A Nigerian man collapsed in a shivering fit at Madrid airport earlier this month and was immediately quarantined by fearful staff, who had no idea several balloons of cocaine in his stomach he had carried illegally into the country had burst.
After the man was found trembling on the floor, security staff inspected his papers and identified the man as a Nigerian resident of Spain who had travelled from Turkey, reports theLocal.es. Medics on the scene linked his symptoms to Ebola, and the entire area, including customs and the aircraft he had just disembarked was quarantined until a specialist team of Health Ministry Ebola responders could arrive, which took a full hour.
Once the Ebola team arrived they took twenty-five minutes to determine he didn’t have Ebola, and rushed him to hospital to have the drugs removed. He died twenty-five minutes later, two hours after first collapsing.
The Ebola alert over the Nigerian man on October 18 came just two days after another aircraft was quarantined at Madrid airport, when another Nigerian male began to develop flu-like symptoms mid-flight. The man had ‘stopped over’ in Paris after flying from Lagos, and was deemed to be an Ebola threat after being inspected by a doctor. Although the 183 passengers were allowed to disembark and continue their journeys, their luggage was impounded by airport authorities who said it had to be disinfected first.
Ebola has now killed nearly 5,000 worldwide, and many dozens of new cases are reported every day. Twenty a day are reported in the small nation of Sierra Leone, and since march Ebola has already killed more people in Guinea and Liberia than Malaria killed in those countries in the whole of 2012. The virus is now showing its propensity to transmit even in the strictest and most sterile environments, as western health workers treating patients in the United States and Spain fall victim.
It has now been reported that the sixth West African country has confirmed cases of the virus, despite desperate efforts to prevent its spread. Mali, which neighbours outbreak epicentre Guinea now has five cases. Fear of the disease, and more importantly suspicion of the sudden influx of white, Western doctors and soldiers who have come with it has led to civil unrest in some parts of Africa. Two were killed in rioting last week in Sierra Leone, after local gangs shouting “no more Ebola” attacked medics they suspected of deliberately giving people Ebola.
A lack of education about the causes of Ebola and suspicion of foreigners has led some to suspect that the virus is a plot by Western forces to kill Africans and steal the rich natural resources of Western Africa, which includes Iron ore and Diamonds.