Independent News and Media

Young woman in Brisbane Ebola scare tests negative

A YOUNG woman isolated at Brisbane Hospital after recently arriving from West Africa and developing a fever has tested negative to ebola.

The 18-year-old woman arrived from the region plagued by the Ebola crisis 11 days ago, Queensland's chief medical officer Jeanette Young said on Sunday.

Dr Young said the woman, a West African who was planning to stay in Australia, was well and had been in home quarantine since arriving.

While Dr Young said the woman, who is not a health worker, had not had ay contact with anyone believed to be carrying the diseases, which has so far infected more than 10,000 people.

About 4,900 people, primarily in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, have died from the disease in what the World Health Organisation has called the worst outbreak of the disease in history.

Dr Young told reporters in Brisbane the woman was part of a family of nine people who arrived, while the other had stayed in home quarantine to date.

The woman will be tested again in two days' time.

The woman was quarantined as a precaution.

Dr Young told reporters the ambulance officers who assisted the woman had worn full protective clothing.

She said there were six children and two other adults in the woman's family.

"They're all perfectly well and no-one else in that family has a fever," Dr Young said.

She said the family had been in home isolation since arriving, so there was 'no risk to the community at all'.

Even if the woman has Ebola, other passengers from the plane are safe.

'She's been here in Brisbane now for 11 days in home quarantine so there is no risk at all for anyone else on that plane,' Dr Young said.

'You need to have symptoms and be excreting the virus, in vomit, in faeces, in sweat, in urine and she doesn't have any symptoms so she hasn't been excreting the virus so someone could get infected.'

It comes after a scare in Cairns earlier this month where a nurse who was exhibiting symptoms similar to the virus was twice tested and both times results were negative.


AMA questions Australia's ability to help in world crisis

THE number of cases of Ebola worldwide reached 10,000 people on the weekend, as the Australian Medical Association asked whether Australia was ready to help.

With the first confirmed cases in New York and Mali reported last week, the World Health Organisation confirmed the number of cases had reached 10,141 on the weekend.

Most confirmed cases remain in West African countries, including Liberia (4665), Sierra Leone (3896) and Guinea (1553).

But after conflicting reports on Australia's readiness to send help last week, the AMA's president Associate Professor Brian Owler publicly questioned the nation's preparedness.