Spanish Ebola patient improving after ZMapp dosage while Texas hospital defends itself

Spanish Ebola patient improving after ZMapp dosage while Texas hospital defends itself
Published: 2014 October 12 14:30:15 (9723 Views)
Teresa Romero, Spain's Ebola patient is still in serious condition at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, but she is improving just hours after she received an experimental dose of ZMapp.

Romero was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 6, becoming the first person to contract the disease outside of West Africa.

She developed the virus in Spain while caring for an Ebola-infected priest.

Miguel Pajares, 75, was airlifted from Liberia, where he worked as a Catholic missionary, to Madrid in August, but died a week after entering the Spanish hospital where Romero worked.

Before he died, he, too, was given ZMapp.

The experimental drug was also given to two American health workers who developed Ebola in Liberia.

Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol both recovered after they were airlifted from West Africa to Atlanta earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in the US a health care worker who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola, has tested positive for the deadly disease.

The unidentified worker at Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was screened for Ebola at a state health lab in Austin after reporting a low-grade fever on Friday. The positive test result came back late Saturday, according to a statement.

The patient is now in stable condition and under isolation at the hospital.

If confirmed this will be the first case of the disease being spread in the U.S.

The worker was part of the team that cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, a native of Libera, who  died Wednesday, 18 days after he had arrived in Texas.

Forty-eight people at the facility who came into contact with Duncan were self-monitoring and will now be monitored by health professionals. They have no symptoms, he said.

Dr. Dan Varga said the patient's Ebola was detected under self-monitoring procedures – taking temperature twice daily. The patient was admitted to hospital's isolation room within 90 minutes of taking temperature, he said.

The patient was wearing full protective equipment when treating the patient and was considered in the "low-risk group" of health workers, Varga said. He declined to release many details about the patient citing privacy laws.

The worker's condition is stable and another person the patient has been in contact with is also under isolation, he said.

Varga said the worker cared for Duncan on his second visit to the hospital. Varga said they are concerned about the safety of the other workers but are confident in its plans to prevent the growth of the disease.

Dallas mayor Mayor Mike Rawlings said a HAZMAT team has decontaminated area where patient lived. The neighbors were also informed, he said.

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has been defending itself after being accused of initially sending Duncan home because he was a poor African immigrant lacking insurance.

'Our care team provided Mr. Duncan with the same high level of attention and care that would be given any patient,' the hospital said in a statement.'

Duncan first sought help at the hospital on Sept. 25 and was sent home several hours later with antibiotics rather than being observed further, even though he told a nurse he had recently returned from West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 4,000 people.

About two days after that, he returned to the same hospital by ambulance and was placed in an isolation unit. He died on Wednesday after being attached to a ventilator and a dialysis machine. The hospital said he was 45.

The hospital said his heart stopped and Duncan "had expressed his wishes to his attending physician that the care team should not perform chest compressions, defibrillation or cardioversion to prolong his life."

Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said during a visit to Dallas for the case that Duncan was initially discharged because he was poor, black and without insurance. Duncan's fiancee asked for a full investigation regarding his care.

Dr. Craig Smith, medical director for infectious disease at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, said Ebola, like any disease, was easier to beat the sooner it was treated.

After he was admitted, a team of more than 50 people cared for him and an entire 24-bed intensive care unit was secured and dedicated to Duncan's care, the hospital said.

"The treatment area remains sealed and is being aggressively decontaminated," it said.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said that more than 50 people cared for Duncan and that the whole of the hospital's 24-bed intensive care unit was reserved for his treatment.

An experimental drug called ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies that has been used on American patients infected with Ebola while in West Africa, was not used on Duncan because it was not available, the hospital said.

A serum transfusion used on an Ebola patient airlifted from West Africa to a hospital in Nebraska was not used on Duncan either because his blood type did not match the treatment.

"The nurses, doctors, and team who cared for him, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, grieve the loss of Mr. Duncan," the hospital said.

Source - NYDN

Tags: Ebola, ZMapp,

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