A passenger who died at London’s Gatwick airport shortly after arriving from The Gambia has tested negative for the Ebola virus, according to Department of Health officials.
The female passenger, who was in her 70s and showed no symptoms during the flight, suddenly fell ill on arrival.
Dr Brian McCloskey, director of global public health at Public Health England, said: “There
was no health risk to other passengers or crew, as the passenger did not have symptoms during the flight. It was considered very unlikely to be a case of Ebola, but testing was done as a precaution, and was negative.”
After the aircraft landed the woman began sweating heavily and vomiting. A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said as a precaution the aircraft was isolated, as were relevant airline and airport staff.
Meanwhile, Liberia has banned the cremation of bodies of victims of the virus. The ruling comes after some communities have said they would not allow victims to be buried on their land.
In the capital two men who had shown symptoms of the disease lay in the streets of Monrovia for four days before being collected by health workers, residents told Reuters.
“They both gave up and dropped dead on the ground on the street of Clara Town, a district of the Liberian capital,” said resident Nema Red.
Both men had shown symptoms such as bleeding and vomiting before they died but scared locals had refused to take them to the hospital, she added.
Nigeria has confirmed a second case – that of a doctor who treated a man who died from the virus after he arrived from Liberia
In other news the health of Kent Brantly, the American doctor who was flown to the US from Liberia after being found to be infected with the virus is improving, according to officials.
Nancy Writebol, a colleague of Dr Brantly and who is also infected, is expected to be repatriated to the US for treatment tomorrow
So far Ebola has claimed the lives of 533 people from Guinea, 460 from Sierra Leone and 329 from Liberia. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or fluids of the infected, including the dead, and is said to have a fatality rate approaching 90%.