Australia

Ebola outbreak: Brisbane woman tests negative

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Media captionDoctors said that the quarantine was precautionary as the woman had no known contact with Ebola

A woman who had been put into isolation in Queensland after arriving from West Africa has tested negative for the Ebola virus.

The woman, 18, is being monitored at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, after arriving from West Africa 12 days ago.

She developed a fever on Saturday night.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the woman was felling well and no longer had a fever.

Meanwhile, an Australian man who reported a high temperature after returning to Thailand from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been told to stay at home.

More than 10,000 people have contracted the Ebola virus, with 4,922 deaths, the World Health Organization says.

All but 27 of the cases have occurred in West Africa - inside Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The 18-year-old will remain in hospital until she is tested a second time for Ebola, said Dr Young.

Queensland has now had three Ebola scares but Dr Young said at a press conference on Monday that there was no cause for alarm.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption A nurse tested negative for Ebola at a Cairns hospital this month

She said none of the woman's family members had shown signs of illness.

All of the family members had been placed in home quarantine immediately after their arrival

"There is no need to be nervous, we do know what we are doing and have the situation well managed," she told reporters.

"The others remain in home quarantine [in] the house they've been in since they first arrived," she said.

The woman was not a healthcare worker and her name has not been released.

Dr Young did not specify her nationality, but said she was moving to Australia permanently with her family under a humanitarian visa programme.

Strategy criticised

Earlier this month, a nurse who had treated patients in Sierra Leone was tested twice for Ebola in a hospital in Cairns but was discharged when the tests came back negative.

The Australian Medical Association warned on Saturday of a chaotic response by the government to the crisis.

Its president, Prof Brian Owler, said Australians were being kept in the dark about government plans. He urged a more coherent strategy to tackle the crisis.

The Australian who lives in Thailand recorded a high temperature at Bangkok airport on 17 October and was told to remain at home in Trat province, 300km south-east of Bangkok. until 5 November, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The DR Congo outbreak is believed to be unrelated to that in West Africa.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 67 cases and 49 deaths.

The WHO's report warns that the number of Ebola cases in West Africa could be much higher than recorded, as many families were keeping relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centres.


Ebola virus disease (EVD)

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Media captionHow Ebola survivors’ blood is saving lives
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • No proven vaccine or cure
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host

Ebola special report


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