen’s was fresh out of Ebola Vaccine.
TOM MAGUIRE ON D-68: Moving To Phase II Of The Enterovirus “Coverage.” “The NY Times notes that the D-68 enterovirus is now claiming lives around the country and that people are concerned. That means it is time to move past ignoring this story and move to Phase II – cover it without asking any of the obvious follow-up questions.. . . Hmm. Didn’t we have an influx of central American children to the US this summer? Weren’t there concerns about diseases spreading in the holding camps? Weren’t the children dispersed all across this great nation? Well, yes, although the Feds aren’t forthcoming about where. That is too many dots for the Times to attempt to connect, so instead we get expert ruminations about Asia and Africa. . . . My initial guess was that since Texas was not showing up as one the early states with an outbreak, the disease was less likely to be associated with immigrants. As to that, who knows? But my other guess, that political correctness would require the media to steer away from exploring this possible link, has been utterly vindicated.”
Everyone has gotten so cynical.

Pentagon: US troops to have contact with Ebola virus Several dozen U.S. troops could come into contact with Ebola while testing for the deadly disease in Liberia, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The highly trained troops will help operate seven mobile labs, where they could be working with the blood of infected patients, Army Gen. David Rodriguez said. The new details on the military’s response to Ebola reveals a riskier operation than previously announced by the White House, surfacing fresh concerns of troops entering high-risk zones.
The U.S. response did not previously involve military members helping to diagnose patients, though Rodriguez maintained that troops will be adequately protected against the disease.
“I am confident that we can ensure our service members’ safety and the safety of their families and the American people,” Rodriguez, who leads the U.S. Africa Command, said at a Pentagon briefing …
[Just what is he smoking and how did he pass the drug test – me]
[From the comments]
It’s almost like Obama decided the Ebola virus didn’t have enough opportunities to break loose in the US, so he’s sending a reinforced-brigade-sized contingent of US soldiers to the outbreak region. Oh, and did I mention our government has no fracking idea how the virus is actually spread, or how to truly minimize risks? That way, instead of only one or two possible infectious cases coming to the US, there could be as many of 4,000 cases coming…to go across the entire country when they’re granted leave a day or two after they return.
Now that’s the way to get a pandemic started, by golly.
History’s Deadliest Bullet…
BUT NO TRAVEL LIMITATIONS: President Obama vows tough passenger screenings to stop the spread of Ebola.
I was talking to my mom the other night, and she remembered that back when I was a kid, they made her get a chest x-ray before they’d let her back in the the US after a year in Germany. They made us all get re-vaccinated for smallpox, too. And some English friends traveling to Harvard had to spend most of a day at the airport because one of their kids couldn’t prove vaccination. Nowadays, the travel restrictions seem a lot laxer, even as the disease threats are worse.
[From the comments]
but shut up they explained, EBOLA isn’t ISRAEL
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