Madrid, Reuters—The husband of a Spanish nurse who on Monday became the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa is now in quarantine in hospital, a Spanish health official said on Tuesday.
The nurse, who had helped treat two Spanish priests after they were repatriated to Madrid having contracted Ebola in Africa, tested positive for the virus on Monday.
“The husband is already in hospital and is being monitored so that he can have a quarantine situation with better monitoring,” the civil servant in charge of Spain’s health service, Mercedes Vinuesa, told a parliamentary committee.
Vinuesa gave no details about some 30 colleagues of the nurse who also treated the missionaries who died of Ebola at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.
A spokesman for the European Commission said the case, the first known case of Ebola spreading within a European country, would be discussed at a Health Security Committee meeting on Wednesday.
“The priority remains to find out what actually happened,” he said.
The nurse went on holiday immediately after the second of the missionaries she had been caring for died on September 25.
Spanish officials said she began feeling ill on September 30 and was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday, but they have not yet said where she went on holiday.
Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at Britain’s University of Nottingham, said the Spanish nurse should not have contracted the deadly disease if appropriate containment and control measures had been taken.
“It will be crucial to find out what went wrong in this case so necessary measures can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he told Reuters.