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Ebola scare hits Tyrol as woman's body found

The Local · 17 Aug 2014, 22:53

Published: 17 Aug 2014 22:53 GMT+02:00

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The 48-year-old British woman recently traveled to Austria from Nigeria via Germany.  Her body was found on Saturday night in her apartment.

A friend of the deceased notified police when the woman was not reachable.  Police believe they can rule out a violent crime as the cause of death.

Because of her recent travels, and since the cause of death is unknown, public health officials decided to take the precaution of testing her blood and urine for possible exposure to the ebola virus.

"We have decided to seek a diagnosis of exclusion for Ebola because the 48-year-old entered from Nigeria recently via Germany, and we could not elicit the medical history of the deceased", the provincial health director was quoted as saying.

All persons who came into contact with the woman's body wore protective clothing.  The results of the laboratory tests were published on Monday afternoon, and ruled out ebola at this time.

Story continues below…

Photo: APA (dpa)

According to experts in infectious diseases, it is extremely unlikely that ebola was the cause of death in this case, but officials are taking no chances.  This is important since the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the number of cases in circulation has been drastically underestimated until now.

The risk of infection is extremely low. The WHO reports that all of the persons who came into contact with the previous Ebola deaths in Nigeria are under observation. Overall, the risk of infection in Nigeria is much lower than in the other three countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Two cases in Europe of suspected ebola, including one in Germany, have proven to be negative.

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