Ebola scare in UK as woman from Africa dies after landing at airport

This article is more than 12 months old

An elderly woman flying in from Sierra Leone suddenly took ill and collapsed at Gatwick airport, raising fears that the Ebola virus had reached the UK.

The 72-year-old had been fine on the flight, but started vomiting and sweating heavily upon disembarking from a Gambia Bird jet at 8.15am on Saturday.

She was taken to hospital, where she later died of natural causes, reported The Telegraph.

The flight she had been on made a stop in Gambia before landing at Gatwick airport. 

Mirror reported an airport staff member as saying: "Paramedics arrived to try and help her. The next thing everybody was there… emergency crews, airfield operations, even immigration.

"They closed down the jet bridge and put the aircraft into quarantine.

"They took everyone’s details, even the guy who fuels the aircraft."

Negative for Ebola virus

Results obtained on Sunday showed the woman tested negative for the Ebola virus.

BBC reported Dr Brian McCloskey, director of global public health at Public Health England, as saying: "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."

The Independent reported a spokesman for Gatwick as saying: "As a precaution, the aircraft was isolated, as were relevant airline and airport staff. At every stage, we took advice from Public Health England, which cleared the aircraft for its return journey."

Sky News reported that more than 700 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since the outbreak started in February.

Sources: The Telegraph, Mirror, BBC, The Independent, Sky News

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