Ebola suspected in death of British man
US orders Ebola screening at five major airports for passengers from West Africa
A health worker takes the temperature of US marines arriving to take part in Operation United Assistance near Monrovia, Liberia, yesterday. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images
Macedonian authorities have has said they are checking for the Ebola virus in a British man who died within hours of being admitted to hospital in the capital Skopje yesterday.
Authorities sealed off a hotel where he had been staying, isolating a second Briton and hotel staff. A health ministry official said the man arrived from Britain on October 2nd and had been rushed to hospital at 3pm yesterday, where he died several hours later.
Dr Jovanka Kostovska of the ministry’s commission for infectious diseases said the man had been suffering from fever, vomiting and internal bleeding, and that his condition had deteriorated rapidly.
“These are all symptoms of Ebola, which raises suspicions with this patient,” said Ms Kostovska, amid fears that the disease might spread in Europe.
It was unclear whether the man had recently been to West Africa, where Ebola has killed nearly 4,000 people since March in the largest outbreak on record.
Teresa Romero (44) is the first person to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa, after becoming infected by one of two Spanish priests repatriated from Africa with the disease.
The European Commission asked the Spanish government for an explanation of how Romero’s infection could have happened in a high-security ward. Ruben Moreno, health spokesman for the ruling People’s Party, said Romero told a doctor at the hospital she had touched her face with her protective gloves.
Currently, passengers at airports in Africa must fill out questionnaires and be checked for high body temperature, one of the symptoms of infection. The EU is discussing the introduction of airport screening, something the US government has ordered at five major airports after the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the US died, in Texas, on Wednesday.
“The nation is frightened, and people are frightened of this disease,” the US cabinet secretary for health, Sylvia Burwell, said yesterday.
As the government prepares to start screening passengers from West Africa at five major airports over the next week, about 200 airline cabin cleaners at New York’s LaGuardia Airport yesterday stopped work in protest over what they say is insufficient protection for workers whose jobs include cleaning up vomit and bathrooms.
Some US lawmakers are also demanding the government ban travellers from the West African countries hit hardest by the virus. – Reuters