MADRID: Worries over the worldwide spread of Ebola grew on Thursday after three more health workers were quarantined in Spain and North America threw up border controls at main ports of arrival from the plagued African states.
The United States and Canada announced new screening measures at major airport hubs to check travelers for symptoms of the deadly disease, and pressure grew for other nations to follow their lead.
The Madrid hospital treating infected Spanish auxiliary nurse, Teresa Romero, also announced her condition had worsened on Thursday.
Romero, the first person known to have been infected with Ebola outside of Africa, has said she may have caught the deadly virus after touching her face with an infected glove after cleaning the Madrid hospital room of an elderly Spanish missionary. The man, who contracted Ebola in west Africa, later died.
Three more health workers in Madrid were admitted to hospital for monitoring for Ebola late on Wednesday, including a hospital emergency room doctor who attended Romero.
EU officials have rushed to reassure citizens Europe is well armed to prevent an Ebola epidemic, but experts pointed to some gaps in public health systems which could be called upon to ward off contagion of the tropical fever.
“The majority of big countries have equipped themselves with the required measures, but the mesh in the net is still too loose to exclude errors,” said Professor Nathan Clumeck, a specialist in infectious diseases at a Brussels hospital.
Notable concerns, he said, were countries which have endured the biggest public spending cuts, like Greece and Spain, and where staff and resources are lacking.
Germany took in a third UN employee infected with Ebola on Thursday—a Sudanese doctor who had been working in Liberia, and was admitted to a clinic in the eastern city of Leipzig.