An investigation has been launched in Spain after a nurse contracted the deadly Ebola virus from her work in a Madrid hospital.

The 40-year-old Spanish auxiliary nurse was one of the members of staff at the Carlos II hospital that treated two Spanish priests who contracted the disease in West Africa.

Miguel Pajares, 75, died in August after contracting the virus in Liberia and Garcia Viejo, 69, died at the hospital on 25 September after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Authorities are examining where the isolation procedures at the hospital failed in order to determine how the nurse became infected. The nurse had twice been in the isolation room of Garcia Viejo, once to help with his treatment and once to help clean the room after he had died, but both times she was wearing protective clothing.

The nurse fell ill while on holiday on 30 September and was admitted to Alcorcon hospital in Madrid on Sunday where she was found to have contracted Ebola. She was then moved by police escort to Carlos II hospital to receive further treatment and an isolation unit.

She has become the first person to contract the disease outside the “hot zone” of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.

The nurse’s husband and other members of the medical team that treated the two priests are being closely monitored.

Meanwhile, 3,400 people have now died of the disease in its current outbreak with over 7,400 people suspected to be infected, mostly in West Africa.

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