A 35-year-old Nigerian woman died Monday in Abu Dhabi from suspected Ebola symptoms. The unnamed woman was on her way to India for cancer treatment, but due to the severity of her condition had to remain in the Middle East, until her unfortunate demise. At the moment, the woman’s husband is in quarantine as a safety precaution to ensure the virus does not spread to the city’s nearly 1.5 million residents.
The Nigerian woman was on her way to India to receive treatment for her advanced metastatic cancer, The Associated Press reported. Unable to continue on her journey, she was treated for her Ebola-like symptoms in the United Arab Emirates capital. It was here that “despite medical assistance, she could not be successfully resuscitated," the health authority of Abu Dhabi announced in a statement.
At the moment, tests are being conducted to find the true cause of the woman’s death, but due to the Ebola suspicions, the case is being handled with “full safety and precautionary measures.” Along with the woman’s husband, who was seated next to her on the long-haul flight from West Africa, the five medics who treated the deceased woman have also been placed in quarantine. However, it has been noted that as of now none of the isolated individuals have shown any signs of Ebola contamination.
Earlier this month, Ibrahim Al-Zahrani passed away in the Arabian city of Jeddah from a suspected case of Ebola. The victim had recently traveled to Sierra Leone for work, heightening the concern that his illness was, in fact, the Ebola virus. However, it was later confirmed by laboratory tests that Ebola was not to blame for the businessman's sudden death, Arab News reported.
If the Nigerian victim’s blood tests confirm the presence of the Ebola virus in her blood, she will be the first patient to die from the virus in the UAE. In an effort to best prevent Ebola from entering the Middle East, the UAE has stopped issuing pilgrimage visas for Muslims from the infected areas. Also, the Dubai-based airlines, Emirates, became the first carrier to stop flight to Guinea because of the sheer multitude of the outbreak in the West African region, The Daily Star reported.
The more recent WHO figures put the number of Ebola cases at nearly 2,000, with nearly half of those resulting in death of the patient. However, it is believed that these figures are skewed and the actual much higher numbers are kept hidden due to the widespread mistrust of authority and medical workers by many West Africans, The Business Insider reported. It is estimated that each Ebola patient will go on to infect at least one other person, sometimes two. This constant regeneration has led to the current Ebola outbreak being both the longest-lasting and the most deadly outbreak of the virus in world history.