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Russia’s sanitary watchdog monitoring case of woman with symptoms suggestive of Ebola

January 20, 2015, 10:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The woman was taken to the hospital despite the fact that physicians at the airport established after an epidemiological checkup that she had an acute respiratory infection, not the Ebola virus
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© Denis Romanov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia’s consumer rights and sanitary watchdog agency, Rospotrebnadzor, is monitoring closely the incident, in which a woman, who had arrived in Moscow as a transit passenger by an Aeroflot flight on Monday, was hospitalized with symptoms initially suggestive of the Ebola virus disease, a spokesman for the agency told TASS.

“Rospotrebnadzor informs that a set of preventive treatment and anti-epidemics measures has been taken after a female passenger with symptoms of an infectious disease was identified on a flight from Paris to Moscow,” the spokesman said.

“The passenger has been taken to hospital and she will stay there until her condition improves,” he said. “The situation remains under our strict control.”

The spokesman stressed full compliance of the measures with international medical and sanitary regulations, adding that their main objective was to prevent the penetration of the Ebola virus disease to Russia’s territory.

Officials at Sheremetyevo airport received a notification from the crew of an Aeroflot jet performing flight SU 2455 from Paris to Moscow that a female customer, whose nationality was not specified and who was supposed to board a connection flight in Moscow, was sick.

Upon landing, the jet was taxied to a specialized sanitary parking sector. The passenger was issued a transit visa on the spot so that she could be hospitalized if need be.

However, physicians at the airport established after an epidemiological checkup that the woman had an acute respiratory infection, not the Ebola virus.

Other passengers of the flight spent more than three hours inside the jet upon arrival. A source at Moscow City’s healthcare department said they would not have to take specialized tests, as the chances that they might have contacted the deadly virus were insignificant.

“We’ve had to tackle cases of this kind in the past and they were never confirmed, all the more so that this passenger arrived from a non-endemic country,” the source said.

“Medical specialists consider such situations as an opportunity to get supplementary practical drill,” he said.

To rule out any further complications completely, the woman and her spouse, who had arrived by the same flight, were taken to the city’s hospital No. 1 for infectious diseases, the airport officials said.

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