Nigerian Woman Causes Ebola Scare In Germany; 600 Quarantined


Biohazard: Police officers wearing protective masks stand outside the entrance of the jobcentre, where 600 people were kept in quaratine. Several people who had been with the woman were taken to hospital for testing

A woman was rushed to hospital and hundreds of people were quarantined today after she showed symptoms of Ebola virus infection in a jobcentre in Germany. As many as 600 visitors and staff at the employment office building in Berlin were also stopped from leaving for several hours as emergency services sealed off part of the street.

Prepared: Infectious disease specialist Florian Steiner, leftm and quarantine office leader Thomas Klotzkowski disinfect themselves during a demonstration at Berlin's Charite hospital last week

The mass-circulation daily Bild said the woman had fainted, that she hailed from Nigeria and that she said later that she had recently been in contact with people infected with Ebola. Several people who had been with the woman inside the building in the north-eastern district of Prenzlauer Berg were later taken to hospital for testing.

Quarantined: Police officers and ambulance medical staff stand outside the jobcentre in the Berlin district of Pankow after a woman showed symptoms of the infectious Ebola virus disease then collapsed there

Berlin fire department spokesman Rolf Erbe said that because the patient came from ‘an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions.’ He said the testing in the city’s Charite hospital would take some time. ‘The patient was isolated inside the ambulance, the staff took the appropriate protective measures.

Precautions: An ambulance carries a suspected Ebola virus carrier  to Charite hospital 

An emergency medic, the public health officer, arrived and the necessary precautions were taken,’ he added. The woman had turned up at the employment bureau with a high fever. A spokesman for the city’s health authority said emergency services were called after the woman collapsed.

All 600 people quarantined within the centre were in the suspected victim’s vicinity before she collapsed. West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, which has hit four nations since it broke out in Guinea early this year, is by far the deadliest since the virus was discovered four decades ago in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The World Health Organization said today the Ebola virus had killed 84 people in just three days, bringing the global death toll to 1,229, while confirmed, probable and suspect infections rose to 2,240. The outbreak is not yet under control, the UN health agency said, although there have been no confirmed cases of the disease spreading beyond the region at its centre.