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Spain 'Ebola Free' : WHO

Source: Xinhua - Wed 3rd Dec 2014
Spain 'Ebola Free' : WHO

The World Health Organiation (WHO) yesterday officially declared the Ebola outbreak in Spain is over and commended the country on its diligence to end transmission of the virus.

On Oct. 6, the Spanish National Reference Laboratory confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus disease outside Africa in a healthcare worker, who had been part of a team at La Paz-Carlos III Hospital providing medical care for a person with Ebola virus disease repatriated from Sierra Leone on Sept. 22.

On Oct. 21, the healthcare worker tested negative for the second time and was consequently considered free of Ebola infection.

"Today, 2 December 2014, marks 42 days since the healthcare worker tested negative. There have been no further cases since the healthcare worker was confirmed to be negative for Ebola virus, so today the outbreak is over in Spain," WHO said in a statement.

According to WHO recommendations, the end of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in a country can be declared once 42 days have passed and no new cases have been detected. The 42 days represents twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola.

WHO commended Spain for the measures put in place to identify potential cases and prevent further transmission of the Ebola virus.

These measures included exhaustive contact tracing of both high- and low-risk contacts, daily active monitoring of all contacts, training in and monitoring of correct use of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers caring for the patient .

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