By Alan Clendenning and Harold Heckle, AP
MADRID, Spain–A Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola after treating missionary priests with the disease repatriated from West Africa has managed to beat it after nearly two weeks of treatment in Madrid and has no traces of the virus in her bloodstream, according to test results released Sunday night by Spain’s government.
Teresa Romero, 44, is believed to be the first person to have caught Ebola via transmission outside of West Africa in the current outbreak. Two nurses in the U.S. later contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian man who died at a Dallas hospital.
Romero was among Spain’s team of health care workers caring for the priests in August and September and told officials she remembered touching a glove to her face after leaving the hospital room of Father Miguel Pajares, who died Sept. 25. She entered his room twice �X once to change his diaper and another time after he died to retrieve unspecified items.
Romero, who remains quarantined at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, must undergo another Ebola test to make sure she is virus free after testing positive on Oct. 6.
The second Ebola test is usually performed within two to three days and Spain’s committee dealing with the country’s Ebola crisis said in a statement that the confirmation test to make sure Romero no longer has Ebola would happen in ��coming hours.��
Her husband, Javier Limon, is among 15 people who came into contact with Romero after she started feeling feverish after treating Pajares and stayed mostly at home in the Madrid suburb of Alcorcon before being hospitalized. Spanish authorities said none of them �X including Limon �X have shown symptoms of Ebola so far.
��I am very happy today, because we can now say that Teresa has vanquished the disease,�� Limon said Sunday night in a video showing him sitting on his hospital bed that was released to reporters by his spokeswoman, Maria Teresa Mesa.
Mesa told reporters outside the hospital Sunday night that Romero was ��doing spectacularly well�� and is eager to leave the hospital as soon as she can.
��She’s capable of getting out of bed and eating practically anything,�� said Mesa, adding that Romero told her: ��I shouldn’t have to die, I’m too young.�� Mesa has also contradicted Spanish officials’ accounts on how Romero might have been infected by saying she followed all protocols and does not remember the incident with the glove.
Romero was treated with blood plasma from people who have been infected with Ebola, but Spanish authorities have not released more details of how she was cared for because she requested that no details be released about her treatment program.