- Spanish nurse's assistant Teresa Romero Ramos speaks to her husband by phone
- Romero says she'd treat Ebola patients again if cured, a family spokeswoman says
- She is doing better and has been able to drink some water; doctors are hopeful
- Spain is considering a U.S. request to use Spanish bases in mission to fight Ebola
The Spanish nurse's assistant who contracted Ebola after treating a patient with the deadly virus is feeling a little better and says she would treat Ebola patients again if she is cured, a family friend and spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Teresa Romero Ramos is being treated at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, the same hospital where she contracted the illness while helping to care for an infected missionary who had been brought back from West Africa.
She spoke to her husband, Javier Limon, by phone for 10 minutes, family spokeswoman Teresa Mesa told journalists outside the hospital Wednesday.
She said Romero was stable and doing better, though hospital officials said Tuesday she remains in serious condition.
Romero has been drinking water since Tuesday night, and doctors are hopeful about her condition, Mesa said. She's not yet been able to eat anything.
It was in her conversation with her husband that Romero said she would pick up where she left off in caring for Ebola patients, Mesa said.
"Javier told me she is such a fool that when she gets out of here, she will do it again," Mesa said
"He said, 'Honey, are you going to do it again?' And she said, 'Do what?' And he says, 'Well, that. Risk your life.' And she says, 'Yeah, but now I have the antivirus, now it's OK.' That was the response of Teresa."
Romero doesn't know about dog's death
Romero asked Limon about her dog but does not yet know that it was put down by officials concerned that it might carry the Ebola virus, Mesa said.
Hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to try to stop authorities from euthanizing the dog, while dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the couple's home.
Limon, who has been kept under observation in a hospital as a high-risk contact, has criticized authorities' handling of the Ebola crisis.
In a scathing letter released Monday, he said his wife had received only 30 minutes of training in putting on protective gear and called for the resignation of Madrid's regional health minister.
A special committee set up by the government to handle the outbreak said Wednesday that all 15 people under observation in hospital remained asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government continues to deal with the fallout of Romero becoming the first person to contract Ebola in the current outbreak outside Africa.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faced a grilling in Parliament on Wednesday from opposition lawmakers over the government's response so far.
A hospital source told journalists Wednesday that one floor of the facility is being remodeled to better prepare it for handling Ebola cases.
As international efforts to combat Ebola grow larger, the United States is seeking permission to use two of Spain's bases as a transit point for flights to Africa carrying military personnel and supplies.
Spain has agreed that some U.S. flights heading to Africa can use its Rota naval and Moron air bases -- but has not yet approved their use by flights returning from Africa, a Spanish Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. The United States already has troops stationed at those bases.
Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes is due to meet U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Washington on Friday.
U.S. Ambassador to Madrid James Costos told Spain's Antena 3 TV station that the United States was not planning for U.S. military personnel to provide direct patient care or for U.S. military aircraft to transport symptomatic patients.
He said the U.S. request was being considered on case-by-case basis. The U.S. Embassy has said a small number of such transit flights have already been approved.
Washington is hoping Spain will approve the wider request.
The U.S. Embassy has said Rota and Moron are two among other bases the United States would use in various countries, as the military tries to keep different options available for the transit of personnel and supplies in the Ebola fight.
There are more than 500 U.S. troops in the region currently, and the Pentagon has authorized the deployment of up to 4,000 to assist in fighting the virus.
Troops are not expected to treat Ebola patients, but there is an acknowledgment by the Pentagon that some could be at risk of coming into contact with the virus.