A British man is thought to have died of Ebola in Macedonia, despite not having visited Africa. The man, who has not been named, flew direct to the Macedonian capital of Skopje from the UK, raising the possibility that he could have caught the virus in Britain.
The Daily Mail reports that his symptoms before his death included fever, vomiting and internal bleeding, with Macedonia’s head of infection control saying he had “all symptoms of Ebola, which raises suspicions with this patient”.
However, Dr Jovanka Kostovska added that the man was also a heavy drinker: “We got information from several places that the patient frequently and in large quantities consumed alcohol, which can give a similar clinical picture and other diseases.”
A second man who was friends with the deceased is also showing similar symptoms, she added.
The man had been confined to his hotel room for three days with severe stomach ache before being rushed to hospital yesterday. He died just 90 minutes later. All other guests at the hotel have been quarantined, as have the paramedics who treated him.
However, Public Health England has said it is ‘unlikely’ the man had the virus. “Public Health England is aware there are unconfirmed reports of a British national dying in Macedonia, who may have exhibited some symptoms compatible with Ebola,” said Dr Brian McCloskey.
“We understand Ebola to be unlikely as the cause of death but will continue to work with partners to investigate.”
A Macedonian foreign ministry statement said: “I can confirm that a British person has died and he is in the state hospital in Skopje.
“We are looking to see what are the reasons according to the protocols of the World Health Organization.
“There was a friend with him and he has also been retained in the hospital and the crew from the ambulance are also retained in the hospital.”