A Spanish missionary priest who tested positive for the Ebola virus was in stable condition after being evacuated from Liberia, health officials said Thursday.
The priest, Miguel Pajares, was helping to treat people infected with Ebola and was one of three who tested positive at the San Jose de Monrovia Hospital in Liberia earlier this week. He was flown to Spain on Thursday.
Juliana Bohi, an Equatorial Guinean nun with Spanish nationality who worked with him in Liberia, was also brought back but she is not infected. Both worked for the San Juan de Dios hospital order, a Catholic humanitarian group that runs hospitals around the world.
Rafael Perez-Santamarina, director of Madrid’s La Paz hospital, said that initial medical checks on arrival at the center showed Pajares was in stable condition and Bohi was in good condition.
Madrid regional government health chief Francisco Javier Rodriguez said neither was bleeding, which is a symptom of an advanced stage of the illness.
Ebola, which causes some victims to bleed from the eyes, mouth and ears, can only be transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is sick — blood, semen, saliva, urine, feces or sweat.
It is the first time that someone infected with Ebola will be treated in Spain.
A medically-equipped Airbus 310 flew to Liberia on Wednesday to bring Pajares and Bohi to Spain.
Spain’s Health Ministry said the case presented minimal risk to public health.
The other two aid workers who tested positive with Pajares were identified as Chantal Pascaline Mutwamene of Congo and Paciencia Melgar from Equatorial Guinea.
Bohi and two other missionaries working at the hospital tested negative. Rodriguez said Bohi would be retested in Madrid and released if the result was once again negative.