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The latest on the Ebola crisis

A paramedic in a protective suit drives an ambulance on his arrival at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.

AP / Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Last Updated Oct 19, 2014 10:45 PM EDT

This week's revelation that two Dallas nurses contracted Ebola from the first patient diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. realized the fears of public health officials and sparked new questions over the government's ability to respond to the disease.

With numerous stories stemming from the new cases in the U.S. and additional news from overseas, here's the most recent Ebola coverage from Sunday:

Nursing assistant in Spain clear of Ebola

Initial testing shows that Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero, 44, who became infected with Ebola is now clear of any traces of the virus, nearly two weeks after she was diagnosed.

Romero tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 6 and had been quarantined in Carlos III hospital in Madrid since that time. Spanish government officials made the announcement in a statement saying Romero's immune system had eliminated eliminated the virus from her body.

A second test will be run to absolutely confirm Romero's body is rid of the virus, said Manuel Cuenca, microbiology director at the Carlos III health care complex.

She had treated two patients who died of Ebola at Carlos III hospital. The first, Miguel Pajares, contracted the disease in Liberia but died Aug. 12, despite being treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. A second patient, Manuel Garcia Viejo who died on Sept. 25.

Pentagon assembling team to assist in response

The Pentagon announced on Sunday it was forming a team to assist medical staff in the U.S., if needed to treat Ebola.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the formation of a 30-person support team to assist civilian medical professionals. Northern Command Commander, Gen. Chuck Jacoby will form the team, which will consist of 20 critical care nurses, five infectious disease doctors, and five trainers in infectious disease protocols.

When assembled the team will undergo up to a week of specialized training in infection control and personal protective equipment at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Afterward the will be set in "ready to deploy" status for 30 days.

The team would not be sent to West Africa or other domestic locations, but it would "be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

Liberia's leader says Ebola causing economic catastrophe

Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, says Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and brought it to "a standstill."

Prolonged war over the course of years had already left emergency, medical and military services weakened when the outbreak began in Liberia and two other West African countries," she said. Now, "a generation of young people risk being lost to an economic catastrophe as harvests are missed, markets are shut and borders are closed."

Sirleaf made an appeal for help in a "Letter to the World" broadcast Sunday by the BBC.

In neighboring Sierra Leone, the U.N. World Food Program is distributing emergency food rations, providing a nutritional lifeline to 260,000 residents of an Ebola-stricken community on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown, the Associated Press reported.

Quarantine period ends for family of Duncan

Several people who had contact with an Ebola patient who died of the disease at Texas Health Presbyterian on Oct. 8 are ending the period of confinement required to ensure they were not also infected.

The group of people who were under quarantine included Duncan's fiance' Louis Troh, who was confined to a stranger's home under armed guard.

Ebola has a maximum 21-day incubation period, and the people who interacted with Duncan after he first arrived in Dallas from Liberia will be in the clear. Troh released a statement Sunday expressing her sorrow at the loss of Duncan, but also praising Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, who were infected with the disease while treating him and are undergoing treatment themselves.

"We continue to mourn his loss and grieve the circumstances that led to his death, just at the time we thought we were facing a happy future together. Our hearts also go out to the two brave women who have been infected by this terrible disease as they were trying to help him," said Troh.

Ebola-infected nurse hires high-powered attorney

The family of Amber Joy Vinson, one of the two nurses who treated an Ebola patient in Dallas who later died of the disease before she herself was diagnosed with it, say they have retained attorney Billy Martin, a Washington D.C. lawyer who is known for litigating high-profile cases.

A statement released by her family on Sunday says that Vinson, 29, followed all self-monitoring protocols given to her by authorities and was assured she had nothing to worry about. Upon returning to Dallas from a trip to Cleveland to prepare for her wedding, she admitted herself after recording a 100.3 degree temperature and has been under quarantine since.

"Suggestions that she ignored any of the physician and government-provided protocols recommended to her are patently untrue and hurtful," the statement said.

Vinson was moved from Texas Health Presbyterian to Emory University to an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta last week, where she was listed in stable condition.

CDC promising stronger Ebola protocols

The new protocols that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are developing for health care workers treating patients with Ebola will be "much more stringent" than previous guidelines, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health [NIH] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

While Fauci said on CBS' "Face the Nation" he didn't want to "preempt" new protocols, he said they will go "a step further" than the previous World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that the CDC had followed for years.

Fauci said the new CDC-issued guidelines will improve upon what the WHO had issued. For example, he said, those protocols allowed for some exposed skin, which will no longer be allowed.

"I can tell you what we do today at [NIH] is predicated on no skin exposed, good training, having somebody monitor you back and forth to make sure you take your your garb on and you take it off well, that's what we do," he said.

NIH is one of the four hospitals in the country that specialize in high-risk infections.

NYC to offer special training for potential responses to Ebola

New York plans to make specialized training available for city workers who would possibly end up dealing directly with the virus, if it were discovered in the city.

Top city officials in New York will meet with leaders from the Municipal Labor Committee, a group which represents more than 300,000 public employees on Monday to review the city's strategy to respond to any Ebola cases, members of Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration told The Associated Press.

Those expected to attend the meeting include firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, nurses, and hospital staffers who would likely be the first responders in an Ebola case.

"These are the people who will be in harm's way," Harry Nespoli, head of the Municipal Labor Committee, said Sunday. "Let's hope to God we never have to deal with it, but what this city is doing is preparing for the worst just in case."

New York City's health commissioner said the city's status as a haven for immigrants and center for international travel could put it at risk.

Officials are planning a public service announcement campaign to reassure New Yorkers that the disease is not easily transmittable.

Cruise ship with health worker watched for Ebola docks

A Carnival cruise ship with a lab supervisor who handled a specimen from Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian came to port in Galveston, Tex., early Sunday. The woman embarked on the seven-day cruise on Oct. 12, and was monitored after two nurses in the hosptial were diagnosed with Ebola.

Carnival Cruise Lines said the woman was "not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew" and that it was in close consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vicky Rey, vice president of guest care for Carnival Cruise Lines, said the woman and her husband drove themselves home after arriving in Galveston.