August 2014 – AUSTRIA – A 48-year-old British Nigerian woman is feared to have died of the deadly Ebola virus in Austria. The woman’s body was found at her apartment in Vomp, in the Tyrol, at the weekend after she returned from a trip to Nigeria. Blood, hair and urine samples have been sent to a tropical disease centre in Hamburg for urgent tests. The woman, who has a British passport, had travelled from Nigeria to Germany where she then flew back to her home in Vomp. Her body was discovered in her flat on Saturday. Austrian officials confirmed today they implemented emergency measures following the suggestion that she might have died from the Ebola virus. Results from the Centre for Tropical Diseases in the northern Germany city of Hamburg are expected sometime today.
The doctor who attended the scene where the body was found gave the cause of death as a viral infection. Police confirmed that they had already ruled out violent crime for her death. They were alerted to the fact that there might be a problem when a relative had called them to say they could not contact the woman. Head of the regional health board Franz Katzgraber said that he regarded the risk that the woman had died from the Ebola virus as being at the lower end of the scale. However he confirmed it was nevertheless vital to implement emergency measures even when there was just a suspicion. He said only one person has died from the virus in Nigeria and the risk of catching it from a trip to the country was low, and much more likely if somebody had come in from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone. The woman’s home has been sealed off and emergency services staff including medics who found the body have been quarantined.
A spokesman for the Austrian Health Ministry confirmed that even before the body had been found the staff been wearing protective clothing. They added that even if the woman did turn out to have died from Ebola, it was unlikely that it would be passed on to anyone else as the infection is transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Although a British citizen, the woman appears to have had a property in Austria although it was not explained whether it was a holiday home or whether she lived in the Alpine Republic. –Mirror