The UK is breathing easier this morning after a traveller thought to have Ebola collapsed and died at Gatwick Airport. The airport, just 28 miles from central London went onto high alert after an elderly woman who was displaying classic symptoms of Ebola collapsed as she left the aircraft. She died a very short time later. Public Heath officials have said that the tests for Ebola were negative.
The woman, said to be 72, became ill on the gangway after she left a Gambia Bird jet with 128 passengers on board. She died in hospital on Saturday. Ebola has killed 256 people in Sierra Leone. A total of 826 have died in West Africa since the outbreak began in February. Tests were carried out to see if the woman had the disease. The plane was quarantined as officials desperately tried to trace everyone who had been in contact with the woman. Airport workers faced an anxious wait to see if the woman had Ebola.
One said: “Everyone’s just petrified. “We’ve all seen how many people have died from Ebola, especially in Sierra Leone, and it’s terrifying.”
Speaking of the horrific moment the passenger collapsed, the shocked staff member added:
“The woman was sweating buckets and vomiting. “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.”
The plane carrying the woman came from Freetown in Sierra Leone – a country with the highest number of victims from the disease. It stopped at Banjul in The Gambia before landing in Gatwick at 8.15am on Saturday after a five-hour flight.
Public Health England tried to allay fears of an Ebola breakout in Britain. It said the woman showed no symptoms during the flight. One official added: “Public Health England is aware a passenger arriving on a flight from The Gambia that landed at Gatwick airport on Saturday fell ill shortly after disembarking.
“The passenger was taken to hospital and sadly died. In line with standard procedures, tests are being undertaken to determine the cause of death. The patient’s symptoms suggest that Ebola is very unlikely but as a precaution this is one of the tests being undertaken. The patient was not symptomatic on the plane and therefore there is no risk of Ebola being passed on to either flight crew or other passengers.
“England has world class health care and disease control systems which are active permanently, regularly tested and proven to be effective. “As such, if the UK does see a case of imported Ebola, this will not result in an outbreak in this country.” (Source)
Nice that the UK government is so certain that a patient infected with Ebola, throwing up left and right, will not trigger an outbreak. How can they be so sure given the speed with which Ebola currently seems to be spreading is beyond me.
Both Gatwick and Heathrow have rail hubs that allow travellers direct access to Central London. The Gatwick Express will drop you at victoria station in the heart of the city just 30 minutes after boarding the train.
Let’s hope Public Health England are right in their assumptions.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!