World Health Organization declares Spain to be free of Ebola

Bandera de la OMS / Fuente: OMS

(Madrid, Dec 2nd 2014).- On Tuesday, 42 days had passed since 21 October, the date on which the blood analysis of the secondary case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) identified in Spain and carried out on the two samples taken 48 hours apart came back negative for the Ebola virus. This equates to two incubation periods of 21 days each and hence our country is free of the virus in accordance with the criteria established by the World Health Organization.

In its communiqué, the WHO recalled that it was on 6 October when the reference laboratory confirmed the first person-to-person contagion of the Ebola virus outside of Africa of a healthcare worker that had helped provide care at the La Paz-Carlos III hospital to a confirmed case, who had been repatriated from Sierra Leone on 22 September.

Following the diagnosis, 87 contacts were identified, who were put under active surveillance and 15 high-risk contacts that went into voluntary quarantine at the hospital. They all completed the 21-day period of incubation on 31 October without developing the disease.

Furthermore, the 145 hospital workers who came into contact with the patient while she was in hospital have ended their active surveillance without having shown signs of the disease.

The main measures applied to prevent and control the spread include a thorough identification and on-going monitoring process of all contacts, a strengthened protocol on the definition of a case under investigation, the lowering of the temperature threshold for contacts to 37.7ºC and the strict use of individual protection equipment for healthcare workers who treated the patient, as well as improved supervision measures.​