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Feature Christmas 2015: Infection Control

When Ebola came home

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 11 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6448
  1. Rosa Escudero Sánchez, internal medicine resident,
  2. Javier Solano González, pneumology resident
  1. 1Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to: R Escudero Sánchez rosa.escudero0{at}

Rosa Escudero Sánchez and Javier Solano González reflect on the ramifications of treating Europe’s first patient

We were responsible for admitting the first patient infected with the Ebola virus outside Africa.1 We were aware of our hospital’s protocol for dealing with suspected cases of Ebola infection,2 but the lack of experience with this disease, and the uneasiness of the non-medical staff, made clinical decision making difficult.

The patient had no fever on admission (necessary to fulfil the strict criteria for Ebola), but we considered her to be a suspected Ebola case because she had had contact with a confirmed case. On arrival, she was immediately placed in the isolation cubicle of our emergency department. We notified senior staff, which activated the epidemiological alert. Within hours, …

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