October 2014 – MACEDONIA – People arriving in the UK from areas hit by Ebola face “enhanced screening” for the virus at Heathrow, Gatwick and Eurostar terminals. Downing Street said passengers would be asked questions and potentially given a medical assessment. It comes as Whitehall sources say it is “very unlikely” a British man who died in Macedonia on Thursday could have contracted the disease. The UK Foreign Office had said it was urgently investigating the reports. The unnamed man was admitted to hospital at 15:00 local time (14:00 BST) and died two hours later, Macedonia’s Health Ministry said. A British man suspected of contracting the Ebola virus has died in Macedonia, a senior Macedonian government official confirmed, adding that the victim is thought to have travelled from Britain. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters a second Briton had also shown symptoms of the virus. He said the two had been staying at a hotel in the capital Skopje and that hotel staff and the ambulance crew that took them in for treatment had been put into isolation.
He had been vomiting, had a fever and was bleeding internally. There were “high chances” it was not an Ebola case, the ministry added. But in a statement it said officials had followed World Health Organization procedure in closing the hotel where the man was staying and placing the residents in quarantine. A Macedonian government spokesman said the man’s travelling companion – also British – told the authorities they had travelled directly from the UK to Skopje and had not been to any affected areas. Dr Brian McCloskey, from Public Health England, said he was aware of the reports but added: “We understand Ebola to be unlikely as the cause of death but will continue to work with partners to investigate.” The outbreak has already killed more than 3,000 people and infected more than 7,200 – mostly in West Africa. People leaving areas affected by the outbreak have been subject to checks for some weeks, although people do not become infectious until they display symptoms. Earlier this week a Spanish nurse became the first person to contract the deadly virus outside of West Africa. –BBC, Channel 4