Possible Ebola case in Malaga

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Hospital Carlos Haya

A NIGERIAN resident of Antequera has been admitted to hospital in Malaga after potentially showing symptoms of the Ebola virus.

As a precaution, he has been quarantined in Carlos Haya hospital since the early hours of this morning, and will remain so until test results determine whether or not he is suffering from the virus.

Health authorities remain hopeful, however, as he seems to be responding well to treatment and sources have suggested that he could be suffering from Malaria.

So far, suspected cases of Ebola in Bilbao, Alicante, Almeria and Barcelona have all proved to be false alarms, although full isolation protocols have been enacted in every case. Suspicions were raised when the man informed hospital staff at his local health centre in Antequera that he had recently visited Nigeria, a country which together with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, has been ravaged by the epidemic which has swept through West Africa these past months.

 Concerns have been raised, however, on whether or not containment and isolation procedures were carried out correctly in this case.

Although the patient will now remain in quarantine until his test results prove otherwise, it has been reported that although an ambulance was provided in which to transport him to Malaga’s Carlos Haya hospital, the man chose to drive himself in a private car.

Furthermore, he was accompanied by his wife and two children, raising questions as to whether or not they should be placed in isolation too. On arrival in Malaga, he walked into the A&E department of the hospital by himself, before he was transferred to the infectious diseases clinic.

This is not the only complaint on the matter. In general, Unionists representing health workers in Andalucía have said that they have not received sufficient preparation on how to tackle an outbreak of Ebola if it should occur.

A document informing doctors and nurses how to manage the virus has been criticised as being too short (at two pages long) and lacking in detail. Specialised equipment is arriving at the hospital in dribs and drabs: at the moment only a dozen isolation suits have been sent to the hospital when at least 200 were promised.

Andalucía’s health service (Servicio Andaluz de Salud) has said that enough equipment has been provided to deal with the threat in its present condition. If the threat were to increase, more supplies would of course be sent to the hospital.

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