Australia quarantines suspected teen Ebola patient
MELBOURNE, Oct 26 — Australian authorities said today a teenager was in isolation in hospital and undergoing tests for Ebola after she developed a fever following her arrival from Guinea.
The 18-year-old, who arrived in Australia 11 days ago with eight other family members, had been in home quarantine in Brisbane before she developed a “raised temperature” overnight, Queensland state chief health officer Jeannette Young said late today.
She was now in isolation at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, with the results of the first test for Ebola to be known early tomorrow.
A second test would be taken in three days, Young added, saying it was unlikely she was suffering from Ebola.
“She didn’t have any known contact with anyone that was sick with Ebola virus disease, but she did come from an area that had a reasonably large number of cases,” Young told a press conference, adding that the young woman was not a healthcare worker.
Young would not specify the teenager’s nationality, but said she was moving to Australia permanently and authorities had been informed of her family’s arrival several days before the flight.
“There is no risk to the community at all because she hasn’t left the house or had any visitors in the time that she has been here in Brisbane,” Young said.
The teenager was not showing other symptoms and her fever was “resolved”, Young added.
“It is unlikely that she has the disease because she doesn’t remember coming into contact with anyone with Ebola virus disease, so it is unlikely, but she has been in an area that there’s been a significant number of cases, so there’s always that potential.”
The rest of the woman’s family remain quarantined at home.
Young said Queensland health authorities were monitoring four families from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the vast majority of Ebola cases have occurred.
The number of Ebola infections has surpassed 10,000 and the death toll neared 5,000 worldwide, mainly in the three West African nations.
There have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Australia. — AFP
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