Teresa Romero, 44, overcame the deadly virus after becoming the
first known person to catch Ebola outside West Africa in the current
outbreak, which has so far killed nearly 5,000 people.
The contagion, after Romero cared for two priests repatriated from
West Africa and who later died in Madrid, caused a backlash against
the Spanish government, with health workers claiming they had
received inadequate training and equipment to deal with Ebola.
"I don't know what went wrong, I don't even know if anything went
wrong," an emotional Romero told a news conference, referring to the
source of the contagion, which is still being investigated.
"I only know that I am not reproachful or resentful, but if my
infection can be of some use, so that the disease can be studied
better or to help find a vaccine or to cure other people, here I
am," Romero said, accompanied by staff from the Carlos III Hospital
where she was treated, and her husband.
Romero was given antibodies from a missionary nun who had caught
Ebola in Liberia and who had also survived, as well as an
experimental drug called favipiravir, doctors said. They added it
was not clear exactly which part of the treatment had been key to
Favipiravir, or Avigan, is made by Japan's Fujifilm subsidiary
Toyama Chemical Co.
All of the people who had come into close contact with Romero before
she was diagnosed, and were being monitored for signs of the disease
in hospital, have now been declared free of Ebola. These included
The couple's dog, Excalibur, was put down last month by Madrid
authorities on fears it might pose an infection risk, prompting a
[to top of second column]
The Carlos III Hospital said medical staff who attended Romero and
room cleaners would now be monitored remotely for Ebola symptoms, by
checking their temperature regularly until the end of the month. A
fever is one of the symptoms of the disease, which can also cause
bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an
Nursing staff who helped treat Romero said on Wednesday they had
felt stigmatized by the disease and had suffered rejection from
friends and neighbors, while hospital officials tried to reassure
the public that there was no longer any risk of Romero being
(Reporting by Rodrigo de Miguel, Writing by Sarah White, Editing by
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