Suspected case of Ebola in Vienna
A 45-year-old woman with a suspected Ebola infection has been admitted to hospital in Vienna.
The Nigerian woman was suffering a high fever and headache and had recently returned to Austria from a trip to Nigeria.
She is currently being treated and tested in isolation. Blood samples have been sent to the Bernhard-Nocht Institute in Hamburg for diagnosis. Results should be available within the next 48 hours.
Symptoms for suspected Ebola cases are non-specific and could also be symptomatic of many other tropical diseases, such as typhoid or malaria. They include fever, aches and diarrhoea.
Austria doesn’t have its own dedicated bio-secure lab, and the Freedom Party’s spokesman for science recently warned that the country is unprepared in the event that cases of the virus are confirmed.
In August suspected cases of Ebola in Tyrol and Upper Austria proved to be false alarms.
The Nigerian woman is being treated in the Kaiser-Franz-Josef hospital in Vienna’s Favoriten district.
The hospital has a new infection department which will be used for anyone suffering Ebola-like symptoms. Six rooms can be isolated, and doctors and nurses wear full protective body suits.
Experts say that while sporadic cases of Ebola are possible outside Africa, the risk of broader contagion is low because higher standards of healthcare and hygiene would make it easier to contain.
Some 1,500 people have died so far in Africa, out of more than 3,000 cases, since the disease was first identified in Guinea in February before spreading to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.