Nigerian passenger causes panic over Ebola suspicion at Istanbul airport
ISTANBULA Nigerian passenger, who arrived in Turkey early Aug. 12, created panic when she became ill onboard a Turkish Airlines plane flying from Lagos to Istanbul, prompting authorities to take measures against a possible case of the Ebola virus.
The 32-year-old woman reportedly fell ill to fever and vomited during the flight before the pilot demanded paramedics to the plane upon arrival.
Paramedics working under the General Directorate of Health for Borders and Coasts delivered the first treatment to the woman on the plane. She and her three-year-old son were later taken to the hospital for further examination.
The Health Ministry has released a statement regarding the incident, saying officials were keeping a close watch on the woman as a precautionary measure.
“It is not possible to say the patient in question has the Ebola virus, but we are carefully evaluating even the smallest symptoms because [she] came from Nigeria,” the ministry said.
The press spokesman of Turkish Airlines, Ali Genç, also confirmed the incident via his Twitter account. “The plane has been disinfected as a precautionary measure,” Genç stated.
The virus is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person. Ebola cannot be spread like the flu through casual contact or breathing the same air as someone who is infected.
The Ebola virus has killed 1,013 people and infected another 1,848, as the latest data from the World Health Organization shows.