First Ebola case contracted outside Africa: Officials


A nurse in Spain has become the first person to contract the potentially deadly Ebola virus outside of West Africa in the latest epidemic, the worst on record, authorities said Monday.

The nurse had gone into a room in a Madrid hospital that had been used to quarantine an elderly priest, Manuel Garcia Viejo, who contracted Ebola doing missionary work with victims of the same disease in Sierra Leone. The priest died Sept. 25.

About 30 other people who had cared for the missionary are also being monitored, officials said.

Also, Monday, President Barack Obama said his administration was developing added protocols for screening airline passengers for Ebola. Obama also said he was ordered increased efforts to educated medical providers on how to handed such cases, and that he would also push other large national to provide financial aid to the West African countries were the epidemic is occurring.

Obama spoke to reporters after briefed on the Ebola situation by health advisers.

The White House earlier said Monday it is not considering a ban on travel from the West African countries dealing with the Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 3,400 people since March.

"We feel good about the measures that are already in place," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Meanwhile, the father of a freelance NBC News cameraman being treated in Nebraska said his son suspects he may have contracted the Ebola virus from helping clean a car in Liberia after someone else died from the disease in the vehicle.

That journalist, Ashoka Mukpo, is "not certain" how he got Ebola, but "he was around the clinic ... and he does remember one instance where he was helping spray-wash one vehicle with chlorine," said Mukpo's father, Dr. Mitchell Levy.

"Disinfecting a car in which someone had died, and helping a few people do that."

The Spanish nurse infected by Ebola is moved by ambulance to Carlos III Hospital from Alcorcon Hospital on October 8, 2014 in Alcorcon, Spain.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno, Getty Images

Levy spoke at a news conference at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where his 33-year-old son arrived Monday to receive emergency treatment in the hospital's Biocontainment Unit.

"He's enormously relieved to be here," said Levy, director of the intensive care unit at Rhode Island Hospital. "Of course, he's quite frightened."

Levy also told reporters he had asked he son if he was "crazy" when he announced earlier this year he was going to Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.

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The same Nebraska hospital earlier had treated another Ebola patient, Dr. Richard Sacra, who had contracted the disease after treating cases of Ebola in West Africa. Sacra was released from the hospital on Sept. 25, but was admitted to a Massachusetts hospital this past Saturday, with a respiratory infection. He tested negative for Ebola on Sunday night.

Sacra is just one of six people who have been treated for Ebola in the US.

Also Monday, the Dallas hospital currently treating the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. said that the victim there, Thomas Eric Duncan, is now being treated with the experimental drug brincidofovir, which only in the past day or so was approved such emergency purposes by the Food and Drug Administration.

Earlier, Texas Gov. Rick Perry had called on the federal government to "immediately begin enhanced screening procedures" for Ebola at all points of entry into the U.S. Those procedures should include obtaining additional information from travelers beyond current questions, checking the temperatures of travelers and staffing quarantine centers, the Republican governor said.

Perry also announced the creation of a task force in Texas that will focus on infectious disease preparedness and response to assess the state's existing capabilities to deal with diseases like Ebola.

Dr. Brett Giroir, the head of the task force, said: "We live in an interconnected world, where an outbreak anywhere is a risk everywhere."

Perry's moves come in response to Duncan's case in Dallas. Duncan is believed to have contracted in his native Liberia before traveling to Dallas, where has had a girlfriend and relatives.

Read MoreBrace for another Ebola patient in US: CDC chief

First Ebola case contracted outside West Africa: Report

In Nebraska, Mukpo looked "strong" when he walked off the plane, said Levy, who watched his son disembark from a distance. Levy and his wife, Diana Mukpo, later briefly spoke with their son via a videophone before the news conference.

"He was up and waving to us. Very awake," Levy said.

Mukpo is feeling feverish and a little nauseous, according to his parents, but otherwise is doing well. "He's tired," Levy said.

"We're very happy that his symptoms are not too extreme yet," Diana Mukpo said.

Read MoreEbola could reach France, UK by end of October

Doctors at the center said Ashoka Mukpo is still being evaluated and no decision had been made yet whether to put him on a regimen of experimental drugs to treat the Ebola virus, such is brincidofovir, which is made by Chimerix.

"He's going to have to be willing to do that and understand the risks" if Mukpo decides to undergo experimental therapy, said Dr. Brad Britigan, dean of the college at the Nebraska Medical Center.

"We are really at this point assessing treatment options for him, and no decision have been made," Britigan said.

Diana Mukpo and Dr. Mitchell Levy speak at a news conference at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Oct. 6, 2014.
Sait Serkan Gurbuz | Reuters

Mukpo's father said he had tried to dissuade his son from returning to Liberia earlier this year, as the Ebola outbreak spread.

"I told him I thought he was crazy," Levy said. "I told him about the risks."

"I ... did everything I could, and I know Diana did, to dissuade him," Levy said. "As the same time, he understood the risks and he understood that he was putting himself in harm's way, and that's how he wants to live his life."

"Our son is very strong-willed and determined."

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Levy said his son, a graduate of Columbia University and the London School of Economics who had spent two years in Liberia studying mine workers there for a nongovernmental organization, had "made a very strong connection with the Liberian people and the culture."

"I'm proud of him, and as the same time I'd prefer that he went somewhere else as a parent."

When Mukpo learned he had contracted Ebola and had to inform his parents, "his first reaction was, 'I'm sorry to put myself in [this] position for you guys,' " Levy said.