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Ebola scare sees plane quarantined in Paris

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Ebola scare sees plane quarantined in Paris
Photo: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr
13:07 CEST+02:00
An Air France plane from the Ebola-hit west African country of Guinea was quarantined in Paris for two hours Friday after the crew suspected a passenger may have the deadly disease, the airline said. It comes after France introduced measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The flight from the Guinean capital Conakry landed at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport at 5:28 am (03:28 GMT) with 187 passengers and 11 crew members on board.

Emergency services conducted checks for fever on all those travelling after a dirty toilet sparked concern that a passenger could be infected with the deadly and highly contagious disease, which apart from other symptoms triggers severe diahorrea.

"The tests turned out negative," an Air France spokesman said.

Ebola can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another's blood, faeces or sweat.

Sexual contact, or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses, can also lead to infection.    

In Guinea, health authorities have reported 134 suspected Ebola cases since the beginning of the year of which 86 have been fatal.

Liberia has also reported cases of the disease, and Mali on Thursday detected three suspected victims of Ebola.

France last week stepped up vigilance for the virus. The country, a former colonial power in much of west Africa, is a major portal for air traffic from the region.

In response to concerns fanned by an epidemic of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, French authorities have put into place procedures for airlines to isolate potentially sick people and have warned hospitals on how to deal with potential cases of the illness.

So far no people sick with Ebola have turned up in France, but officials are concerned tight links with west Africa could lead to a case being ‘imported’,French daily Le Parisien reported.

Their worries have been spurred by the death toll in Guinea which has risen to 83 in the few weeks since the outbreak kicked off.

Health authorities from the Direction Générale de la Santé have sent out a directive ordering Air France crews to immediately isolate passengers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who show symptoms of the disease.

The DGS order also instructs Air France personnel to immediately inform airport authorities if they think they have a case aboard a jetliner.

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