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Ebola Scare: Doctor who attended Ebola-infected Spanish nurse discharged from quarantine

Juan Manuel Parra, the emergency doctor who attended Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse who was infected with the Ebola virus, was discharged on Monday from Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital, where he was kept in quarantine for 21 days, following the Ebola scare.

Parra, who was put in isolation after he had high-risk contact with the Spanish nurse, was swamped by journalists when he left the hospital. He told the press he was delighted that Romero was cured of the disease and added that the period of isolation was “hard”.

The doctor also thanked hospital staff for how they treated patients as well as the support he received from the outside over the three weeks. During quarantine, Parra commented that he spent time getting to know himself, studying and trying to relax.

When asked what he would do if he was confronted with another case like that of Romero, Parra said he would treat the patient the same. “I am an emergency doctor, it is my work,” he told the press. Now he wants to forget everything, “breathe a little”, and hug his family.

Parra also talked about the letter he sent to his superiors after attending Romero, in which he complained about faults in the protocol, including the protective suit he used, which he had to put on 12 times and was too small.  The Spaniard did not want to say if it would have any effect. “We will see, there will be time,” he stated.

Ten people were discharged Monday from the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid where they were in quarantine, after they showed no signs of the Ebola virus at the end of the 21-day incubation period.

Only two people remain at the hospital, a low-risk patient who continues under observation but has no symptoms of the disease, and nursing assistant Teresa Romero, 44, the first person who contracted the virus outside Africa.

Romero was declared free from the virus last week, but remains at the hospital to recover from its side effects. The nursing assistant was admitted to the hospital Oct 6 after suffering a fever and was diagnosed with Ebola. She caught the virus while treating two Spanish missionaries repatriated from Sierra Leone and Liberia, who died from the disease in August and September.

All the people she had been in contact with were put under observation in their homes or were taken to the Carlos III Hospital, including her husband, Javier Limon, who was discharged on Monday. The haemorrhaegic fever is considered most contagious once the patient has fever, and its incubation period is 21 days.

The Ebola outbreak in Western Africa has killed more than 4,500 people since last March, most of them in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia.


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